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Citizens clean up McCormick Cemetery

UNION TOWNSHIP —

When Odra Baker was a girl, she and her sisters often went to the McCormick Cemetery along Ohio 775, north of Proctorville.

“The Locey girls would walk three miles and go to that cemetery. We had our little garden tools, our rakes. Our mom would cut limbs from her rose bushes and peonies and we would go with these bundles of flowers and jugs of water,” she recalled. “We would rake and clean and decorate our grandma’s grave. That was something we were taught.”

That’s why she and other members of her family were so distressed to see the overgrowth of vines and weeds and trash tossed around seemingly consuming the old community cemetery where many of their loved ones are buried.

But a few months ago, her nephews and the Union Township Trustees teamed up with other concerned citizens in the county to start sprucing up the cemetery.

“Our concern was it was an eyesore and how it became so dilapidated it seemed that the love and caring for these deceased was gone,” Baker said.

Unofficial team leaders and workers were Baker’s nephews,

Dennis Locey from Las Vegas, Danny Locey from Topeka, Kan., and Rickey Locey from Denver. Joining them were trustees, Rick Gue, Terry Porter and Mike Curry; and the young people from Judge Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home.

It is estimated there are more than 100 graves in the cemetery that goes back at least as far as 1875. About 20 of the graves are those of veterans.

Besides the cleaning, a new fence was put up. Now a fund for the cemetery has been started and donations may be made at City National Bank branches at Chesapeake and Proctorville. Those funds will go for such things as upgrading or replacing any fencing as is needed.

“I wish more communities would get together and do things like that. We can’t do any more for those laying there other than cleaning up the surroundings and make it a beautiful place,” Baker said. “I don’t want any credit. There was a need. You don’t put the emphasis on me and the Locey name. The emphasis is the McCormick Cemetery.”