Vern Raven, December 2, 2016
In May of 1997 three pieces of tombstones were found on a piece of farmland in Cooke County northeast of St. Jo. that was being purchased by a woman from Lewisville. They obviously didn’t belong there so she put an ad in the St. Jo Tribune to see if anyone might know something about them. Two of the pieces fit together and through the White Settlement Museum, they found where they belonged and returned them to the Thompson Public Cemetery in Westworth Village near White Settlement.
The third piece was kept at the White Settlement Museum while they continued to search for the place it belonged. The stone was broken, but it showed the name Poindexter, born Aug. 21, 1872, died Feb. 9, 1875. At the top of the stone it showed T. L. & …. The rest was broken off. It was determined that there was a Joseph Alexander Poindexter born and died on those dates to a Thomas Livingston Poindexter and Uretha Caldonia Embry Poindexter. There were also two other siblings in his family who died as infants. The parents farmed in the Mountain Peak area and are buried in the Midlothian cemetery with an older daughter, Fannie Mae, but Joseph Alexander was not found there. Carol Davis, Museum Manager, White Settlement Historical Museum, continued to research, but his burial site was not found.
Since it appeared that the Poindexter family was from this area, the research data accumulated by the White Settlement Museum was forwarded to the Mansfield Historical Museum in January 2008 so we could continue further research. The tombstone remained at the White Settlement Museum until December of 2015 when it was transferred to the Mansfield museum.
Vern Raven, Museum Manager, started researching again but did not find any quick answers. One goal set was to find a home for this tombstone. Charles Nichols, one of our board members, got involved. We still had lots of questions. Why were the infants not buried with their parents in Midlothian? Why were there no burial records of Joseph Alexander or his brother Thomas Jefferson? What was that tombstone doing way up in Cooke County on someone’s land? How did it get way up there? Where can we find a home for the tombstone? We went to work looking for more answers, but there are still questions unanswered.
We did find that Joseph’s brother, John Livingston Poindexter (1876-1877), is buried in Cumberland Section of Mansfield Cemetery beside his grandmother, Amanda Jane Blair and near his aunt, Martha A. Thomas. We also found that there was an empty space between his brother John Livingston and his aunt that was covered in sea shells at one time. Years ago it was the custom to cover children’s graves with seashells. Could this be a place for the grave site for Joseph Alexander? Could it have been the original site? Wouldn’t it be appropriate to have Joseph’s stone beside his brother?
Since Charles is associated with the Mansfield Cemetery, he took on the task of seeing if we could use the plot. Finally we found and agreed on the space. Mark Walker mounted the tombstone for us on a concrete pad on the plot by his brother.
We have no idea where little Joseph Alexander Poindexter’s tombstone has been since Feb. 9, 1875. We will probably never know. We don’t know if he is buried by his brother where we placed the stone, but we do have a final home for his tombstone now. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort: The White Settlement Museum, the lady from Lewisville, Stephen Martinez, Mansfield Fire Department, who brought the tombstone to us from the White Settlement Museum, Charles, Mark and all our people from the Mansfield Historical Society that helped with this project.
Joseph Alexander Poindexter, (b. 8-21-1872 d. 2-9-1875), – Rest In Peace