Letter to the Editor

Pioneer cemetery needs attention

Friday, January 7, 2005

To the editor:

I live in California, but I recently had occasion to visit the Summers Cemetery, or Cemetery No. 22, in Cape Girardeau County near Jackson. It is said that George Lail and others of the Lail family are buried there. George was captured by the Shawnee Indians at the massacre of Ruddles' Fort in Kentucky. He was taken to the site later known as Cape Girardeau County. George was about 10 years old at the time. He was raised by the Shawnee. It is believed that George was the first white settler in the county, even before Louis Lorimier.

The cemetery has been desecrated. It is not fenced, and cattle have trampled the graves. Not a headstone is standing, and many are covered by dirt. George Lail was my great-great-great-grandfather, and I was heartbroken to see the condition of the cemetery. It is my understanding that the cemetery is deeded to the county and thus should be maintained by the county. I would appreciate some attention to this matter. This is a disgraceful way to treat our pioneers.

CARL PHILLIPS, Placerville, Calif.