Bethel Union Church Cemetery
AKA Old Bethel Cemetery
Elk Fork Township, Section 4
Pettis County, Missouri
North side of Y, about 12 miles west of Sedalia. Cemetery is about midway between Mahin Road (entering on the north side of Y) and Renfrow Road (entering on the south side). A rise in the road (Y) allows the drainage ditch to be filled, which gives narrow passage to a tree-line lane in the woods.
No sign of the church foundation is visible. For that matter, nothing defines the boundaries of the cemetery. Not recommended for the faint hearted. Bad ants and other insects, poison ivy and oak, and much underfoot neither visible nor identifiable. I went in with a machete. Likely 50% more could be found with probing and winter visibility. Surprisingly, a very late burial occurred in this cemetery in 1946 after it had been long abandoned. One broken stone found was not read as the ants were in charge of it (big time). (GCW)
Updated January 2008: Daniel and Nancy McIntyre visited this cemetery in mid-month and had no problem finding the church foundation(s). With your back to Y and facing north on the lane...the structure would have been located about 15 to 20 feet on the left. Dan thinks the church was 18 by 24 feet, not including a half circle foundation at the rear (north) of the church where the altar would have been. The cemetery was located, at least partially, behind the church. The McIntyres report the damage to land and markers from trucks continues.
Updated January 2009 by Nancy McIntyre: She says Daniel stepped off the church and believes it to be much larger than he first reported -- the main body of church 30 feet by 60 feet plus the altar at the back of the church.
Updated March 2009: Nancy McIntyre submitted additional information and photos of her Dorrance family. The marker for Isaac R. Dorrance was found lying down in 2008 and they returned this year to restore it. They also found the marker for Mary J. Ham Dorrance, and took photographs of the church foundation.
Updated July 2009: Justin Watkins sent in additional transcript information.
Updated August 2010: Nancy McIntyre submitted additional photographs.