The Macey Cemetery Board expressed their appreciation last week to the Craighead County Quorum Court and the County Road Department for paving the county roads leading to the Macey Cemetery, north of Monette, and the road encircling the cemetery.
"We are so thankful to Judge Dale Haas, and all the Quorum Court members for providing a nice paved road to the cemetery, and for helping us provide pavement in the driveway," said Macey Cemetery Board member, Gene Gathright.
"We have suffered through mud holes during bad weather and were often afraid of getting stuck. Now we have a nice paved roads from Highway 139 and through the cemetery itself."
To get to the Macey Cemetery visitors take Highway 139 north of Monette, turn west onto County Road 514 (formerly Highbanks Road),
turn north onto County Road 531 (formerly Macey Road), and west again onto County Road 520 (formerly called the Macey Cemetery Road). The newly paved section is 3/4 mile of 531, and 1/2 mile of 520.
At the request of the Macey Cemetery Board, they were able to have the
circle drive inside the cemetery paved at a cost of $4,886, which is a great savings compared to having it independently done. A request was made by the cemetery board to the Nadine Steele Murphy Trust (set
aside for Macey Cemetery maintenance and improvements) to help pay
part of the cemetery paving. The cemetery board was very appreciative, when the Murphy Trust executers approved the total funding for the project. Murphy Trust executors include Roger Steele, Jim Steele and David Watkins.
"We could have not done this without Dale's (Haas) help," Gathright said. "He has been so supportive with improvements made to the county roads and the cemetery."
"The only way we have of raising the money for the upkeep of the cemetery, is by donations from good friends and relatives, who have people buried here," said Sonny Wimberley, board member.
"We do an annual mail out to ask for donations, and have always raised
enough money to keep the cemetery looking nice, said Martha Jane Hout, board member. "We also hold an annual homecoming and dinner the last Sunday in May of each year at the Monette Methodist Church fellowship hall."
"During the last few years we have made a real effort to pave roads
to Craighead County cemeteries," Haas said. "This just says something about our priorities in meeting the needs of the people. When cemetery board members work so hard to keep up the cemeteries, it would be a shame to have them inaccessible. I appreciate the work done by the Macey board, as it is quite an undertaking to raise enough funds to
mow and keep up the cemetery. This cemetery has always been very well taken care of, which shows someone cares about the resting place of their loved ones."
Former Macey Cemetery Board members now deceased include: Bill Braden, Jethro Harrell, Gran Harrell, Bert Sembler, Bob Pitts, Neil Hout, Sonny Steele, Billy Childress, and Curley Hout. Current board members are Gene Gathright, Martha Jane Hout, Sonny Wimberley, David Watkins and Tommy Swetnam. Cemetery caretaker is Keith McCann of Manila.
A marker in the Macey Cemetery on the grave of Mrs. Sallie Johnson,
who died around 1874, declares that she was the first person buried in the cemetery. In 1999, the Genealogical Society of Craighead County listed 1,101 people buried in Macey Cemetery in their Volume III book County Cemeteries.