Cemetery Commission visits New Market Christian Cemetery Association, State Cemetery PDF Print E-mail

Members of the Clark County Cemetery Commission spent a recent evening visiting with members of the New Market Christian Cemetery Association.


Clark County Cemetery Commission President David Abbott and Volunteer Member Nancy Hemphill traveled to New Market Christian Church on April 13 to talk to members of their cemetery association about headstone repair.

Abbott spoke to the members of the Cemetery Association about the mission of the Clark County Cemetery Commission. He hopes to help the association find help in repairing the headstones.

Abbott is asking for anyone with knowledge of how to repair fallen and/or damaged headstones to contact him at 502-931-4669. He is hoping to find someone to volunteer to help the members of the New Market Christian Cemetery Association with the headstones.

Abbott then introduced Hemphill who gave details to the group on how to repair and clean headstones. She has attended a workshop in Indianapolis to learn how to repair damaged headstones. Hemphill shared the booklet she received while attending the workshop for the New Market Christian Cemetery Association members to reference when needed.

The members of the New Market Christian Cemetery Association include: President- Treasure Helton; Vice President- Patty Clapp; Secretary- Phyllis Woodward; Treasurer- Janie Helton; Trustees: James Clapp, Norma Cooper, Betty Doane, Kevin Helton and Barbara Holder.

After the meeting the members went into the cemetery to see first-hand some of the damaged headstones. Hemphill and Abbott were able to give suggestions on how to repair some of the headstones.

State Cemetery

Abbott and Hemphill then traveled down New Market Road to Michigan Road to the State Cemetery. The cemetery has a few headstones that also need repair and some have fell and need to be placed back on the foundation.

Abbott’s aunt, Norma Cooper, has been maintaining the cemetery for 45 years. She asked Abbott to see what he thought could be done to upright the headstones.

Cooper, 80, said she still enjoys mowing and caring for the State Cemetery. Looking around the cemetery one can tell Cooper has a passion for the grounds. The grass is trimmed perfectly and she even took time to pick up a artificial flower that had blown onto the ground while talking with Abbott and Hemphill.

Cooper reminisced about a beautiful tree located near the grave site of her late husband, Owens.

“I guess this tree has been here for probably 15 years now,” Cooper stated to Abbott.

She continued looking up at the beautiful pear tree, “I remember you helping me plant this here. I don’t think we could even pick it up now.”

Again, Abbott is hoping to find someone or a group, such as a boy scout troop or civic organization, willing to volunteer some time to help Cooper with a few of the headstones at the State Cemetery.

“It seems that some of the work Norma needs can be done with some shovels and pea rock. We just need to find someone or a group to offer to spend a few hours out here in New Market,” Abbott stated. “It really is very satisfying when you begin working in one of these older cemeteries. It’s like we are preserving our past for our future.”

Abbott continued, “We have all lost loved ones that we continue to care for by maintaining their final resting places. These two cemeteries, the New Market Christian Church Cemetery and this State Cemetery, both have been maintained with perfection. They are beautiful tonight (April 13). We just need a little bit of help to do a few things to get those headstones standing up again. Hopefully we can get a start with that really soon.”

Abbott concluded by praising the  continued community support of the Clark County Cemetery Commission.

“Our true mission is really not the cleaning and maintenance of the those forgotten cemeteries. We have just started doing this on our own. We are truly grateful for all the help and support we receive from the community. When we need help to clean up a forgotten cemetery the community has always stepped up to help us. I cannot thank our community enough for the continued support,” Abbott concluded.

The Clark County Cemetery Commission will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, May 10 at the Sellersburg Branch of the Charlestown Clark County Public Library. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Abbott invites anyone with concerns about a cemetery in Clark County to attend.

If you would like  more information about the Clark County Cemetery Commission please attend the meeting on May 10 or please call Clark County Cemetery Commission President David Abbott at 502-931-4669.