Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reminisce Society -- April 2013

Photo by Andy Goodell -- Oskaloosa Herald

There are nearly 4400 cemeteries in Iowa, 75 in Wapello County alone, and among them are pioneer cemeteries dating back to the early years of our state’s existence. Many of these early cemeteries have fallen into disrepair and are sadly in need of restoration, and one Iowa woman—Lee Ann Simmers Dickey of Albia—has made it her mission to do just that—restore and preserve these relics of times gone by. The Ottumwa Public Library’s Reminisce Society is pleased to host Lee Ann Simmers Dickey as she presents her program “Be-witching Work: Restoring Iowa’s Old Cemeteries” on Tuesday, April 23, at 10:00 a.m. in the library’s meeting room.

Dickey, a native of Eddyville and a noted genealogist, has been working with cemetery restoration for a number of years, including witching for graves. In addition, she is the author of two books about Buxton, Iowa, a coal-mining community which, from 1900 into the 1920s, was the nation’s first fully-integrated community. Recently, she has written a book about the history of her hometown, Eddyville, but, says Dickey, “the cemetery work is my most favorite thing to do and I wish there were more people involved in doing it.”

Dickey’s program is free and open to the public. For further information, please call the library’s Reference Desk at 641-682-7563, extension 205.