A man discovered an old cemetery in Missouri that had long been forgotten and neglected and did something remarkable with the treasure he found. He spotted the overgrown cemetery, which had been taken over with grass and weeds that were waist-high, with many headstones in poor shape and tipped over, and then poured himself into lovingly caring for the abandoned area. He found that over 50 people were buried there and some of the headstones dated as far back as the early 1800s.
George VanMeter explained: “They didn’t have parades or anything like that. They were just put in the ground. Stuff like that touches my heart.” George found that some of the people buried there were children and some early settlers of Missouri. He believes that the children’s cause of death was likely a yellow fever outbreak.
George even contacted the state to tell them about the cemetery and was surprisingly told that they were unable to maintain all of the old cemeteries throughout the state.
George was up to the challenge of restoring this space, however, and took the time to mow and weed, as well as care for the land the cemetery occupied, calling it “a simple courtesy.”
He explained: “I refuse to give up on these people” and put out a call for help on his Facebook page in hopes of finding others who are interested in his mission of restoring this historical site. George wrote: I need help… I’ve taken on this pre Civil War graveyard as a pet project I expect no thanks no rewards or any compensation. I’ve been keeping this graveyard mowed for the last couple of years just out of simple courtesy because the first time I saw it it was covered and waist-high weeds; if anybody out there knows of any of the family members of this graveyard or any organizations that could help to get it in a simple state of decency it would be greatly appreciated…”
He specifically hoped to get help with getting rid of some plants, lifting stones back into place, and having headstones donated, noting that he’s “just trying to do the right thing… I’m posting this with the hopes of a little help and just spread the message by please sharing my post… I’ll always commit to its upkeep as long as I’m able… I’d just like some help.”
Many people on social media offered comments praising George for his noble efforts, with one person writing: “Thanks very much for taking your time to work on this. I live next door in Franklin County. It is disheartening to see cemeteries that haven’t had any attention for years. I hope you got the help you needed to restore the monuments.”
Another commenter pointed out that George’s selfless act was really inspiring to others, writing: “Let this be a shining example to everybody what they can do if they just set their minds and hearts to it.”
George also received a flood of comments from people hoping to help him with the project!