Rock Prairie Cemetery Halltown, Missouri
May 1, 2023
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From its humble beginnings in 1888
when James N. & Sally (Nickel)
Downing deeded their 1-1/2-acre
“Graveyard on Family Farm” to
Lawrence county, Rock Prairie has been
blessed with very kind and caring
benefactors who have expanded our
borders section by section, road by
road, and dollar by dollar.
We would be remiss, if we
didnt honor those folks
from time to time and share
publicly how much we
appreciate their patronage.
Inspired by the gift of our
latest good Samaritan, we
are including a brief history
of each of Rock Prairie’s
eight sections at the end of this
article . . . but first, lets talk more about
how this latest gift from a most
benevolent donor came about.
As you know, Rock Prairie’s only source
of income is from plot sales. In a good
year, we might sell four or five plots and,
at $300 each, . . . well . . . you can do
the math. Donations and gifts from its
members are what has kept Rock Prairie
going for over 123 years. Last year,
however, we sold an unprecedented 24
plots. With the amount of full-burial
plots left to sell dwindling, the Board
knew the time had finally come to
purchase more land. At its October
meeting last year, the Board decided to
take $7,000 from the Endowment Fund
and make an oer for the little patch of
woods at the east end of the cemetery.
With no family connection to RPC nor
any plans to be interred here, the oer
was countered with, “You know, I’m not
using that land for a thing and you need
it, so how about I just give it to you?”
The only stipulation was that the donor
remain anonymous. Needless to say, the
Board was both thrilled and humbled by
this selfless act of kindness.
Jerry Tuttle has begun staking and
clearing out the underbrush, but tree
removal and lot platting will take place
at a later date to be determined by the
On behalf of the entire Rock Prairie
Cemetery Association membership, the
Board would like to extend its most
heartfelt and sincere thank you to this
incredibly generous and altruistic donor
for theirs is the first gift from someone
with absolutely no ties to the cemetery.
Customarily, we honor land donors by
attaching their name to the
section; however, in this case,
we will honor the request for
anonymity and call the new
section, the “East Side”
RPC Section History: From
1888 to 2009, eight patrons
led Rock Prairie’s expansion
from 1-1/2 acres to over 5 acres today.
Those kind folks and their gifts are set
forth below to once again express our
gratitude as well as enlighten you a bit
more about Rock Prairie’s storied past.
[Disclaimer: The information contained
herein is our best eort at deciphering
the archives. If you see an error or
omission, we welcome any input to set
the record straight.]
1/2 Acre Gifted to Rock Prairie!
New “East Side” section
Annual Meeting
May 27
, 2023, 2:00 P.M.
See History, Page 4
2022-2023 Board of Directors
Jim Carson / Jerry Tuttle / Roxie Sharpe /
Sherry Neeley / Josh Noggle / Mike Pyeatt
Rock Prairie Cemetery Halltown, Missouri
May 1, 2023
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CHAPEL: Evidently, the increase in
usage over the past few years has
disturbed our little chapel’s peaceful,
73-year sleep as the flooring on the east
side dropped after a large funeral was
held in 2021 a cause a of grave
concern to the Board. The first hurdle
was finding someone skinny enough to
fit through the foundation openings.
The next was deciding the best time to
avoid any slithering occupants!
February was deemed a GO and two
brave, slim souls, Mike Pyeatt and son,
Kyle, wriggled under the chapel to
assess the situation. They found the
wall had bowed outward causing the
floor to slip o the sill plate. They also
saw where cables, eyebolts and a
turnbuckle had been used to reinforce
and stabilize the structure perhaps in
1927 when it had been rolled two miles
over farmland to get here. The fragile
nature of an old building requires a
delicate touch so Mike and Kyle began
ever so slowly to jack up the floor. As it
crept up inch by inch, the old nails,
boards and walls creaked and shrieked,
and moaned and groaned. As if it would
help, they held their breath . . .
Obviously, they made it out alive and
the chapel is still standing, but it will
require one more slithering and jacking
session before the floor can be set back
on the sill plate with the wall securely
back in place.
