Monday, March 2, 2009

Vandals Destroy Small Cemetery in Kansas

There were only about 15 stones in the turn-of-the-century cemetery in Trego County, Kansas. Just a small quiet country cemetery that most of us didn't even know existed. But today this little cemetery is in the news -- because vandals have completely destroyed it.

In The Hays Daily News, Mike Corn reports that sometime Friday or Saturday, vandals went into the cemetery and damaged every headstone. The damage is very extensive - smaller headstones were even used to damage and destroy the larger pieces.

Rich Schneider, Trego County's Sheriff, says, "I can't believe it. I don't know what kind of people do that."

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Trego County Sheriff's office - (785) 743-5721. You can read the full article about the vandalized cemetery at The Hays Daily News.

About the Cemetery

A sheriff's deputy contacted the Trego County Historical Society, who said that the cemetery is called the Saline Valley Cemetery.

A little internet searching leads to some interesting information about this cemetery. Gayle M. Garrett, a relation to the Franklin family who are buried there, photographed, transcribed, and shared the information on this cemetery at the KS GenWeb website in November, 2000.

You can view some great (pre-vandalism) photos, headstone transcriptions, and historical information here. Aren't we grateful to Gayle, who took the time to record and preserve this priceless information!

And every cemetery has a story. Buried in this little country cemetery are four children who were killed in a house fire on March 15, 1886. They are Thomas E. Franklin, age 10 years; Ira E. Franklin, age 8 years; Charlie Franklin, age 6 years; Earl Franklin, age 2 years.


  1. I don't know whether this makes me more sad or mad. It's just so totally senseless. It certainly shows why it is so important to document cemeteries while we can!


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