If you drive up to Galatia some day and stop by the local cemetery, and you look around at the old headstones there, you may notice an old, old bed of flowers that could seem like something you’d have seen at your great-grandmother’s house. And if it seemed that way to you, you would be right, because the bed of irises is just about that old.
The simple, humble perennials may not seem like much to most folks, but it meant a lot to a Utah family that was looking back into our heritage — and their family history — from over a century ago, as the Barton County Record Department learned not long ago.
Records Manager Amy Miller recalled how she was contacted by a descendent who was looking for the grave of Theodosia Ann Jones Cropp, as well as any other information the local records staff could discover.
Miller noted they ended up filling in a lot of family history in the process.
“A man from Utah was researching the Jones/McReynolds/Cropp families and requested information from probates, civil cases, marriage licenses and cemetery records,” Miller recalled.
These ancestors came here when Barton County was still young. “The families came from Virginia in 1886.”
The records staff wen to work with what they were provided, she added. “He had family notes that said Theodosia Ann Jones Cropp died in 1895 and was buried in the Galatia Cemetery and that the family had planted iris on the grave.”
With the help of the records department, the descendent from Utah was able to come to the spot where the irises still grow, Miller explained.
He visited the Galatia Cemetery and found Theodosia’s grave.
“The stone has just the initials of ‘TAC.’
“There is a bed of iris, approximately eight feet long, that is still in the cemetery.”
And how much more that simple, old bed of flowers mean now, at least to one Utah family.
The staff had contact with many other people, also, Miller explained.
For the month of June, Miller reported, the records department had 198 visitors call, write, e-mail or walk in from Kansas, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Louisiana and Texas. “There were 311 requests for probates, marriage licenses, death and cemetery records, birth records, civil, divorce, criminal, traffic, divorces, small claims, and census records.
“Department personnel updated the records of burials, quit claims, lot deeds and markers for Hillcrest and Golden Belt for the month of June.
“Records from thecCounty treasurer and the appraiser offices were registered and moved into the North Records Storage Room.
“Records staff completed the filming of 1999 juvenile cases which contained 326 case files.
“Staff then began filming the 1999 criminal files and indexing the 2000 limited cases.”