Century-old tombstone found in Leavenworth backyard - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Century-old tombstone found in Leavenworth backyard

Leavenworth residents are working to return an old tombstone found recently during a spring cleaning project. Leavenworth residents are working to return an old tombstone found recently during a spring cleaning project.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV/AP) -

Leavenworth residents are working to return an old tombstone found recently during a spring cleaning project.

A couple removing stones from an old fountain in their Leavenworth backyard found the old tombstone, which dates to the late 1800s.

The Miller family was doing work in their back yard as part of a project to install a new fire pit. One of the children noticed a brick had writing on it.

After they realized it was a tombstone, the family called police.

Jeff Culbertson, Leavenworth County Geographic Information Systems Department director, said the headstone appears to be of two family members, likely a mother and son who died about 25 years apart.

Culbertson said a cemetery database reveals the headstone had been stolen from a grave at Greenwood Cemetery. It was last seen in 1979.

It might have been in the backyard for more than three decades.

Culbertson says the eight-acre Greenwood Cemetery is the most vandalized cemetery of the 176 in Leavenworth County and is hit almost monthly. Nearly every headstone has been vandalized in some way.

The headstone is marked and appears to have been broken from its base. So far, they haven't been able to locate the tombstone's base. But Culbertson says they'll keep looking.

He hopes to return the headstone to its original grave, but it won't be easy in such a large cemetery.

"We're going to try, but I wouldn't expect success just because it's been so long," he said.

Leavenworth County would like you to contact them if you have any information about any abandoned cemeteries or tombstones. If you need more information on a loved one buried in the county, click here.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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