Kennett, Mo., cemetery vandalized, but fixed for free

Friday, August 29, 2008
Submitted photos The Gibson Cemetery was recently struck by vandals, doing damage to several headstones.

KENNETT, Mo. — The Gibson Cemetery was recently vandalized, resulting in damage to several headstones.

The cemetery has many old headstones dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s and, like many older cemeteries, is taken care of by a few people and by donations from private citizens.

Volunteer caretaker Gerald Matthews of Gibson, Mo., discovered the damaged and overturned headstones on the property.

The Dunklin County Sheriff's Department was notified when the destruction was found.

Chief deputy Wallace Poynor said the destruction of the Gibson Cemetery monuments is being investigated.

Matthews said he talked to Whitener Monuments, asking what it would cost to have all of the monuments repaired, and they told him it would cost nothing.

Glen Whitener of Whitener Monuments had employees Tommy Clark and John Massey repair the monuments at the Gibson Cemetery free of charge.

"I feel we should give back to the surrounding communities. We owe it to the cemeteries to take care of them, they are our history," Whitener said.

"I really appreciated them doing the repair and they really did a great job," Matthews noted.

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