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Cemetery Report March 13, 2004

by Cheryl MacFarland, Lot 44

With the approval of the Board, I have volunteered to oversee the clean up, restoration, and ongoing maintenance of the Cemetery located behind the Berg house. Augusta Shores LLC (Joe Dupre) has generously set aside funding to cover the anticipated costs. My husband and I have also agreed to cover any expenses beyond the budgeted amount.

We have done some preliminary clean up, but until the weather improves I’m mostly in the research and planning mode.

Research first:

The actual name of the cemetery is listed as “The Zumwalt-Murdock Burial Ground”, according to The Cemeteries of St. Charles County 1988. Some of the headstones are readable, while others are so smoothed out so that only a few letters or words can be read. The largest stone reads “George Murdock 1813-1897”. In the book he is listed as a soldier in the Black Hawk War (1832). More research is being done. There are small stones in the shape of what you would think of as “natural” headstones. They are off to the side, away from the known family members. They may be markers for slaves he owned, or perhaps indentured servants. All of the stones will be left in place.

From the St. Charles Demokrat 1850-1860 (Printed in German), I’ve learned that Mr. Murdock was appointed to The Committee for the Femme Osage Township Citizens concerning surveys for the rail routes and taxes to be assessed. The committee felt that the taxes were unjust and benefited few at the cost of many. They also determined that the tax was “un-Republican” and decided to not pay….such a deal! More info to follow on Mr. Murdock, et al, as I find it.

Now to the Planning:

The Cemetery is quite a mess due to overgrowth and neglect. Clean up and restoration on the site should be underway by the time of our next Newsletter, depending on weather and Joe building a foot-bridge for me to access the site. (Just kidding Joe!) At present, you need to be a mountain goat to get there…..when it’s wet, it’s almost impossible.

Another George Murdock story and a progress update on the site clean up/restoration to follow. Stay tuned!

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