OSAWATOMY – Chase Homrighausen’s Eagle Scout Project at Osawatomie Cemetery will likely benefit families for years to come and help preserve local history.
Chase has created a directory that will help family members locate the graves of loved ones buried at the cemetery. The directory is complete with mounted protected filing cabinets, a map showing the location of 12 separate areas and a large sign, all located inside the cemetery shelter.
Chase said he first came up with the idea for the project when he was 13, and his uncle came up with it. He never forgot those words as he continued his scouting career with Boy Scout Troop 106 in Osawatomie.
When it came time to select an Eagle Scout project, Chase knew exactly what he wanted to do. He first pitched the idea to Osawatomie City Council last year, and city officials were thrilled.
He then began working with staff at Osawatomie Town Hall, where the town’s limited records on the cemetery were stored. Chase quickly realized that there were many graves not listed in the records, so he began the arduous task of manually entering the name on each grave.
With the help of his mother, Jamie, and a few other volunteers, Chase walked through every row of the graveyard and typed over 5,100 names on a laptop.
These names were printed on sheets of paper, which were then placed in protective binders. The names are listed alphabetically by last name, and visitors can use a specific system to find a grave. Each name is followed by a zone and row number that will guide visitors to the tomb. An accompanying map of the zones illustrates the locations. Veterans are marked with an asterisk.
The display at the cemetery includes two sample names, each one special to Chase. Leona “Sis” Dennis is Chase’s grandmother, and Harold Dean “Bud” Fouts is a veteran whose lawn Chase mowed.
The names were last updated on October 4, but Chase has shown Osawatomie Town Hall officials how the system works, and he hopes the directory can be updated every six months. about.
The new repertoire was officially opened at a ceremony on Oct. 28, and Chase said he’s heard a lot of positive things about it before.
âA lot of people complimented him,â he said.