HADDOCK CEMETERY, EAGLE ROCK, MO

Charles and Penelope (Mills) Haddock

 

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The Haddock Stone

By

Dane Martin

It was a sunny and clear end of summer day when we pulled out of the driveway on an early Tuesday morning 9-21-04. Mary and I live in Greasy Creek Holler, as itís known here in Barry County. We were on the short drive across the hills to Eagle Rock. The night before we had received a call from Darla Marbut (a distant Haddock cousin) and she told us that the Haddock Stone was ready to be delivered and set the next day.

It had all started in the spring when several members of the family had decided that a stone should be acquired for the old Haddock Cemetery at Eagle Rock Missouri. A collection of money had been taken up over the course of the summer and a wonderful number of family members had donated.

The reason for this stone is that many members of the Haddock family are buried in this cemetery that was located on there own land and most of them had their graveís marked with a simple fieldstone and their name scratched into the stone. This might sound a little crude today but in the middle 1800ís it was just the way things were done as the money and or the means to import a store-bought stone just didnít exist. There were few roads and to have a stone brought in by boat was indeed expensive. With time, the stones weather and the writing fades away and we are left with a smooth stone and no information.

From old family Bibles and by word of mouth we know about several of the Haddockís that were buried in this old cemetery from 1838 to about 1910 in unmarked graves. From looking at the clearly defined graves there must be at least 40 or 50 that you can see when you look. The property that the cemetery is located on was of course Haddock land in the early days and then the Haddocks all moved out about 1908 and the land ended up in the hands of the Thompson family. Our Aunt Minnie, (Charles Haddockís sister) married into the Thompson family and I would guess that was the main reason that the land became theirs.

About 1964, Jack Smith bought the land and decided to give 5 acres to his brother-in-law Marc Schwartz. When pointed out by Darla Marbut he found the cemetery up behind his house and soon found that several people thought it was an important place and of great interest. Marc worked many days to clean the brush and undergrowth so that it looked like someone cared. He then began to cast concrete crosses to mark the graves that he could see. We all owe much to Marc for preserving the cemetery and allowing all of us to visit.

Mary and I had to drive on Highway 112 to Roaring River Park and then across to Highway 76 and then to Eagle Rock. Instead of going to the Park, I like to cut across on Sugar Camp Road that comes out at Eagle Rock. The reason is that this road is an old wagon ridge road that winds along the ridge and has a terrific view on both sides. In the 1800ís they liked to build roads on the ridges and that way the road was less likely to wash out and they didnít have to build bridges to speak of. Much of the valley or as they are called down here, Holler areas along this road for a mile or so, all belonged to the Haddocks long ago and I just love to look at it.

Just before you reach Eagle Rock we turned right onto a smaller road and after only a few hundred yards, all of the land on both sides of the road is where the Haddocks lived and worked for so many years. I truly love to look at this land, when I was a youngster my Grand Pa Charlie would bring me down here and show me the small fields that he helped to clear as a young man and even told me how they managed to get it done.

The Haddocks all had large families and would work as a group most of the time. Several of the men would gather just after dawn, already having done the milking and had a big breakfast. Each would have a crock jug of spring water wrapped in a toe sack (burlap) that had been wet down. Along with a team of mules they would move to the fields and begin to work.

After a tree had been felled the stump had to come out. They would have a couple of men with long pry bars on one side of the stump and hook the mules to the stump with chain on the other side. It was hard, nasty work and never seemed to end as New Ground was needed about each year and that was the only way to get it. After the stumps where gone it was time to start on the rocks and there were plenty of those. A sled was hooked to the mules and they would load the sled with rock by hand of course and then haul the load to the edge of the field and dump them. To this day if you know where to look, and I do, you can still see the rows and rows of rock taken out of these fields. With the last load of rock on the wooden sled it would be pulled up and down the field to level it and fill in the holes and break up the large clods of dirt. It sometimes took all summer to clear 10 acres with backbreaking work; the Haddocks were very tough people.

Mary and I arrived to find that Jack Smith was also there, he lives just down the lane and was on his Quad Runner. Mr. Schwartz was in Wichita tending to his wife Pat who has been very ill. We had stopped along the way and gotten a Latte Coffee for each of us and sat drinking the coffee and talking to Jack. Soon after we spotted Darlaís car coming down the narrow road and right behind it was a flatbed truck with a small crane on it.

The Cemetery sits behind the Schwartz house and well into the timber, you canít even drive a car the last 100 feet and I had to wonder how they would get that heavy stone into place. With a few tries and a little hair pulling they managed to back the truck to within a 100 feet or so of the fence and we then decided on the location of the stone. The spot we picked is just inside the little fence that goes across the front of the cemetery. Now when you walk up the small rise, the first thing you see is the large gray stone some four feet long, with HADDOCK boldly cut into the stone.

Two burley men looked at the spot and without a word went to work. The weather has been dry here so the ground is a lot like New York Concrete with rebar in it. They didnít even bother with the pick and shovel, just broke out a jack hammer and began to slowly make a hole about a foot deep by six feet long. After hauling off the dirt, they filled the hole with concrete and then leveled and smoothed it and took a short break while it set up a bit.

Gary and Darla made a trip to the car and came back with 4 folding chairs so that we could all sit and watch, I call it "stupidvising". We sat in the shade of the oak and hickory trees and of course the topic of conversation was what some of the Haddocks would have thought about all this. We spent the morning, watching the men work and talking about the old days and our family.

With the help of the crane on the truck, the workmen unloaded the base stone and put it on an oversized 4 wheel dolly and moved it into place. They then leveled it and wiggled it into place and let it set for a bit. It then took both of them to move the main upright stone into place and set it up. With a bucket of soapy water and a brush they washed it down, then leveled the ground around it and were gone.

 

We stood back in awe and looked at the stone, it is just wonderful in its tree-shaded location. I have to admit that I saw a couple of wet spots on Darlaís cheeks and maybe one or two on my own, dust was bad with all the digging. We looked at the back and then the front and all of us wondered aloud at how thrilled and pleased, some of the long past Haddocks would be with it! We then looked at each other and someone asked if there was anything that we could have done to improve the stone or it location, none of could think of anything. I really donít think it could be much better in any way.

Now there will be a record of these folks and the time that they lived here in Barry County. I firmly belief that if this information hadnít been cut into stone with our generation, it may have been lost forever and the memory of them drifted away like the morning fog in these hills. We did the right thing and I would like to thank all the members of our extended family for being just that FAMILY.

Special thanks to Donna Haddock Cooper for being the ramrod and taking the bull by the horns and seeing to the collection of the money. Thanks to Darla for seeing to the setting of the stone.

 

Front side of the stone and it is still wet from being washed down.

 

 

Dane and Mary Martin just after the stone was set, on 9-21-2004

After the stone was set, all of us went for a nice lunch in Cassville and when we got home I called the monument company and told them what a great job their work crew had done. I also told them that no matter what they were paying those two men, it wasnít enough!

Please note that the mark on the stone is not a crack but is water from the washing.

The famous "Stupidvisors" doing their job.

Gary and Darla Marbut

Dane and Mary Martin

What a wonderful day!

 

 

 

© Copyright 2004 - 2005 by Donna Haddock Cooper
All Rights Reserved

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