Saint-Joseph man receives award for restoration of historic tombs | Story

A St. Joseph man received an award Friday at the Buchanan County Courthouse for helping restore the grave of a Revolutionary War veteran buried at King Kill Cemetery.

The Daughters of the American Revolution presented the America 250 Commendation to John Grimes for his extensive work restoring the grave of John Davis, a veteran of the American Revolution.

Cemeteries play an important role in preserving history, Grimes said.

“Cemeteries have a lot of fun rocks,” Grimes said. “We call them headstones, headstones. On these they have names and dates on them and it connects the person to the history of the place. Here it’s Buchanan County, although some d “These are related to big events far removed from Buchanan County. The Revolutionary War veterans weren’t here, they were out east.”

Grimes also found and helped restore the graves of two other Revolutionary War veterans in different county cemeteries.

But his volunteer efforts go far beyond these cases. In total, Grimes has worked about 10,000 hours at Buchanan County cemeteries, helping with everything from clearing brush to restoring headstones, estimated Jerre Robertson, treasurer of the Missouri State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Robertson met Grimes seven years ago while doing research at King Hill Cemetery. He has been an integral resource over the years, she said.

“John (Grimes) has been invaluable and a mentor to me,” Robertson said. “He taught me to look for deeds and maps.”

The Robertsons were among the first to come to Buchanan County after the Platte purchase, and the help of Jerre Robertson of Grimes enhanced the family’s knowledge of his lineage.

“It has helped us enormously in providing more information about our genealogy,” Robertson said.

Making concerted preservation efforts becomes even more essential when the dangers are considered. Sometimes it’s because a site is on a hill, or even beside a stream, which is starting to erode, but other times it’s caused by human intervention, Grimes said.

“Some of these cemeteries are totally overrun and destroyed,” he said. “Some were bulldozed by farmers…totally illegal. State law says, ‘You won’t do that.’ They do it anyway.”

Robertson asked anyone interested in helping with cemeteries to leave their information at the Buchanan County Recorder’s Office, Room 103.