Lasater Cemetery getting a sign

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Donald and Barbara Lasater of Manila are planning a trip to Bollinger County in Southeast Missouri to mark a family cemetery they discovered about two years ago.

Before the days of cell phones and vehicles when people relocated to try to make a new life, too many times families were separated and contact was lost.

Donald and Barbara Lasater

The Lasaters are lifelong Manila residents but in the 1970s Donald's mother, Laura Marie Lasater, found out about a Lasater family reunion held in Missouri. This gave the Arkansas Lasaters and the Missouri Lasaters a chance to get reunited.

Donald and Barbara were visiting his cousin and her husband, Dee and Peck West, a couple of years ago and she asked them if they would like to visit a family cemetery. The Lasaters are both very interested in family genealogy and a visit to an old family cemetery was something they certainly wanted to do.

The cemetery is a small plot in the middle of a hayfield. While they were walking across the area, Donald stepped on a tombstone. It was the only tombstone in the cemetery, other than some rock markers. The tombstone was the marker of Donald's grandfather's gravesite. They could still read the inscription: Hugh Lasater, born 1855, died 1908.

They also found a book, Bollinger County, 1851-1976, on their trip. The book is filled with information on the Lasater family.

They know several other family members, including Donald's grandmother, Mary Ann Lacy Lasater, is buried there. It could also be the burial place of his great-grandmother, Mary Stokes Lasaster. They decided they wanted to do something to mark the little family cemetery.

Their cousin talked to the landowner and got permission to place a Lasater Cemetery sign on the property.

"We had an idea what we wanted and we took our idea to M.H. Walker, a welder, to see if he could make it," Donald said. "He told us he had a man who could and Scott Brady free-handed the sign design and using a plasma cutter, he cut the sign out using a fourth inch steel plate."

Donald brought the sign home, painted it and built a metal stand. It will be delivered in the near future to the little cemetery known by only a few family members as the Lasater Cemetery.

"We wanted to thank M.H. and Scott for their work," the Lasaters said. "They did a great job. It is nice to have local people with so much talent and skill."

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