"I look at the cemetery as sacred ground,
I don't know how anybody could do this..."
Anyone with information about
this crime can call the
Hamilton County Sheriff at
To find out more about donating
and helping the Farmers Valley
Cemetery Association contact
Larry Carlson at
The Hamilton County Sheriff says they're still investigating the vandalism that left more than 40 headstones cracked or broken in a rural cemetery.
Though the Farmers Valley Cemetery just southwest of Hendersen is tucked away down a dead end road, the historic site has a steady stream of visitors.
But sometime between Monday and Tuesday afternoon, vandals were there, causing thousands of dollars in damage and leaving relatives to pick up the pieces.
"They're gonna fall apart, and that's gonna be a shame," says Karen Carlson.
Karen and her husband Larry have been taking care of the cemetery for years.
Though they live 200 miles away, Larry grew up in the area, and has dozens of relatives buried there. They say it's hard to describe the shock of finding more than 40 grave markers cracked, broken, and even thrown into the fence.
"I've had other people out here that their family's stones were damaged and you know what do you do, what do you say?" said Larry. "You just have to do the best you can and go forward."
But moving on won't be easy. Carlson says they think it could cost at least $40,000 to fix the stones, some of which were first put up in the 1800's. It's money the cemetery association doesn't have, though they are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of the vandals.
"We're just a private organization, the only money we get in is donations or from the sale of burial plots in the new part," Larry said.
The cemetery is registered as a historic place, and the Carlson's know much about the people buried there. That's why it's hard for them to imagine who would commit what they call a cowardly and senseless crime.
"I look at the cemetery as sacred ground, I don't know how anybody could do this," said Larry.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is encouraged to call the Hamilton County Sheriff at (402) 694-6936.
To find out more about helping the Farmers Valley Cemetery Association, contact Larry Carlson at (308) 379-8755.