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Click photo to enlarge
The smokestack at the cement plant.
Ruin walls of the cement plant
Perkins Memorial

LeHunt Cemetery
Mongtomery County, Kansas

Near Elk Reservoir, Near Elk Reservoir
Mongtomery County, Kansas

Lat: 3716'28"N, Lon: 9545'31"W
Independence Twp, SW-NE-SW of Sec 10

Contributed by Jo Anne DeGraffenreid, May 09, 2000 [msdeg@mchsi.com]. Total records = 18.

On a recent outing from Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas, to Elk Reservoir in Montgomery County, we decided to see if we could reach the old LeHunt town site. We finally succeeded with some detours and, driving beyond the abandoned cement plant, discovered an old cemetery. This site is cleared but in poor condition and has been vandalized. It appears that stones have been deliberately overturned and broken and have been used for target practice. Cans and bottles littered the ground. The most recent recorded date on the stones that we were able to read was 1910.

This area, although on a wooded hillside, is swampy. Driving into the area, we saw a large family of wood ducks swimming single-file over and around rotting logs in the standing water which occurs on either side of the road. The roadway is not maintained and illegal trash dumping that has occurred over the years lends a rather blighted effect, particularly at the time of year when leafless plants are withered and dormant

The once-thriving community of LeHunt had been fairly extensive, with streets adorned with gas lights. Now it can only be discerned from overgrown avenues of trees, broken sidewalks and foundations hidden by grass and heavy brush. The cement plant walls (covered with generations of graffiti) are still standing, from what must have been an enormous structure, and the large, tall chimney or smoke stack that inspired our quest is a landmark visible for some miles on the hill southeast of Elk Reservoir. The stack is also in poor shape, with its days no doubt numbered.

The small cemetery must have been a lovely spot at one time. The stones are assembled under now mature cedars and deciduous trees and the plots have been planted with periwinkle or some type of ornamental creeping vines that are still in evidence. There may well be other perennial flowers that will appear later in the spring.

It was fairly late in the afternoon when we reached our goal. We were on the shady side of the hill and the temperature was already beginning to drop. The weather was unseasonably mild and mosquitoes were already swarming. Because of this, and the poor condition of the road over which we must return, we inventoried the readily visible stones as quickly as possible and retreated to the vehicle, pursued by our tiny winged friends-who would gladly have accompanied us home for supper!

I transcribed from the last reading of this cemetery, which was on 28 Feb 1999. This contains all existing headstones at that time.

- Jo Anne DeGraffenreid

Beathe, B. G., b. 25 Feb 1822, d. 12 Apr 1899, s/w W.M.
Beathe, W. M., b. 04 Jan 1870, d. 11 Oct 1889, s/w B.G.
Caldwell, Geneva C., b. 01 Jun 1856, d. 15 Mar 1910, 'Mother', s/w Herbert D
Caldwell, J. W., b. 24 Oct 1825, d. 15 Apr 1891, Aged 65yr 5mo 21da, s/w Geneva
Hooper, Herbert Dean, Son of J.P. & E.J., 7yr 6mo 7da.
McCloud, E., no dates
McCloud, Frankie, b. 28 Jul 1893, d. 15 Nov 1902, Aged 9yr 3mo 17da, daughter of Wm & Ida
Murphy, "Son", b. 18 Jan 1857, d. 10 Mar 1881
Murphy, Benj., b. 14 Jan 1834, d. 07 Apr 1904, s/w Ellnora, Sydney & son
Murphy, Ellnora, b. 17 Feb 1858, d. 22 Jan 1875, s/w Benj
Murphy, Maud M., b. 25 Jan 1881, d. 27 Mar 1884, child of B. & M. Murphy, s/w Minnie
Murphy, Minnie B., b. 11 Oct 1886, d. no date, child of B. & M. Murphy, s/w Maud
Murphy, Sydney A., b. 17 Feb 1840, d. 21 Jan 1875, "His Wife"
Perkins, Daniel R., d. 14 Mar 1886, Aged 61yr 2mo 23da, Sacred memory of our Father, s/w Mariah
Perkins, Mariah,, d. 31 May 1877, Age 50 yr 3 mo 15 da., Sacred memory of our Mother, s/w Daniel
Randall, Anna M., b. 16 Aug 1857, d. 06 Nov 1896, s/w Laura
Randall, Laura Jane, b. 21 Jul 1891, d. 19 May 1893, d/o Anna M., 'daughter'
Thompson, Eugene, d. 16 Jun 1886, Aged 26yr 8mo 7da.

 

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