I got a visit from Leonard Hall one day. I believe it was probably my dad that told him that I was working on the cemetery book and that I had questions about some of the old timers. So he stopped by and I got out the book that I had and prepared so far. So we started at the beginning with the earliest ones and he told me different memories of each one. What he knew about them, where they lived, who they were related to etc. So I jotted these down and stuck a little note next to each one. After he had gone, I then typed up the information and these are now little snippets in the book under the headings of “additional information.”
I’d wait until my kids were in school and then go down to Burley to begin my routine. I did this for several months. I went down to the South Idaho Press. They are they ones that had the old Burley Herald papers. They let me go into their archives and search for the early obituaries and funeral announcements. Back then, they didn’t have an obituary column or page. They were just little death notices and articles scattered amongst the paper. If the death was a tragedy or something along those lines it would be on the front page, but mostly I had to read and dig for all these little bits and pieces. And then when I’d come across one that I wanted, they had a Xerox machine. But the pages were so brittle, that I’d have to get one of the workers there to help me and make a copy of it. I worked there several days and this became tedious for the staff and I could tell they were getting a little frustrated. So I got to the point that when I found something, if it didn’t have a picture, I would just talk into a tape recorder and transpose/type it when I got home. After this whole process was done, I started saving the clippings religiously so that I didn’t have to go through this again. There are some residents that I never could find any information on. Since this time I’ve heard that those records are no longer available (and possibly destroyed) now that the South Idaho Press is no longer in print.
My parents had saved a lot of the funeral programs. Viola Wight had also given me a lot of the funeral programs when she found out what I was doing. That is why I have some and not others. There was a time during the 40s & 50s that they would print the funeral program right in the paper.
Darlene Beyler Briggs
I’ve always felt that it was something that I was supposed to do. Even as a little kid, I knew that this was something I was to do when I grew up. I knew those names and would wander the cemetery. Those were my friends to some degree. I’m sure there are people on the other side guiding me along as I’ve been involved in this.