4-H members clean up historic cemetery in Edwardsville

4-H members in Wyandotte County recently cleaned up an old, historic cemetery in Edwardsville, Kansas. (Photo from 4-H)

Wyandotte County 4-H members recently held a cleanup at a cemetery in Edwardsville, Kansas.

According to David Streit, who is a leader with a 4-H group, the 4-H members participated in a community service project on Oct. 12 as part of National 4-H Week.

The cemetery where the cleanup took place is known as Stoney Point Cemetery in Edwardsville, although it is not in the same neighborhood as another Stony Point area that is farther east in Kansas City, Kansas, in Wyandotte County. Streit said the cemetery is not really accessible by roads, but only from private property.

The cemetery had been abandoned at one point and was in need of a cleanup, according to Streit. Some headstones had fallen over and it was in need of repair, he said. He believes the last burials may have taken place there in the 1930s and 1940s. The cleanup was organized by Wyandotte County 4-H in conjunction with the city of Edwardsville and St. Martin in the Fields Church.

According to Streit, this cemetery in Edwardsville was founded by Junius Groves, a successful farmer known as the “potato king.”

Groves, who was born into slavery in 1859, was an Exoduster who settled in Edwardsville after traveling 500 miles on foot, according to Streit. He started as a sharecropper for John Williamson, and eventually saved enough money to purchase his own land.

In 1902 Groves was the single largest producer of potatoes in the world, earning the name, “potato king of the world,” Streit stated. He also was known as the first black millionaire west of the Mississippi River.

In 1886, Groves purchased an acre of rocky hillside for $1, which would become the Stoney Point Cemetery. It is thought that the white settlers of the time did not want blacks buried in the same cemetery, according to Streit.

Through their service project, the 4-H members learned about local history and historical figures such as Junius Groves, and honored the legacy of the people buried there, gave them dignity that is past due, and reflected on their own spiritual cleanup, Streit stated.

The 4-H group made a video of their cleanup project that is posted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV9bN_J0XuQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1ixbr16-snYPa08MjA7l6pTuwNeNUZD4PIn4ufgMqndFTXFmQlj3qYpcE .

4-H members in Wyandotte County recently cleaned up an old, historic cemetery in Edwardsville, Kansas. (Photo from 4-H)
4-H members in Wyandotte County recently cleaned up an old, historic cemetery in Edwardsville, Kansas. (Photo from 4-H)
4-H members in Wyandotte County recently cleaned up an old, historic cemetery in Edwardsville, Kansas. (Photo from 4-H)

Adopt-A-Spot program launched

Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey, right, launched the Adopt-A-Spot beautification program by picking up some trash on Saturday morning at the Leo Alvey Park at South 49th and Metropolitan Avenue. In this program, groups may sign up to clean up and beautify parks, streets and other public places in Wyandotte County. The Alvey family has signed up for Leo Alvey Park, named after the mayor’s grandfather. The program includes Kansas City, Kansas, Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. For more information about the program, visit the Adopt-A-Spot WyCo page at www.wycokck.org/SOAR/Adopt. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
“We need to take care of Wyandotte County. We need to show that we care. If we don’t show that we care, why should anyone else,” Mayor David Alvey said during the launch of the Adopt-A-Spot program on Saturday at Leo Alvey Park. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
The Alvey family has adopted Leo Alvey Park in the Adopt-A-Spot program, where groups clean up a park or street. “We’re going to show more and more that we care about our community. We’re going to do the simple things, and the simple things well, so that we will just continue to grow our neighborhoods,” Mayor David Alvey said. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Edwardsville Mayor John McTaggart said Adopt-A-Spot is a great program. They will probably always have the problem of littering, he said, but he hopes this effort will raise awareness and ease the littering problem a little bit. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Attending the launch of the Adopt-A-Spot program were, left to right, Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey, Unified Government Commissioner Melissa Bynum, Unified Government Commissioner Angela Markley and Edwardsville Mayor John McTaggart. (Photo by Steve Rupert)

Seven Wyandotte County students named to dean’s list at Washburn

Seven Wyandotte County students recently were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Washburn University, Topeka.

Students on the dean’s list were enrolled in 12 hours of graded credits or more and earned a semester grade point average of 3.4 to 3.99.

On the dean’s list from Wyandotte County:

• Ali Justice, Kansas City, Kansas.
• Wesley Tabor, Kansas City, Kansas.
• Rebecca Weimer, Bonner Springs.
• Katie Carpenter, Bonner Springs.
• Michaela Augustine, Edwardsville.
• Kenna Hoffman, Bonner Springs.
• Cameron Leiker, Kansas City, Kansas.