The Board wants you to know that
Mike and Kyle saved the cemetery a
considerable amount of money by
tackling this job a job that NO ONE
wanted to do. Thanks guys, you’re the
UPDATE: Veterans Memorial:
Veterans Memorial Committee: In 2022,
the Board had several meetings
regarding the Veterans Memorial
project, including two with a
monument firm. The price range for
such an installment is rather wide
depending on the quality and design
one chooses. The Board wants it to be
both beautiful and reflect the
quaintness of our cemetery in its
country setting. The proposal set forth
by the monument firm was extremely
detailed and helpful, but the Board feels
obligated to seek proposals from other
firms. The process of designing and
soliciting proposals and donations can
be quite a time-consuming task for a
small board such as ours. Therefore, the
Board would like to create a “Veterans
Memorial Committee” to better
research and develop the project. Please
let us know if you would be interested
in starting up or sitting on that
committee. The Board will oer its
services in total support of the
committee’s work. We would like to
meet with you to discuss the particulars
of the task at hand. Thank you.
UPDATE: Veterans Photo Wall:
The Veterans Photo Wall campaign is
being oered to supplement the
Veterans Memorial fundraising eorts.
A $50 - $100 donation is our goal, but
any gift will, of course, be accepted.
Details are being worked out, but we
hope to showcase all 99 veterans buried
here using a headstone or civilian
photo, if no ocial veteran photo is
available. For your donation, RPC will
scan your photo add the name, rank,
branch of service and birth & death
dates, furnish a frame, and hang via a
system designed by Josh Noggle making
photos easy to rearrange as they are
BUSINESS: Your six-member Board
of Directors each serve three-year
terms that expire in yearly rotations of
two seats this year, those two seats
belong to Jerry Tuttle (2014) and Josh
Noggle (2015). We are happy to report
that Jerry and Josh are willing to
commit to another three-year term
should you choose to re-elect them.
Please join us at the annual meeting to
show your support and cast your vote.
Seventh Board Seat: For the past several
years, the Board has been focusing on
revitalizing the cemetery from the
inside out diligently working on some
long overdue tasks including making
the chapel usable again, updating and
digitizing the cemetery database and
records, as well as tidying up and
repairing the cemetery grounds and
finding those pesky corner markers.
The Veterans Memorial project has
taken up a good deal of the Board’s
time, too. With several ideas for future
projects on hold, the Board would like
to open up a seventh seat. Not only is
the additional help sorely needed, but it
makes for a more democratic voting
process. An amendment to the Bylaws
to this eect will be presented and
voted on at the Annual Meeting this
year. Please make plans to attend to
cast your vote. Thank you.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Naturally, the
year we decide to oer another seat on
the board, two other seats open up . . .
Our two most esteemed and tenured
board members, Sherry Neeley and Jim
Carson, will be vacating their seats on
the board eective May 2024. Together
they have served this association for a
combined total of 46 years! Sherry was
first elected in 1997 during Stanley
White’s last ten years at the helm. Six
years later, in 2003, Jim Carson was
elected. This longevity of dedication
will more than likely never again be
repeated. Though we are sad to see
them go, we certainly support their
decision and will do our best to
preserve their legacy going forward.
This means that we are in need of three
new board members. We would really
appreciate your input and assistance in
locating folks whose passion and
skillset matches our needs. If you would
like to serve a term on the board or
know someone who would be a good
fit, call any board member (our phone
numbers are on the chapel door or
online at
Attending the Annual Meetings is also a
great way to make yourself known.
Names should be submitted in writing
The Board Report
See Board Report, Page 4
Rock Prairie Cemetery Halltown, Missouri
May 1, 2023
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AmazonSmile Charity Program Ends
TREASURERS STATEMENT: The financial status of Rock Prairie Cemetery is very stable. Our endowment fund has
grown due to selling 28 plots in 2022 ($8,400). The Maintenance Fund and your generous donations have enabled us to
maintain the cemetery and plan for special projects in 2023. We appreciate your continued support and pledge to use your
donations for cemetery improvement and long term sustainability. A complete financial report for 2022 will be given at the
annual meeting on May 27th. If you have questions, please contact me, Sherry Neeley, at 417-827-0831.
Year End
$ 9,851.52
$ 4,744.69
$ 14,596.21
$ (13,828.45)
$ 767.76
Financial Overview As of December 31, 2022
For your convenience, there are 4 easy ways to donate:
By mail at: P.O. Box 45 Halltown, MO 65664
By credit card using the ‘PayPal Donate’ button
on our website:
By dropping your check in the mail slot at the chapel
By choosing something from the Wish List below
As many of you are well aware, I have been extolling the benefits of shopping through the AmazonSmile program for the
past couple of years. Just when I thought we were gaining ground, Amazon decided to end the program eective February
20, 2023, stating that after ten years the program did notcreate the impact” they had hoped. We were a bit late in getting
started, but, after just a little over one year, we managed to accrue $147.84 in Amazon donations. Two more payments are
expected: one for the