Mourners Complain of Two Unkept Cemeteries in Princeton

Published 07/01 2014 06:25PM

Updated 07/01 2014 07:13PM

They're supposed to be final resting places for deceased loved ones but, family members in Princeton are saying otherwise. Two Princeton cemeteries owned by the same person have been unkept forcing the Patoka Township Trustee to get involved. Overgrown weeds, fallen trees, damaged headstones and mausoleums are what mourners in Princeton complain about when they come to this cemetery.

Wilma young says; "Well, it's depressing!"

The Independant Order of Odd Fellows once owned these plots and back then Wilma Young says it was pristine.

"It was well taken care of then", she added.

But, that began to change five years ago when the cemetery was turned over to a private owner.

"My parents; grandparents ; I could hardly find a stone if  I did not know where they were buried because the weeds and the grass were up that high", says Judy Miller.

It's not the only graveyard with issues that same owner; Jim mattingly oversees the Maple Hill Cemetery where the conditions are similar.

"It's that way everywhere there are loved ones down in the lower section that are maintaining the yard of their own loved ones grave sites!", she added.

Finding Mattingly has been difficult. Eyewitness News found a listed number which is now disconnected.
The Patoka Township Trustee mailed letters to Mattingly to ask him to clean up the property but, those letters were returned.   

Judy Miller has also tried to find him. "This is a privately owned cemetery and I feel like the owner doesn't care, doesn't have the funding but, he does not want to give his rights over the ownership of the cemetery" she says.

The founder of Princeton is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery but, Miller says that choice will not be an option for her.

Miller says, "I wouldn't bury a dog out here. I told my husband that if he buries me out here I would come back here and haunt him till he's dead. I can't be put out here and I would not put any of my family out here".

Miller has started a petition to correct the problem but, the trustee says his office does not have the right to maintain private property.

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