Damage to St. Paris cemetery leaves veteran’s family seeking answers


The family of a Korean War veteran from the village of St. Paris is demanding answers after finding his grave — and several others — damaged following a recent burial.

Elsie Windle, a resident of the village, said she had recently come to the Evergreen Cemetery to decorate the gravestone of her husband, Private First Class Everett Paul Windle, for the upcoming Easter holiday. But when she arrived, she found dirt and tire tracks all over her husband’s grave.

» READ MORE: Powerboat race to expand in Springfield after big crowds, impact

» TRENDING STORY: Car held at gunpoint, 1-year-old struck in Springfield

“It’s kind of sad to come out and it looks like he was buried in a field or something,” she said.

Damage also had been caused to other gravestones in the area, she said, leaving some leaning at angles and others torn out of the ground. Deep tire tracks were also left across the cemetery.

St. Paris Mayor Brenda Cook said the damage was caused when a backhoe entered the grounds to excavate a new grave site.

» MORE COVERAGE: Ex-Logan County superintendent gets prison in child sex case

“The equipment was going in to remove the dirt and left tracks,” she said. “Everyone feels bad.”

Cook said the ground in the cemetery was very soft due to heavy rains around the time of the excavation. She said workers set down boards to prevent the damage but the equipment went off track.

“It wasn’t done intentionally,” Cook said. “It is being repaired.”

» DETAILS: Peep this: Springfield history recreated with Easter candy

Evergreen Cemetery isn’t owned by the village, but St. Paris workers assist with operations there, she said. Because of the way the cemetery is set up, Cook said, it sometimes require workers to drive over the graves there.

“It’s an older cemetery,” she said. “You can see how close the headstones are together.”

The Springfield News-Sun couldn’t reach the owners of the cemetery for comment.

Windle said it isn’t the first time the graves have been damaged the cemetery but she hopes it will be the last.

“I just hope they take better care of it,” she said. “Whether you’re a veteran or not, it’s disrespectful to not take care of the plots they way you expect them to.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Finns respond with rakish commentary over Trump's comments
Finns respond with rakish commentary over Trump's comments

People in Finland are raking President Donald Trump over the coals after his comments that the Scandinavian people regularly rake their country’ forests to prevent fire, Time reported. >> Read more trending news  Trump praised what he called Finland’s method for preventing catastrophic wildfires while he was viewing ...
Kroger’s robot-powered warehouse to create over 400 jobs in Monroe
Kroger’s robot-powered warehouse to create over 400 jobs in Monroe

Kroger announced today that Monroe is its choice for America’s first automated warehouse. The $55 million robot-powered project, Kroger’s first customer fulfillment center, is expected to generate at least 410 new jobs. Known as a “shed,” the 335,000-square-foot facility with digital and robotic capabilities will be designed...
Oklahoma man fatally shoots uncle with bow and arrow 
Oklahoma man fatally shoots uncle with bow and arrow 

A 33-year-old Oklahoma man is accused of fatally shooting his uncle with a compound bow and arrow Sunday night, KHBS reported. >> Read more trending news  Joshua Dean Wade, of Poteau, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, the television station reported. According to police, Wade rang the doorbell twice to the Poteau apartment...
Chicago Mercy Hospital: 4 people critical, gunman dead in shooting
Chicago Mercy Hospital: 4 people critical, gunman dead in shooting

A shooter opened fire at a Chicago hospital Monday afternoon wounding four people, including a police officer and a hospital employee, investigators said, before police  shot and killed the gunman at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center. >> Read more trending news   A Chicago police officer was shot and injured in the incident...
Florida man accused of stabbing brother in head with chef's knife
Florida man accused of stabbing brother in head with chef's knife

An 18-year-old Florida man is accused of stabbing his brother in the head with a chef’s knife after an argument Friday morning, TCPalm reported Monday. >> Read more trending news  Nicholas Baio, of Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery on a person using a deadly weapon, the website reported...
More Stories