THE ANDERS-JACKS CEMETERY
In the early 1800's, like many families of that time, the David Anders and Elias Jacks families headed west from their native homelands of North Carolina and Virginia. Their journey took them first to Kentucky, then further north and west to Howard County, MO. They finally settled on land made available by the Platte Purchase of 1836. Even before Platte County was organized in 1838, the Anders and Jacks families, along with the Johnson and Ford families, had settled in Rush Creek Valley on land that is now known as Weatherby Lake. They cleared the land, built their homes, planted orchards, and began farming what they called "the home place." Their main crops were apples, peaches, cherries, corn and tobacco.
David (1800-1890) and Catherine Jacks Anders (1806-1880) had twelve children while living in the Rush Creek Valley. Sadly, between the years 1840 to 1849, four or five of David and Catherine's children died. The Anders buried their children beneath a canopy of trees on a small ridge on their farm in an area that would become the family cemetery. Settling the land next to theirs was Catherine's brother, Elias B. Jacks (1801-1870) and his wife, Polly Warden Jacks. Elias and Polly Jacks are believed to have had 15 children, of which only 8 lived to adulthood. In time, the family cemetery would become the final resting place for David and Catherine Anders, Elias and Polly Jacks, and members of their immediate and extended families.
The Anders-Jacks Cemetery appears on land ownership maps dating back to 1877, and was probably in use until circa 1905. In a recorded deed dated 1919, the cemetery is described as being "one half acre" in size. According to family folklore, 29 members of the Anders and Jacks families were buried in this cemetery, along with a baby from the neighboring Johnson family. Because there were cholera pandemics covering a 30-year span between 1829 and 1859, it is presumed they would have lost many family members during this time, particularly infants and children.
David and Catherine Anders' home place remained in the Anders family until 1926 when it was purchased by William Workman. The land settled by the Jacks family was purchased by Glenn Weatherby in 1936. The former Anders' and Jacks' lands, along with land purchased from the Ford descendants by E.C. Thompson in 1922, became known as "Lakeview Subdivision." Descendants of the Anders and Jacks families have stated that the early developers of Weatherby Lake promised their family cemetery would be maintained. On a 1937 blue print of the dam, a cemetery symbol is shown acknowledging the Anders Jacks cemetery by the early developers. However, the cemetery was subsequently abandoned for nearly 70 years.
In 2005, with guidance and direction from the City of Weatherby Lake Board of Aldermen, the Weatherby Lake Historical Committee began restoring the Anders-Jacks cemetery with the help of donations, volunteer labor, and support from the residents of Weatherby Lake and southern Platte County. One broken marble monument, a few fieldstone grave markers, and pieces of four broken marble gravestones were all that remained visible when the cemetery lot was deeded to the City by heirs of William Workman in 1998. The broken monument has since been restored, and the names and dates are now clearly visible. Catherine Anders' name is engraved on the monument along with the names of four of her children. The earliest date of death engraved on the headstone is "June 28, 1840."
During the restoration, the cemetery area was cleared of brush and scrub trees by members of the Historical Committee and volunteers. A local Scout Troup, aided by members of the Historical Committee and many volunteers, planted a living fence along the entire perimeter of the cemetery. Historical Committee members and "Friends of the Cemetery" also contributed a wrought-iron gate, a wrought-iron gated trellis, two stone entry columns, four limestone corner posts, and numerous flowering trees. The cemetery was "dowsed" several times by a local cemetery historian/preservationist, and there are now believed to be 96 graves located within the cemetery; of which 36 were probably children. As part of the restoration process, field stones were placed as markers at each of the graves. On June 17, 2006, a dedication ceremony was held at the cemetery and the land was reconsecrated by a local Pastor. Restoration and maintenance continues at the cemetery with the help of many volunteers.
The cemetery is located at the intersection of Eastside Drive and Cemetery Lane. All are invited to come, sit, and enjoy the quiet peaceful nature at this important historical site.
[References: The Chronicles of Weatherby Lake, 1936-1997, Weatherby Lake Historical Task Force; Solid Citizens: The Ancestry and Descendants of Elias Arillas Mathias Marcus Emfore Jackson Andrews-Anders of Missouri, Harley d. Anders, Sr.; History of Wyandotte County, Kansas and it's People, ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan; Annals of Platte County, Missouri, Willam M. Paxton, 1897.]