June 21, 2014
I recently made another trip back to Logan County. I went with other family members, retired and banged up coal miners, to clean graves at the Barker Cemetery on Mill Creek. We have family members and friends here and the site is over 100 years old.
Here are some who are buried there:
Robert “Bobby” Gullett was my first cousin and he was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1953. He soon got a job as a cab driver in Logan. A man hired Bobby to drive him to Charleston. His passenger murdered him and dumped his body along the road. The man then used his Army Discharge Papers to sign up and collected the re-up bonus. Bobby was buried there in 1953.
Harrison White was a distant relative, born in 1842, and died in 1935. He was a soldier of the Confederate Army and member of the Logan County Wildcats. Donald Ratliff was buried here in 1931, killed in a coal tipple at Ethel. Hobert Gibson was also killed in a mine accident in 1951.
Both my grandmothers are here, a grandfather, two great-grandfathers, a baby brother and many cousins.
Nature is always trying to reclaim this land, as we cut the weeds, briers and young saplings of Oak, Hickory and Popular. We always grumble about the Yucca plants that spread in all directions. There are lots of them around old cemeteries and roadways. They are native to south west states. They were also used by American Indians and some Spanish cultures as food. The large roots are fleshy and potato like.
Carl Spurlock was kind enough to make a listing of graves in 1999-2000. He said there are 92 marked graves and several unmarked.
We are also very aware that we are the last generation to care enough about this cemetery to make the annual pilgrimage to clean it. After that, Yucca plants and Nature can claim the site.