From Jana Kinkaid
Dear Editor and Ms. Post:
Thank you for dedicating so much print and pictures to the story of the transformation of the old Wells Cemetery. About a year and a half ago, you told of the cemetery’s pitiful condition; later you ran stories about its occupants, the founders of Sistersville; and now, in your July 4 edition, you presented pictures and told of its swift, remarkable and, to Mr. Deaton, its grueling renovation.
I care deeply about the final resting place of many of my ancestors but honestly, I had no idea what to do to set things right. I’d like to let it be know that I walked away from the project and further, I’d like it known that it’s a good thing I did.
If I had tried to manage things, very little, if anything, would have been done by now.
I’d corresponded with David Van Covern, in Texas, about the book I’m writing about my grandmother, Blanche Wells Kinkaid’s home, which is also the story of Sistersville between 1876 and 1949. I was surprised and so relieved when Mr. Van Covern said he would like to take on the challenge of the cemetery. He know how to raise funds, and he did.
He and Mr. Deaton are, in my eyes, true marvels to have accomplished so much, so well, in such a short time. They deserve all the credit. In different ways, they worked together to turn an eyesore into a place worthy of respect.
It was one hundred ninety-seven years ago (1815) that the cemetery’s first grave was dug, and it holds the remains of Charles Wells, father of the Wells sisters, for whom the town is named.
Again, thank you for all your help.