Saturday, July 16, 2011

Headstone Mystery

It has recently been brought to my attention that the Prairie Grove Police Department has a headstone in their possession and they are in search of where it rightfully belongs.  This is a mystery they could use all the help we can give them to solve.

Photo courtesy of DMLeForce.
Richard W.
Son of W.C. & M.L. Lefors
Aug 28, 1852
Apr 16, 1863

Here is the information that has been found.

His parents are Whitfield Collins Lefors (1830 - 1900) and Martha Luranay Hale Lefors (1836 - 1886).
Both are buried at Bentonville Cemetery in Bentonville AR along with Fremont Lefors (his brother) and Margery Montgomery Lefors (his grandmother).

Capt. Whitfield Collins LeFors (Richard's father) was a Benton County's sheriff from 1868-1873. He was also Treasurer & Mayor.  He was also a member of the IOOF/Odd Fellows as he's in their cemetery (The IOOF cemetery has merged into the Bentonville Cemetery).  His son Elijah Oscar married James Berry's daughter.  And James' sister married Sam Peel.  Whitfield, James & Sam are all at Bentonville's cemetery in the IOOF/Odd Fellows section.

The Bentonville Cemetery has been contacted and the only Lefors on the burial list were the four that are listed above.  I was also told that the records that pre-date 1900 are iffy. 

The following is what I found on

1860 United States Federal Census about Richard Leforse
Name: Richard Leforse
Age in 1860: 8
Birth Year: abt 1852
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1860: Flint, Benton, Arkansas
Gender: Male
Post Office: Double Springs
Household Members: Name Age
W C Leforse 34
Martha Leforse 25
Richard Leforse 8
Fremont Leforse 3
Eldridge Leforse 2
Isaac D Leforse 7/12

So this is the extent of what we know.  I have also emailed the IOOF to see if they possibly have any information that might help and I have emailed someone who has a bunch of books with obits in them for Benton county during the time he died. So far I have not recieved a response from either so hopefully they will come through with something that will help.

So if any of you wonderful readers are up for the challenge of solving this mystery your help will gladly be accepted.  Email me at if you find anything.  I am hoping we can get this marker back to where it belongs.


  1. I am confused as to why they wouldn't just put the stone in the cemetery where his family is buried. Not sure why it would be anywhere else... what am I missing?

  2. They have offered to place it next to his parents but that doesn't mean he is buried there. The mystery is where is he actually buried.

  3. Shared a link to this post on facebook. :)

  4. Oh. But... why would he have been buried anywhere else? That's what I'm trying to figure out. Is there any reason that he would have been buried in some other place? He was only eleven years old, right? So there wasn't any marriage and moving somewhere else, no military service that would have taken him out of the state or country... seems to me an eleven year old boy would be buried next to his family, and the cemetery record keepers are the ones to blame for his name not being entered.

  5. Because back in 1863 travel wasn't easy and embalming wasn't used as often. There is roughly 25 miles between where he was living in the census, that was 3 years prior to his death, and where his parents are buried. By foot it would take more than 5+ hours to travel that distance. And we do not know if they had any other form of transport. Think of how hard it would have been to travel on unpaved roads with a coffin special if you had no horse and cart. Plus his Mother didn't die until 23 years after his death and his father another 37. Also there are at least 6 more siblings who died very young, all younger than he was, all but one have no headstones with his parents. Two dieing before him 4 dieing after him and only one shows up buried next to his parents or on the cemtery list. See why I'm thinking he could possibly be buried somewhere else?