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Evers take on cemetery project

submitted photo The newly installed directory stand is shown at Jeffers Cemetery.

JEFFERS -- Nine years ago as the president of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Jeffers, Sharon Evers wanted to compile the names of veterans and auxiliary members who were buried in the Jeffers Cemetery.

One project snowballed into several mini endeavors, and before she knew it, Evers was deep in the trenches of the historical society, researching names of more than 2,200 names of individuals buried in the cemetery.

"As I went through the current directory, I noticed they needed a lot of upgrading," she said. "There were spelling errors, and some had the death dates instead of burial dates."

Her goal was to develop a complete directory of every one buried in the cemetery, separated by burial location and additional family history information.

Evers enjoyed a partial fruition of her labor in April when a door-sized stainless steel stand was installed at the cemetery to display the directory and map. Names of veterans are highlighted in blue; names of servicemen who are missing are in red; names of auxiliary members are in gold; and names of early immigrants are listed in green.

While the directory is completed, Evers is still in the process of compiling a binder containing snippets of each person's life story, cause of death and family history.

"I have about 200 names yet to research," she said.

Evers, who considers her project volunteer work, explained that she spent hours gathering names, typing and researching at the Jeffers Historical Society to get this far.

From obituary cards at the historical society, she has documented bits and pieces of information about each deceased person. There were times she had to seek out family members to obtain additional information.

"I'm on the road six days a week with my husband, who owns a flatbed trucking company," she said. "When I'm home, I still have to do bookkeeping, do the laundry and cook.

Despite all her commitments, she wanted to pursue this project to preserve the history of Jeffers.

"I'm sure somewhere down the road, somebody will appreciate it," she said.

She said there are several unmarked graves that she has identified for which she hopes to purchase gravestones or markers.

As a side project, she is almost done gathering names and death information on all the veterans buried in the cemetery.

"It'll be nice to have the Legion president read out the paragraphs about the veterans on Memorial Day," she said.

The Jeffers Cemetery Association is currently seeking donations for the installation of the directory.

Evers hopes to achieve completion of her solo project next year.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony may be reached at 376-7321.