Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mulkey Cemetery - Sedgwick County

This afternoon, I made a short loop on some unpaved roads into western Sedgwick County. It was there that I had one of those "Explorer" moments that are so special when I meet and listen to rural Kansans tell their stories.

There is a small pioneer cemetery on west 13th Street north of Garden Plain called Mulkey Cemetery. I had been by here before, but when I stopped this afternoon, the farmer living across the road came over and told me some history of this cemetery. He has lived in this area all his life.

He told me this cemetery was active from about 1879 thru 1897. It gradually went into disrepair, and was even used as a cattle pasture. Only one stone and the large cedar tree remain from the original plot. He remembers playing in the tree as a young man.

A while back, this gentleman and some others were interested in restoring the cemetery. Some money was found in the Sedgwick County budget, and research was done to identify most of the people buried here. Headstones were repaired when possible, and re-created when necessary, including several wood markers. A nice wood sign with history documents were posted near the entrance. New trees have been planted.

I found this cemetery to be in excellent condition and obviously maintained with great care by this gentleman. It is a joy to explore.

If you wish to visit this cemetery, travel 1/2 mile west of 295th Street West (paved road) on 13th Street North. Please be respectful of the private property surrounding the cemetery.

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