Volume 9 , Number 6 , Winter 1987
It has been written in Turnbo articles and Ingenthron papers that Willis Keithley was buried in Keithley Cave. That is where he wanted to be buried, but he died (some say he was bushwhacked) and wasnt found for several days. The body was decomposed, so he was buried where they found him.
His wife died before him, and he liked to camp, fish, hunt and commune with nature as he travelled from one of his childrens home to the next. When one of his sons rode on horseback to anothers home, he found that his dad had not arrived at the other home. Then sons and grandsons got a search party together to ride his possible routes until they found him. They judged that he had been dead from seven to ten days.
The grave is rock covered and the large rock bears the inscription "W. KEITHLEY, D 1861." This was carved or chisled out by his grandson, John Maynard Keithley. Another grandson, Joshua C. Keithley, helped carry the rocks to cover the grave. It is not known of others who helped.
John Maynard Keithley, my husbands grandfather, carved the old stone at the age of 11. The newer stone or marker was put there about four years ago.
Willis Keithley was born 1785 and migrated to Taney County in 1830. Earl Seaton took us to the lone grave of Willis on the farm in May 1986 when the picture was taken.
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