Machpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.
During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1852. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.
Among the prominent citizens buried here are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (US Congressman), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).
Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire. Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.
Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family members. This is the 4th and final blog about Machpelah Cemetery.
Gladys Irene Winningham, my 1st cousin, was born on May 6, 1930, in Chapel, Missouri, she was the second of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. She married Charles Otis Markel on September 4, 1948, in Lexington, Missouri. They had three children, 1 son, and 2 daughters. She died on June 10, 2001, in Richmond, Missouri, at the age of 71.
Charles Limuel Winningham, my 1st cousin was born on August 12, 1925, in Missouri, he was the first of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. He married Lillian Fletcher on April 29, 1952, in Benton, Arkansas. There is no record of any children. He died on May 14, 1981, at the age of 55.
Charles Orville Hughes, my paternal Uncle, was born on August 21, 1905, in Hughesville, Missouri, the oldest of 9 children born to Charles E and Virginia Belle (Hayes) Hughes. He married Meadie Louise Haller on September 15, 1928, in Sedalia, Missouri. Meadie was born on January 19,1903 and died on April 4, 2001. They had three children, 2 daughters and 1 son, all 3 of them died before the age of 18. He died on July 1, 1987, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 81.
Cora Walt, my 2x Great Aunt, was born on January 29, 1874, in Camden, Missouri, the 6th of 10 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Marsh) Walt. She married Marshall D. Goodman on March 16, 1898, and they had six children, 4 sons, and 2 daughters. She died on August 30, 1919, at the age of 45.
William Francis McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born on October 9, 1858, in Ray, Missouri the oldest of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Susannah Mullikin on November 7, 1882, in Wellington, Missouri. They had six children, 5 sons, and one daughter. He died on July 16, 1934, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 75.
Thomas William McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born in 1877 in Ray, Missouri the second of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Lucy McDowell on July 26, 1905, in Lafayette, Missouri. They may have had children but I have no record of them. He died on September 19, 1945, in Camden, Missouri, at the age of 84.
James Daniel McGowan Jr, my 2x Great Uncle, was born on November 12, 1862, in Ray, Missouri, the third of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Mary Alice Mulligan on November 12, 1883, in Lexington, Missouri. They had six children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. He died on October 16, 1936, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 73.
John Walter McGowan my 1st cousin 2 x removed was born on January 17, 1886, in Lexington, Missouri, the oldest of 6 children of James Daniel and Mary Alice (Mulligan) McGowan. He married Helen E. Smith in 1914. They had one daughter. He died on December 21, 1951, in his hometown at the age of 65.
Maggie Mae Danner, my 1st cousin 1x removed, was born on July 29, 1930, in Lafayette, Missouri, the last of 5 children born to David and Cora Ann (McGowan) Danner. She married Lucien Aubrey Jennings and they had one daughter together. She then married Garner Melvin Race on June 9, 1981, in Missouri. She died on January 19, 2009, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 78.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.