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these are not showing up. They are newspaper clippings
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Same as for ones below.
|Lena---It's a pretty good bet Jeff Liles, 14, Lina,
and about 10 other boy scouts in Troop 91 will remember Jeff's major
project in pursuit of the scouts' Eagle Rank, the highest award a
boy scout can achieve.
Jeff, his friends, parents, grandparents and several members of the
Manny Cemetery board combined efforts to refurbish the old cemetery
on Manny Road between McConnell and Lena. And what started out as a
project to repair about 30 head stones turned into a mammoth task
covering nearly two and a half days and 103 stones, some of which
were buried in the ground.
Jeff's project came about after his older brother Jason completed a
similar project in another cemetery for his Eagle Rank several years
ago. Jeff's twin brother Jordan is also working toward the Eagle
Rank. Their father, James, said the two will probably achieve the
rank in about six weeks.
"We were only supposed to fix about thirty stones," Jeff explained.
"Dwayne Robeson and Ray Kleckler of the Manny Cemetery Board and
Robin Pardus of the McConnell Historical Society made arrangements
with me for the project," he said.
With $150 provided for materials, Jeff, along with scouts Jake
Bollman, Bill Gerbode, Rob Gerbode, Chris Hay, Blake Krogull, Jason
Liles, Kyle Reif, T. J. Reif, Matt Todd, and three scout leaders
went to work. James and Joan Liles, as well as Jeff's grandparents
Doris and Henry Heaton of Brooks, Iowa, also assisted.
The Heaton's have been active in their Iowa communities restoring
old cemeteries and were naturals to help their grandson with his
project, James Liles said. The Heaton's' son, Brad, also chipped in.
"We did our 30 stones but saw there was a lot more to " Jeff said.
So the group set about locating lost stones by poking around with
shovels and spades. Some of the head stones were found beneath the
ground. "We think with all the farm land around here that the soil
has blown in over the years and covered them up," said Jeff. Other
stones had been damaged by age or vandals but were put back in place
with muscle and epoxy. Some of the stones were heavy enough to
require a 10 ton hydraulic jack to right them, and many necessitated
a log chain, wedges a other equipment to set them in place where
they were wired brushed and re-set.
When the scouts were finished with the stone work, they cleared
brush and grasses that were encroaching and stacked the debris for
cemetery officials to remove.
"One of the highlights of the work said Jeff, was unearthing two
tombstones for infants who had died in 1848 and 1853. Their markers
now sit prominently in the eastern most section of the cemetery. I
suspect we failed to unearth a few stones," said James, "but we can
come back and work again as a service project some day."
"Thanks to cooperation's among young people and adults, and old
Stephenson County Cemetery with the earliest grave marked in 1846,
is looking like a proper resting place again. "We sure hope people
like what we did," said Jeff.
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