PERKINSVILLE — One of the oldest cemeteries in Madison County, you might’ve driven past Perkinsville Cemetery, established in 1821, and not even known it.
A situation even arose once, Perkinsville resident Norm Bracken said, in which one of the buried didn’t receive the military honors deserved because the cemetery, without a sign, couldn’t be found.
Not anymore. On Sunday afternoon, the Families and Friends of Perkinsville Cemetery dedicated a monument sign to the site in the 9400 block of West Eighth Street.
Volunteer Tim Moore said it was through donations and the efforts of Scott E. Hershberger Funeral Home and Likens Farms that the estimated $8,000 monument sign was made a possibility.
“A lot of wonderful people donated, but we need more,” he added.
The group also wants to reset headstones that have fallen into disrepair over the last 192 years to keep the cemetery well-preserved. Realistically, Moore said, they’ll need about $40,000 to do it.
He added that they’re looking into grants and in talks with the Madison County Council of Governments to see what can be done.
“We have a lot of tradition here in this cemetery,” Herbert Likens said. “Heritage we want to see carried on.”
Likens’ brother, George, is the president of the Perkinsville Cemetery Association.
He has seven generations buried in the cemetery. Bracken’s ancestors, the McClinticks, are the oldest family buried there.
Bracken said his family came to the area in 1821 from Ohio, and that he has about 40 relatives, including one killed in the Civil War, buried in the cemetery.
Mary McClintick, who passed away in August 1821, has the oldest legible marker in the county.
“I think it’s great they’re working to preserve it and the stones,” Bracken said of the Families and Friends of Perkinsville Cemetery’s efforts.
But Bracken added that the cemetery hasn’t always been in as good of shape as it is now. The oldest part, the west side where bodies were brought over from across the river, used to be covered in brush until it was cleaned up in the mid-1970s, he said.