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Prairie City Cemetery Walk — A Historic Event

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:28 a.m. CDT

A nice crowd of people attended this very special event a the Historic Waveland Cemetery near Prairie City on Saturday, June 28. It was another historic walk through the annals of time that everyone seemed to enjoy.

This walk was sponsored by the Prairie City Historic Society and the Jasper County Historical Society. A committee for this walk was recently formed by members from both groups. Seven historic grave sites were visited on the tour ... individuals who many residents of Prairie City and Jasper County may remember:

Betty Buckingham presented a history of Waveland Cemetery before each tour began. James Elliott, founder of Prairie City in 1851, was portrayed by Dick McKlveen. John Brewin, who was born in England in 1818 and became an honored pioneer and citizen, was portrayed by Lonnie Appleby. Vivian Willson, a beloved teacher, was portrayed by Rachael Peters. Dr. Ella Johnson was portrayed by Linda Perrenoud.  Robert Thompson, an Immigrant from Ireland, was presented by Graham Davis, and inventor-farmer Ashford Dowden was portrayed by Alex Fraker. Eliza Blee Zachery, who lived in a three-story renaissance home near the old stage road, was portrayed by Mary Ann Nevins. A lot of history was bundled into this memorable tour.

I was privileged to record about an hour of video memories of the event. A couple copies have been donated to the Prairie City and Jasper County Historical Societies. Anyone who would like to review the event is free to check out a copy. Some folks, including those who had family connections with this historic site, but were unable to attend may find the video memories of particular interest.

In years past, I also have had the privilege of capturing historic walks of the Wittemberg Cemetery, Newton Union and Palo Alto cemeteries, among others. With time left of this DVD, I included the Historic Union Chapel Cemetery Walk in 2009.

My name can be added to many folks here in Jasper County who really appreciate these historic events. Hopefully there will be more in future years.

John D. McNeer


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