MORROWTOWN

 By Byron Bovey

The Morrow Cemetery is located on land that was homesteaded by Stonewall  Jackson Craig and his wife Maud.  Mr. and Mrs. Craig gave a warranty deed to the  Trustees of Comus Lodge Number 51, I.O.O.F. of Morrow, County of Nez Perce,  State of Idaho, on July 5, 1902, for the price of one dollar.

The legal description for the Morrow Cemetery is described as: "Beginning at a point fifty feet West of the South East corner of the South East quarter of the North East quarter of Section 12, Township 32 North Range, two West B.M.  Thence North parallel with said line 69 59/100 yards, thence west the same distance, thence south the same distance, thence east the same distance to the place of beginning containing one acre.  This conveyance is intended as a burial ground so long as used as such and when not used as such it shall revert to the original owners and this deed shall be null and void."

The actual deed changed hands in 1902, but the land had been used for a  cemetery for several years before that.  The oldest date recorded on the stones in the cemetery is July 23, 1889, for Louisa K. Fryers.

It is interesting to note that the deed was given to the Comus Lodge  Number 51, I.O.O.F. of Morrow.  This lodge has been previously known as the  Ferdinand Lodge in available documents.  It may have been the Morrow Lodge or the Ferdinand Lodge or they may have merged into one lodge, but it is known  that the Comus Lodge Number 51, I.O.O.F of Ferdinand merged with the Craigmont Lodge Number 76 on June 4, 1931.  In an article on "The Independent Order of Odd Fellows" in the 1984 HIGHLANDS OF CRAIG MOUNTAIN, pages 71-72, it states, "The I.O.O.F. Cemetery at Morrow was discussed in December, 1933, and former members of the Comus Lodge No. 51 agreed to transfer the cemetery to residents of the Morrow community..."  The discussion of the transfer was apparently all that came about at that time because it was not until June 15, 1972, that a Quit Claim Deed was given to the Morrowtown Cemetery Association by the Craigmont I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 76 and signed by trustees, Ted Herrick, Harold G. Liedkie, and Herbert C. Blewett.

A record does exist of some activity by the Morrow Cemetery Association before 1972 in recorded minutes of a meeting on June 2, 1946, "An election was held at the Westlake Church to elect officers for the Morrow Cemetery Association.  Mr. W. R. Graham, Cecil Graham and Mr. Dan Hill were nominated for President, Mr. Hill being elected by the majority of votes.  Pauline Ellis and Hazel Frost were nominated for Secretary Treasurer, Pauline Ellis receiving the majority of votes.  Hazel Frost, Orval Buttrey and Harry Hill were elected for committee men."  On Saturday May 24, 1947, a clean up day was held at the Morrow Cemetery with a potluck dinner at the Westlake schoolhouse, and it was voted to have the cemetery surveyed and a new plat made.  The same officers were voted to serve as the year before.

There are no more written records on the cemetery until May 2, 1972, when interested people met with the Craigmont I.O.O.F. and at which time the transferring of the deed was worked out.  Also at this time Mr. Wilburt Blimka was voted in as president of the cemetery district along with Mrs. Ruby Miller as vice president and Oswald Johnston as secretary-treasurer.  Two years later Mrs. Oswald Johnston was elected secretary-treasurer and retain that position until the time of her death.  Mrs. Johnston (Leatha) provided most of the information on this cemetery.

It was between the years of 1972 and 1974 that the cemetery was almost completely renovated with the leveling of the grounds and the building of a new fence around the cemetery.  Also much work was put into marking previously unmarked graves.  It is now one of the best-kept cemeteries in Lewis County and stands as a wonderful monument to those who have worked so hard to get  it that way and keep it that way.

The plat contains 117 lots, numbered consecutively 1 to 117.  The north tier of lots and the south tier of lots are each 13.77 feet by 10 feet.  All other lots are 20 feet 10 feet except the west tier, which are 20 x 13.77 feet.  The entrance driveway is 20 feet in width, with a north-south driveway, which is 15 feet wide.  All alleys or walks north are 5 feet wide and walks west are 3 feet wide.  Each lot contains 5 burial spaces except the north tier of lots and the south tier of lots which each contain 3 burial spaces.

For more information, please contact the Ilo-Vollmer Historical Society, Box 61, Craigmont, Idaho 83523 or Shelley Kuther, skuther@camasnet.com  208-790-7890 or Byron Bovey, bdbovey@wildblue.net  208-924-7336.

 

 

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