Many of my Grandpa’s people are buried in Boucher Cemetery in Murphysboro, Illinois. Among them are Grandma Phoebe – Grandpa’s mother – and her parents, Scott and Margaret Douglas. Several siblings and many other Raines family connections were laid to rest at Boucher Cemetery. While it isn’t really “the family cemetery”, I have always felt as though it should be.
When I was a teenager, Grandpa would tell me that it would someday be my job to take care of Grandpa Douglas, and Phoebe … he was always most concerned about those two. He worried that nobody would care for the graves when he was gone. He made my mom promise to place flags and flowers on the graves once he was gone. He also made my uncles promise to resent Grandpa Douglas’ headstone … it has long been sunk into the earth on the right side.
At some point last summer, my uncles decided that there needed to be a new sign at Boucher Cemetery. I’m not sure how it all came about, but I’m glad it did.
The old sign has certainly seen better days, but it’s still there … propped up against a tree. I think it pulled away from the ground in a storm at some point, but we just leave it there, holding that old tree up!
I was really happy to see the Uncles, my cousin-in-law and a few friends help put the new sign up. It’s definitely Raines handy work! My Uncle Gary Raines is the one with his back to you. In fact, almost every photo I took, he had is back to me! I opted to take a few photos of his backside for posterity, too! My Uncle David Raines is the on the backside of the sign. These men are definitely brothers … Gary is the older of the two … and they’re both ornery just like their daddy!
Ornery or not, what these men have done for this cemetery would mean the world to Grandpa. The whole process still seems daunting, but it all came together perfectly. The stone sign came from a local business … and these men did all of the concrete work. Just amazing to me.
Incidentally, this was the only photo of Uncle Gary that didn’t include his back pockets! He’s always asking me where all these photos I take end up … now he knows 🙂
This is Uncle David in full working mode. Everything Gary did, David would double check and fix 🙂 Remember, I said they were ornery.
The finished sign is beautify, and won’t likely be blown over in a storm anytime soon!
A close up …
I don’t know a lot about the history of the cemetery, or where the Boucher name entered the picture … or how the Boucher family is even connected. We’ve been on the hunt for information … the cemetery isn’t in the care of a church anymore … it just kind of exists and is cared for by those with family buried there.
Uncle Gary was able to unearth a plat map from about 1910 …
Notice the Boucher name isn’t on here. It’s Epworth Church and Cemetery. It’s the right map, though … I checked some of the names on the map against those buried in the cemetery. By the time my Grandma Douglas died in 1920, people were calling this Boucher Chapel Cemetery.
I’d say we have a bit of a mystery …
Regardless of the name, it’s a beautiful setting for those “living” there now, and I’m certainly grateful for these men for setting a new sign … and grateful for the young man who maintains the grounds. He’ll remain nameless for now, but he’s following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who also cared for this little plot of land.