Volunteers brings new life to a historical Joplin cemetery

JOPLIN, MO. – A historical cemetery is getting a makeover by local volunteers. 

Cox Cemetery is home to some of Joplin’s oldest families. The cemetery is named after John C. Cox, one of the founding fathers of Joplin. 

After decades, the cemetery is overgrown with wildlife. 

However, a Joplin local, Rikki Smith sought questions about the forgotten cemetery. “So I started asking preservationists and historians, and I started asking government entities and offices and nobody really had the answers. And I was like, I’ve got to find the answers because this place is too important to our community. It is a treasure,” said Smith. 

Smith spent a year building a relationship with the descendants of John C. Cox before organizing a clean-up of the family’s cemetery. 

A Facebook event brought volunteers out to clean up Cox Cemetery. One goal is to have the cemetery in better shape for the upcoming 150 anniversary of Joplin. “We don’t know what regular maintenance will look like. We’d like to get it cleaned up enough this fall that it can winter and then we can start again strong in the spring,” said Smith

To get involved with improving one of Joplin’s historical cemeteries, click here.

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