Star Staff Reports
It’s not easily found, but tucked away near the runway of the Millington Municipal Jetport, (the former Navy base,) is a small, fenced cemetery that commemorates the settlers of the area.
A tall spire monument dominates the grounds of the isolated and shady resting place. It states it honors “The First Settlers to this place in 1829.”
The cemetery has been protected by being on federal property from World War II until the last decade. Familiar family names like Shipp and Jones are found within its fence.
Scouts from Troop 276 which meet at First Evangelical Church in Memphis picked this lonesome spot to serve the community. They went to trim trees, cut vines, and rake leaves. They laid landscaping fabric and covered it with mulch to make the grounds more beautiful than I have ever seen. Two wooden benches for rest and reflection were erected and the steps going up to the cemetery will soon be completed.
As an Eagle Scout myself, I can recall my own project refurbishing an elementary school playground. Those memories came flooding back as I watched Jadon Kaercher, Ben his older brother, Gene, his father, and various members of the scout troop slave away on an 87-degree day. They were not just investing in beautifying a cemetery that should be dear to the residents of this area; they were investing in a young man’s character development.
The cemetery is only accessible by coming through Kerrville and going south on Kerrville Rosemark Road and staying with it after it goes from pavement to gravel to dirt. There is a gate that is often closed but it is not a bad walk from that gate to the cemetery. Google Earth does show the whites spire on the edge of the Runway near Gate 10. In the winter, the graveyard is barely visible from the new Veteran’s Parkway.
At the time it was built, with most of the burials happening in the mid 1800s, the road between Kerrville and Rosemark was fairly well traveled and partially planked.
It is said that this new generation has no respect for the past or their elders. But what I saw helping this past Saturday was respect to those who have come before us.
After all we stand on their shoulders. It is hard not to be proud of young men like Jadon who have made the sacrifices to do what only 3 percent of scouts accomplish, the rank of Eagle Scout. This is due in large part to his hard-working father who has always demonstrated character and commitment to a job well done.
So if you hike out to see the work of these scouts, and the beautiful old tombstones standing in the shade of an ancient oak tree, you might be reminded to pay it forward yourself. To do something to honor people you never knew, that can be enjoyed by generations you’ll never meet.