Kay Morrow, The Murfreesboro Post, September 16, 2008
Recently Boy Scout Troop 374 and the Heritage Partnership of Rutherford County joined together to clean the overgrown Butler Cemetery on Highway 231.
The owners of the property adjacent to the cemetery called HPRC for help after finding a newspaper article where they and the Boy Scout troop had cleaned other abandoned cemeteries.
“It had just become too big of a task for us to handle,” said Carol Mosley, who lives next to the cemetery. Although Mosley is not a descendant of the Butlers nor is the cemetery on her property, she and her husband have tried to clean it several times out of respect for those who are buried there. The graves in the cemetery go back to the early 1800’s.
Fourteen gravesites are marked, but there appears to be many additional unmarked graves within the large cemetery. Isaac W. Butler, a Civil War Confederate soldier who ran with the Rutherford Rifles, is among three confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery with headstones. Publications on the Rutherford Rifles (an early group of Confederate soldiers which included William Ledbetter Jr., Hardee Murfree and George Maney) are available from the Rutherford County Historical Society.
“It is amazing to learn the history you find in these older cemeteries,” said Denise Carlton, board member of HPRC.
“Part of our mission is ensuring preservation by valuing our past, and helping take care of these cemeteries is definitely honoring our past.”
The boys in Blackman Troop 374 get service hours for their efforts, but they also get other benefits. “The scouts learn so much about respect and community by doing this,” said Richard Morrow, one of the troop’s adult leaders. “It’s always a great feeling to do something for someone other than yourself.”
If you need help with an abandoned cemetery, or if you belong to a scout troop or other organization who would like to help clean or maintain local cemeteries, please contact Kay Morrow with HPRC at 476-1496.