Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Pouring rain and an hour off the highway did not detour us from visiting Springfield Cemetery in Springfield, Bon Homme, South Dakota. The landscape was lush green grass with rolling hills and few trees. It is just north of the Missouri River and an hour west of the I-29 off the Vermillion exit.
The target graves were Joseph H. Leech d. 15 May 1927 (South Dakota Death Index, 1905-1955 on ancestry.com) and his son, Frank Leech d. 1900. The cemetery records indicate that they are buried in Block 28, lot 4, graves 6 and 5. A cemetery trustee gave us directions to the site. We searched long and hard in the very wet grass but did not find the graves of Joseph and Frank. However, we did find one for Joseph's granddaughter, Martha Alice (Stark) Newman. It appears that Martha who was also known as Alice, was named after both of her grandmothers. Joseph Leech married Alice Bentley in Benton County, Iowa 14 September 1872. The Martha comes from her paternal grandmother, Martha C (Armstrong) Stark. Martha Alice Newman shares a headstone with her husband, Victor Newman and Martha and George Stark are buried in the adjoining graves. Dennis Clyde Stark and Mary A. Stark, children of George and Martha Stark have nearby graves as well.
On the "To Be Found" list are the death/burial records for Alice (Bentley) Leech, Mary A. (Leech) Grinwis d.1910, and Oscar and Clara (Leech) Stark. Mary and Clara Leech are both daughters of Joseph and Alice Leech. Oscar is the son of George and Martha Stark and father of Martha Alice (Stark) Newman.