Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunnyslope Cemetery Stroll, 2009

The 14th annual cemetery stroll is coming up again. Well…uh….not until October, but we are thinking about it and collecting information. This year we will commemorate veterans from the Civil War.
It was a surprise that this little town had so many veterans from that war, how did they make it to Corona? It seems that once you know about something, suddenly, you see it everywhere. There are Civil War veterans buried everywhere!
I want to share my adventure of yesterday. There is a soldier buried at Sunnyslope named John M. Crooks. He is buried near the road so I pass him all the time. Years ago, 1997 to be exact, Corporal Crooks was considered for the Stroll but he was found boring. As I put my feet on the floor in the morning I had a powerful flash of inspiration. John Crooks and his wife Emma deserve some honor. They had no children of their own so who is going to remember them. ME!
I went to the library to search the newspapers. After several pass throughs I found Crook’s obit. Uninteresting. I looked from the time he arrived in Corona to the time he died. Nothing. So many other small articles about minor things. So and So motored to Riverside. Anywho planted 15 acres of barley. Mr. Body had company from Los Angeles. But did John Crooks have any mention about him? NO. I re-looked at least three times. From his pension papers and his death certificate I know he was very unwell, so I am guessing he didn’t get out much. However, the Mrs. was mentioned once in a while about entertaining at her small home when she was a widow. She lived in Corona for 25 years after her husband died.
After hours at the library I came home to my faithful computer. I spent many hours researching anything I could find on the internet. I was able to find out a few interesting stories, but they are really back stories. Late into the night I put together pieces and made a script that I can do at the Stroll.
The long and short of it is this. Corporal John Maxwell Crooks joined the fighting of the War Between the States at age 18, served his country well. He lived for many years with lung trouble, deciding to move west in hopes of improving his health. He lived here for only two years and two months then died, but he has been buried in the same spot for over 104 years. Who has been to visit him? He is my special project.

1 comment:

Kathy Schuster said...

I am so glad there are people like you who really do care about these wonderful peoples lifes.

A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits