Georgia Braxton's tombstone, propped against a fencerow, symbolizes Ralls County's colorful history

 

Georgia Braxton, the cherished daughter of Benjamin and Sarah A. Braxton of rural New London, was only 18 years old when she died, and was laid to rest at the old New London Cemetery.

 

Her tombstone, leaning against a fencerow on utility right-of-way, is one of the few remnants that remain of the cemetery, which came into existence in 1869 and served the Ralls County community until the early 1900s.

 

Lynne McGee Tutor documented Braxton’s tombstone as part of her ongoing project to pay proper respect to those whose remains are at rest in the nearly forgotten cemetery.

 

Old New London Cemetery is located just to the west of New London, on the west side of U.S. 61 near the exit ramp leading to west-bound Route 19.

 

Over the years, utilities have been placed through what was once the cemetery. Dozers have cleared out old trees and stones, pushing them aside so that cables could be buried and strung overhead.

 

Tutor has found some 10 stones, but believes a lot more remain on the premises. She is hopeful that attention brought to the situation will aid in safely and legally moving the stones to another cemetery.

 

The Braxtons

 

The 1800 census identifies the Braxton family, which lived in Spencer Township just to the south of the town of New London. Benjamin Braxton was a farmer, born circa 1840, and was married to Sarah A. Braxton.  Their children included James W. Braxton, Sela Braxton, Albert W. Braxton, Charles Braxton, and daughter Georgia.

 

The census identifies all members of the family as mulatto.

 

The tombstone found by Lynne Tutor indicates that Georgia died in 1891.

 

Living nearby to the Benjamin M. Braxton family were members of the William M. Braxton family.

 

Two of Georgia Braxton’s brothers, Albert W. Braxton and John Braxton, continued to farm, and are listed in the Ralls County Missouri Farmers directory, published in 1921. A.W. Braxton married Lucinda Scott and their children were Bessie and Vernie. John Braxton married Minnie Cox and their children were Charles, Harry and John. Both 40-acre farm were located in Township 56N Range 5W, Section 35.

 

Albert Braxton died in March 1935. John Braxton, his wife Minnie and sons Charles and John were listed in the 1940 census.

 

 

 

 

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