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About this project

The Howell County Cemetery Project is a personal effort by this author to document cemeteries in Howell County in south central Missouri. The contents will grow slowly over time and will include as many of the county's cemeteries as is possible. Information will be presented in the form of text listings of headstone inscriptions, photographs of the markers and the cemeteries themselves, and, where necessary, photographs of rubbings made from the older headstones which may be too hard to read in the photographs.

The idea for this project came to me during Memorial Day weekend of 2002. I spent an afternoon of that weekend visiting cemeteries in Howell County, Missouri, with my mother and her aunt. As we visited these locations I felt a growing unease about the condition of many of the markers we saw. We visited graves which had no marker other than the ones placed there by the funeral home, and many of those were no longer readable. The notion that so much historical information, not to mention interesting and often quite beautiful works of art, would someday be lost stirred me to action.

I suppose another motivation is my true "Showme" attitude. I considered simply documenting the information on the headstones, but that didn't seem to be enough. I wanted to offer proof that the information was correct. There's too much misinformation and junk on the Internet these days. Reading that my great-grandfather is buried in a certain place isn't enough for me. I want to see it!

To that end I also wanted to provide a way for people to see these locations without having to physically be there. As families spread out geographically and as we all get busier in our everyday lives it becomes harder to visit cemeteries. Although these pages will be a poor substitute, maybe they can serve as a way to remember and educate the younger generations.

This is an entirely non-profit project. (Although donations are certainly accepted!) You may feel free to use it in any way you'd like except to make money, as long as you properly identify the source.

The list of people I should thank for their assistance has already grown too large to try to list them all. Individual contributions to specific cemetery pages will be credited on those pages as possible. However, I must thank my mother, Maxine (Caton) Godsy, for all of her help and support.

About the author:
Gary Godsy lives near Columbia, MO and is employed by the University of Missouri. He was born and raised in Willow Springs, MO and is a 1982 graduate of Willow Springs High School. He is also a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia and has been employed with the computing department of the campus since that time. He has a son, Paul, who must think his dad is crazy for spending so much time in graveyards. Gary has other hobbies but none are as interesting as this one. You can contact him at