My assignment today took me to a very small cemetary located on Highway 74B in McClain County. The cemetary was located near an old church building that burned down Friday morning.
As photojournalist John Almendarez was shooting video of the ashes and debris left behind by the big blaze, I wondered into the nearby gated graveyard that contained at least 50 plots.
On the first row I noticed the newer engraved headstones with only a name. No date of birth. No date of death. No "we remember....". Below a select few I could see an older, brick-like stone that had the same name scribbled into it. It looked like the older stones were first placed there many, many years ago (I'm talking early 1900s here) and somebody came along recently and added the new stones. One plot's headstone simply said "BABY GIRL. NO NAME." That's when I yelled for John to come over and check it out. It just blew me away to sit there and think that some baby girl was born and buried without ever having a name.
Several rows back I found another stone that said "STRANGER FROM WASHINGTON".
And most surprising was on the second to last row. We found 8 plots that all belonged to the same family and the year of death was the same for all. So, in 1917 -- something happened that took the lives of 8 people in the Holloway family. I want to know more. Did they all die on the same day? Different times throughout the year? What killed them?
I'll be making some calls next week to figure it out.