Hardin Water Tower

Hardin-Central School

Christian Church

Lavelock Cemetery History

In 1845, John W. Morris and wife deeded three acres of ground for this cemetery after many people had assembled there and selected the ground as being suitable for the establishment of a church where the citizens could worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

There were several conditions made in the deed by Mr. and Mrs. Morris. First, that the ground must be used for a place of worship. Second, that a public burying ground must be established there. Third, that a school building be erected if advisable in the future. The hill was a forest at that time.

While religious services had been held there for some time, in 1860 an effort was made by John Freeman and others to build a house of worship. Rev. J. B. Proctor, a pioneer minister in this section, started the work of raising funds for this edifice but never completed the task. The timber was sold from the grounds to raise funds. The last service held there was by Rev. Proctor.

Mrs. Edgar, wife of Rev. S. L. Edgar, was the first person buried in the cemetery after it was opened.

In 1870, George Morris and wife made a second deed for the ground when an entire new directorate board was elected for the cemetery. Later, Alexander and Alice Lavelock donated another half acre. Sometime later,W. E. Kimbrough and son, who owned land adjacent to the cemetery, donated a strip of ground around the burying ground making almost another half acre, with a total of four acres in the plot.

Mr. C. W. Dawson was one of the enthusiastic members of a soliciting committee and set about to raise what seemed to be an impossible amount of two thousand dollars. So successful was he that he raised his goal to four thousand. This was met and later three thousand dollars was added. Mr. Dawson did practically all the work in order that the cemetery would be well kept and that a building might be added to the grounds. The chapel was built and dedicated in 1925. Judge George W. Lavelock, J. J. Rust and Thomas Deacy were the speakers. The stained glass windows contain the names of Dr. William F. Yates, N. and M. Lentz, Rev. M. M. Spurlock, Dr. J. H. Stapp, N. and M. Esrey and J. F. Bates.

As a fitting tribute to the late C. W. Dawson for the improvements that he made and service freely given the Lavelock Cemetery, the following words have been lettered on his grave marker. “The trustees of this cemetery wish to express due honor to the memory of this man whose faithful service was freely given creating an endowment fund for the perpetual care of this cemetery.”

Source: Hardin, Missouri: A Centennial History (1870-1970)