The "Hart Family Cemetery" is a small, sub-quarter-acre plot on what was once the farm of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca Hart. William and Rebecca Hart moved to what is now Mercer County (then Livingston County), Missouri in about 1838, and were among the first settlers of the "Goshen Prarie."
The cemetery was first used in 1854, to bury their 11 year-old son, William O.B. Hart. His grave, William (Sr.)'s grave and Rebecca's grave are surrounded by a black, iron fence; there is a (mostly collapsed now) barbed-wire fence that marks the boundaries of the cemetery.
The cemetery had been maintained, over the years, by one of their granddaughters, Josephine ("Josie") Hart Thomas. This task has now been taken up by her children, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and at least one great-grandniece.
The two large stones in this cemetery (William's and Rebecca's) were toppled by a tornado that swept through the area in 1990 or 1991, snapping Rebecca's stone in two. The stones were later repaired and placed back on their pedestles by two of Rebecca's great-grandsons, Hall and Raymond Hart, and Hall's son Spencer.
"We have a friend who has a tombstone business in Littleton, New Hampshire, and he sent us the epoxy he uses to repair stones. So Hall, Spencer, and Raymond took the tractor, rope, etc., out one weekend and worked, raising the top part of the stone high enough, applying the epoxy, and setting the stone where it belonged on the bottom part. It was quite an undertaking but very worthwhile." (Mary Hart, wife of Hall Hart.)
Phil Stewart has posted a table listing of this cemetery, which can be useful when scanning who is buried here. If you have any questions or comments about this cemetery, please feel free to drop me an e-mail.
An approximate map of the Hart Family Cemetery, located on what was once the farm of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca Hart.
The solid line around the perimeter of the cemetery represents a barbed wire fence which is now (1997) nearly collapsed along the south side. The dashed line on the perimeter represents where the barbed wire fence once was; this was removed during one of our cleaning visits (summer, 1991) to make a suitable entrance.
This weathered marble stone is about 8 feet tall, in the form of a tall, narrow obelisk on a pedestal. There is a carving of clasped hands over a Holy Bible. The enscription reads:
(on the base): Dearest children - Farewell. Be ____ of good comfort, be of one mind. Live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
This stone was broken about 5 feet from the ground by a tornado that swept through the area in 1990 or 1991(it appears that a section of aluminum siding from a barn that was destroyed snagged on the stone and gave the wind purchase; such a piece of aluminum siding was found, bent, at the northern border of the cemetery, at the edge of the trees there.)
This weathered marble stone is about 8 feet tall (a little taller than Rebecca's stone), in the form of a tall, narrow obelisk on a pedestal. There is a carving of clasped hands over a Holy Bible. The enscription reads:
(on the base):M.B. Root, Ottumua, Iowa
(on the base):
Dearest husband thou hast left us.
Here thy loss we deeply feel.
But as God that hath bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.
This stone was toppled by the same storm that broke Rebecca's stone (it appeared that Rebecca's stone struck this one, removing a large chip about the size of a half-dollar.)
This weathered marble stone is a rectangular tablet, no more than about 18 inches high. It reads:
This stone was narrowly missed by his father's stone when it toppled.
This weathered marble stone is about a foot high. The enscription reads:
Note: J.E. was James Elliott Hart, son of William Morgan Hart and Rebecca Hart.
This stone was broken off at the ground in the same storm that broke Rebecca's stone and toppled William's. It had been set in concrete before, probably by Josie (Hart) Thomas. A new concrete brace was built by David Hughes, great-great-grandson of Rebecca and William Hart, on August 2, 1991.
This weathered marble stone is a little over a foot high. The enscription reads:
Ada was the granddaughter of William Morgan Hart, being the daughter of Hannah Jane Hart (daughter of Elizabeth Hart, Williams first wife) and John Reeves. She had a twin sister, Ida.
A very short marble footstone, with the enscription "R.H."
A very short marble footstone, with no enscription.
A very short marble footstone, with no enscription.
A very short marble footstone, with the enscription "I.H."
10. broken stone
Two pieces of broken flat stone, with no legible markings.
11. flat stone
One flat stone, with no legible markings.
Wayne Walton Hughes found an early, type-written listing of the gravestone inscriptions for the Hart Family Cemetery (probably by Hall and Mary Hart, "many, many years ago"). This earlier listing does not show William O.B.'s gravestone, and lists three additional gravestones not visible in 1991:
Licurgus, son of J&H Reeves
died Nov. 27, 1866
age 7 mos 6 da
(Licurgus was a brother of Ada Reeves.)
_. Arilda, dau of J. P.
& N. King
died Oct. 19, 1861
age 1 yr 5 mos 2 da
J. C. William (or Williams)
age 9 yrs