Old Methodist cemetery improvements finished
By Cathy Casper, Staff Writer, Claiborne
County Progress, January 6, 1999 (Subscription information)
William Clyde Baumgardner in his backyard.
me whether this is the old M.E. Church?
Undergoing a complete face lift, a new
fence and a new sign now surrounds and marks the Methodist Cemetery located
in Tazewell next to the 911 office.
The project, first undertaken by Eldo
Stone, came as a result of an article in the Progress which told of the
battered state of disrepair another cemetery in the county was suffering
from. One of Stone's friends mentioned that the old Methodist Cemetery
was also in need of repair and Stone decided to take the project on.
After spending days, cleaning, mowing
and hauling trash, the elderly Stone had done as much as he could and went
to Judge John McAfee for help.
McAfee sentenced four people to community
service at the cemetery, helping to finish what Stone, because of his age
and health, was not able to.
The task is now complete with the exception
of the dirt being put down, and Stone is grateful that everything seemed
to come together.
"The only reason the dirt is not down
is because of all the rain and it may be spring before we get it finished,"
The dirt which is already at the site
will help to fill the many holes so that the site in the future can be
kept up with a riding mower.
Stone said he just started the ball rolling
and many people are responsible for the renovation including Davis Greer,
Mike Reece who helped to re-erect some of the monuments, Doug Harbin, James
England, Stanley Massengill for donating the dirt, Wayne Lee, Judge John
McAfee, Beezer Watson at Watson Fence and Seth Butner who was instrumental
in getting the funds that were lacking to finish the project and the witnessing
Committee at the Tazewell United Methodist Church who supplied those funds.
He also thanked all those who gave donations
and the Claiborne Progress. "The picture in the paper helped to get donations,
so many people in this town did not know that cemetery was there until
they saw it in the paper," Stone said.
Also wanting to clarify a mistake he originally
made. Stone said in the beginning he identified the cemetery as a Presbyterian
Cemetery, but has since learned that it is the old Methodist Cemetery.
At this time everything is paid for and
from here out, the only cost will be upkeep which Stone figures will run
approximately $500 a year.
Seth Butner is looking into the future
upkeep of the cemetery.
"There are plans underway to look into
establishing a non profit fund for the maintenance of the cemetery," Butner
In the meantime Stone is ecstatic that
the project went so well and believes he had the Lord's help in completing
the project and said his next project may be looking into the history of
another old cemetery in the area that is also badly in need of repair.
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