Link Cemetery is 'History"

By: Jeanne Miller

Recently volunteer help and workers constructed an attractive new fence around the Link Cemetery. This beautifully located, small cemetery is on is on a hill overlooking the tiny community of Wainwright. Wainright is about 6 miles East of Highway 54, just North of Jefferson City on State Road 94.

Approximately two acres, the cemetery is believed to have had its' first burial in 1838. The only written stone plaque is dated, an infant death, in 1851. The first road was on the West side and because of the steepness of the hill, oxcarts were necessary.

On a high knoll, the cemetery is beautified by trees and shrubs; two hackberry trees, magnificent and tall, have been dated by a Mo. Conservation Agent as between 200-300 years old.

The Link family came by covered wagon in the early 1800's and settled close to the Missouri River and throughout Callaway County.

Thomas Link deeded the graveyard to the Wainwright Methodist Church. In 1972, the cemetery was incorporated as the Link Cemetery Assoc., Inc. On the Sunday preceding Memorial Day they have an annual meeting.

Mrs. Edward Link, whose lovely white frame home is just East of the cemetery, graciously escorted me and my teen-age daughter around the cemetery. One headstone particularly interested and saddened my young daughter.

It was of a 15 year old boy, William S. Scott, killed during the Civil War. In bold lettering on the tombstone is chiselled MURDERED. "He was believed by bushwhackers." explained Mrs. Link, "to know secrets". He was dragged from his home and hung just about two miles East of this graveyard.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Link reside in Wainwright by the cemetery and welcome interested, thoughtful people who wish to stroll around this fascinating area of Missouri history. Mrs. Link for many years taught at South School in Jefferson City and just recently retired.

Volunteer workers who constructed the attractive fencing were Herbert Bretthorst, Edward Link and Roy Gordon. Workers were Wesley Branch, Herman Basinger and Jeff Gordon. Volunteers also hope through the years to carefully find around the perimeter of the cemetery, headstones that have fallen and partially or totally been covered over with sod. Unfortunately for the history record, many graves of boththe black and white people buried in the Link Cemetery, have only an unmarked boulder or wooden plaque, long since gone. Perhaps it will be found that this cmemtery has even a longer history than 1838.

The caption under the lead picture reads:
Mr. B. F. Oliver and Mrs. Raymond Cain were instrumental in getting an attractive arch made at the entrance of the Link cemetery. It is of natural stone, constructed in 1938 and adds a beautiful, rustic note to this country cemetery. Four of the volunteer help and workers who finished building a complete link fence June 21, 1974, are shown admiring the arch.