Letter to the editor: Respect the cemetery

To the editor:

Stull Cemetery is not haunted! Families with loved ones buried in Stull Cemetery have been betrayed by the Lawrence Journal-World! Despite repeated requests, emails and phone calls, the paper chose again to publish another “haunted” story for Halloween — thus perpetuating a false story regarding the cemetery. Kudos to Phil Vanicola for refusing to participate in providing information for this year’s author.

This whole farce began with a stunt by KU students and professor in the 1970s, followed by fictitious postings on the internet. Is there no way for descendants of loved ones buried in the Stull Cemetery to prevent publishing of this kind of story?

There are repercussions in addition to expenses incurred by the sheriff’s department in patrolling the area each Halloween. Tombstones have been vandalized. The tombstone on our family plot stood unmolested from early 1900 until the first “story” was published and the cemetery was vandalized. The granite orb on the top was stolen. The family replaced it with an imitation orb. The cemetery was vandalized again — the tombstone overturned and the imitation orb taken. The tombstone was repaired and now stands without the top.

Current burials continue in the cemetery. It contains the graves of many of the early settlers in Kanwaka and Lecompton townships. They were religious, hard-working people who came to America to share in the “American Dream” and contributed to building Douglas County. Respect should be given to them in their final resting places.

Paul M. Bahnmaier and Elsie Bahnmaier Middleton,

Lecompton

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