|Elva Rinke and Rolla Cozean graves|
|Elias Milburn and Martha Ellen Cozean at Snowdenville|
We recently traveled to Missouri to visit relatives and meet up with my dad and sister. I thought it might be interesting to try to find the graves of some of the Tucker relatives. My dad decided to join me. Now in Missouri, many cemeteries are affiliated with churches. Others however, were family burial sites on family land. These small old cemeteries were the ones that looked promising.One afternoon we went in search of the Hahn Family Cemetery. It was pretty close to Farmington where we were staying. From reading the different lists of internments online, I hoped to find graves for some children of William Riggs Tucker, who was George Washington Cozean’s uncle. It would be even sweeter to find where William Riggs Tucker was buried. We drove down highway OO to T in St. Francois County. Down the road, we noticed a small cemetery next to an old church on the right hand side. That wasn’t the one we were looking for. We kept driving until we came to a newer church where two cars with people inside were parked. We asked them about the cemetery, but these people did not live in the area. We turned around to go back to the first cemetery we had seen just to check it out. There was a house next to it where a man and woman were leaving to get into a car. My dad hopped out and introduced himself. This was a Mr. Barron. We are also related to the Barron Family. He knew of the Cozean family through my cousin Jon who runs the Cozean Funeral Home. Mr. Barron did not know how to tell us to get to the cemetery we were looking for, but he knew someone who could help us. He went into the house and returned with a name and phone number. There was a Mrs. Clifton who lived down the road who had done lots of recording of area cemeteries. He told us to call her or just go by her house. I had no cellular signal, so we thought she would be expecting us to call or come by. We drove down the road a bit and found her house. Mrs. Clifton came out to greet us carrying a large binder full of handwritten records. She invited us in to have a look at what she had. I was floored at the amount of work this lady had done. She had visited about 40 cemeteries in the area and written down all of the names of people buried there. She had taken a few photos as well. She became interested in connecting the names with families she found. Local residents would tell her information which she would record in her binder. Others would contact her for help with their family trees.
Mrs. Clifton gave us the phone number of the property owner to call to help us find the Hahn Cemetery. It was on private property, and she didn’t know what condition it was in since there had been a huge storm a few years back. My dad and I left our contact information with Mrs. Clifton and headed back to Farmington since it would be dark soon. She asked me to let her know if I found birth and death dates for a certain Tucker she had in her book, in case someone else needed that information.That evening, I called the Brooks family. Mrs. Brooks told us that the cemetery was covered in thick brush and that there might be snakes. I didn’t think it was a good place for my dad and me to be wandering through. The snakes were definitely a deterrent to me. Mrs. Brooks did say that she had photographed most of the headstones and that she would email photos to me of the people I was interested in and their relations. A little while later, some wonderful pictures appeared in my inbox. Although we did not get to see the cemetery in person, thanks to Mrs. Brooks, we now have photos from there. I was in awe of these local Missouri residents who were so kind and helpful. My dad and I were total strangers to them, yet they treated us like one of their own.
The next day, Dad and I set out to find the Barron-Gordon Cemetery which seemed pretty simple to find. There was an area called the Crossroads, where the town of Libertyville was located. We found a cemetery with an old church and stopped to check it out. There were no Barrons here, but there was one Tucker. I don’t believe he was one of ours.Dad and I drove down a different road and found another cemetery. There were no names here that were familiar. It was a Methodist cemetery.
|Looking for family names|
We were getting close. The GPS told me to turn right into a wooded area. There was no right except for a driveway. We turned around in a church parking lot and drove back and down the unpaved driveway slowly. There were lots of warning signs posted. I hoped that the rental car could handle the off-roading we were doing. We drove further and further into the woods. The road ended at someone’s house. There was a metal bar door on the building like you would see in a rough neighborhood in the city. My dad commented that at any moment someone might come out of that house with a shotgun. We turned around and drove back to the main road.
|Lost in the woods|
Back down the driveway we went and up the one before it. At the end of that drive was a cemetery!!! We had at last found success! We were 1 for 3 finding cemeteries. We looked around and found plenty of Stephens’ that we were related to.
|Dad with Eliza Jane White Cozean|
|Eliza Jane White Cozean|
|Sarah Matilda Cozean Stephens|
I plan to return to Missouri and look for the graves of our ancestors. I would love to find where George Washington Cozean is buried, as well as other Tuckers that relocated from Tennessee to Missouri and Arkansas. Next time, we will be better prepared to find these well-hidden cemeteries. I realized that I cannot rely on the GPS on my phone. We will need to know coordinates ahead of time, use a real GPS and get exact directions to the locations. We may need to get permission from property owners too. And some heavy duty high boots and bug spray wouldn’t hurt either.