Archive for Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Headstone on its way back home

July 24, 2002

A gravestone that's been at the Tonganoxie Police Department for two weeks will be returned today to its proper home.

Tonganoxie residents Harold and Connie Putthoff will take the 150-pound headstone of Caroline A. Root to the Linn County Sheriff's Department. The stone was found in Tonganoxie last spring and was taken to Missouri before returning here two weeks ago.

The Putthoffs are involved with the Tonganoxie Historical Society and decided the excursion would be worth the 90-mile drive.

"I just thought it would be real interesting," Connie said.

Genealogy and cemeteries have caught her eye. She helped write a book about Harold's paternal family history.

"I like visiting old cemeteries," she said.

The Putthoffs plan to make a day of the trip by dropping down to visit a friend in Pittsburg as well.

But first, the couple will head to the Root family cemetery in Linn County.

The stone was supposedly found along a county road near Tonganoxie earlier this year. Those who discovered it noticed it was made by a company in Clinton, Mo. In March, the stone was then taken to the Henry County Sheriff's Department in Clinton. Officials there had basically forgotten about the gravestone until they came across it while cleaning out the department's garage. Officers there, though, misplaced notes about the monument, so it's not clear at this point where the stone was found.

The gravestone was brought back to Tonganoxie two weeks ago, and, thanks to genealogy research by police dispatcher Mike Vestal and his sister Brenda Baker, the stone was traced back to the Root family cemetery near Pleasanton in Linn County.

So, arrangements were made, and the stone historical society members have been searching for it for some time will be returned to the cemetery in rural Linn County.

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