Cravens Cemetery, Camden Missouri…

Earlier this week I spent a few days back home in the Kansas City area after honoring my Great Uncle Bill as he was laid to rest at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. On the way back to my parents’ house I was reminded that for the last year I’ve been meaning to make the out-of-the-way stop at the beautiful Cravens Cemetery in the tiny town of Camden, Missouri, where many of my descendants and family members from my Mother’s side are buried. I had only been a few times, but I remembered it being beautiful, and I remembered the entire cemetery being on a hill. I you weren’t from the area, or didn’t just happen to get lost on this particular black top road, you’d never know it was there. So I took my Grandmother for a ride as she guided me on a tour through the cemetery. It was hot and I had sweat in my eyes much of the time, but it was really a very cool experience. Cravens is the kind of cemetery I just love. It has so much character. I’m not sure I’ll care too much once I’ve crossed over, but I certainly wouldn’t mind my physical body resting at Cravens for the rest of eternity.

Please enjoy some photos from the day. I’ll talk you through some of them. The following photo is the one I took at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, but all others are from Cravens Cemetery.

I love this view, and it can be seen from almost anywhere in the cemetery. In the time we were visiting, two or three trains came and went. 

Pictured above is the grave of my Great Uncle Jimmy Rutherford, who died as a baby. I can’t imagine the sadness my Great Grandmother Ruth went through, but I’ve always heard stories of poor little Jimmy. You can see the original handmade marker that she made because at the time they could not afford anything else. At some point in time a better marker was added over top of it, but I just love the original one. Next to baby Jimmy, my Great Grandmother and several other loved ones are buried just about at the top of the steep hill, up from the main entrance. The graves are near a beautiful old tree. My Grandmother pointed out that only recently she discovered that if you continue over the top of the hill, you will find the oldest and original section of the cemetery… so she waited in the car as I checked it out. 

This was my view as I made my way to the top of the hill. 

The older and almost hidden section of the cemetery.

I just love this tree. Does anyone else see the expression on its face?

Many of these markers appeared to be from the 1860s and 1870s, though the oldest one I noticed listed the date of death as 1855. 

In 1993 the man I knew as my Great Grandpa Irvin died. In his younger days he spent many years caring for and working on the grounds of this very cemetery. After his death, my Great Grandma had two benches installed at a beautiful new monument (pictured below). One (above) for Irvin and another across from it with “Given by wife Ruth V. Thomas” engraved on the front. My Great Grandma Ruth died in 2000. 



Cemeteries: Concordia and Emma, Missouri (Big Séance)

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri (Big Séance)

Forest Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Lexington’s Old Catholic Cemetery (Big Séance)

Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Two Smoky Mountain Cemeteries (Big Séance)

Just a Stroll through a Random Cemetery on the Way Home (Big Séance)

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries (Jim Harold’s Ghost Insight)




About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit! View all posts by Patrick Keller

12 responses to “Cravens Cemetery, Camden Missouri…

  • Paranormalogistically

    Beautiful cemetery…thank you for the lovely walk among the grave stones 🙂 The face seems peaceful…eyes closed and at rest.

  • Aunt Sarah

    PK, Your Aunt Patty and I helped Mother make the home made marker. I don’t remember how old we were, but in grade school. After pouring the concrete and writing in the wet cement, and letting it dry, she painted it. Your Grandma was really into sponge painting! We had dressers, and rooms where she dabbed paint all over! On the tomb stone she painted it blue, then dabbed blue and pink spots all over it. I think a few years later, she refreshed the worn places. I can see her doing it. Irvan and she often visited together on her cemetery visits, this being years and years before they married. Irvan Thomas was Moms third husband.

    This is the first time I’ve seen this monument! Wow! It must have cost a pretty penny….

    • Patrick

      I hadn’t heard all of that. That’s funny about the sponge painting. 🙂 It’s sure not there anymore. I had never seen the monument either until that day.

  • patty ballance

    Good job PK, it brings back so many memories. I agree that it is so beautiful and peaceful there.

    • Patrick

      I could sit there all day. Perfect place for a cemetery… even with the trains. I guess Uncle Jimmy (not the one from the post haha) goes there to sit under the tree a lot.

  • Lisa Smith

    This is a great entry! I enjoy walking through cemeteries and trying to imagine who the people were and what their lives were like. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Patrick

      You’re welcome. I do the same thing! Growing up my grandma lived near an old cemetery in the middle of nowhere and I’d hang out there often, sometimes by myself. I remember my grandma packing me a lunch so I could go to the cemetery. I wish I knew and remembered what my thoughts were back then. 🙂

  • Renae Rude - The Paranormalist

    Hey, Patrick – what’s your policy on sharing your photographs in exchange for a link back to your site? I’d like to use the pic of the tree with a face to illustrate a post.

  • Terry Godley

    Great pictures Patrick. I was there last year looking for my G grandfather but wasn’t able to locate him, nor anyone has a plot diagram. I was taken back with the train and scenery. After 3 hours I left but headed back end of April. Not leaving till I find him. More water this time.
    Thanks again for posting.
    Terry Godley
    Bakersfield, Ca

    • Patrick Keller

      I hope you have better luck this time around, Terry! I’ve only been here a handful of times, which is sad since several family members rest here. Now that I have my new fancy pants camera, I need to go back soon. Keep us posted!

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