The final resting place of a woman who died 80 years ago is less certain after the uncovering of a tombstone Friday in a backyard in Pratt.


The final resting place of a woman who died 80 years ago is a little less certain after the uncovering of a tombstone Friday in a backyard in Pratt.

Fred and the Boys Construction were performing remodeling at 902 West Second when they discovered a headstone on the west side of the house under a concrete slab, said Fred Sullivan, business owner.

The headstone reads: C.E. Miller 1887 – 1932. The crew stopped digging and notified authorities about the find. Sullivan said the crew would not work in the area of the find until it could be determined if anyone is buried on the property or not.

He was concerned that given the year of death someone could be buried on the property. At the height of the Depression money might not have been available for a cemetery burial.

A check at the Greenlawn Cemetery kiosk revealed that a Corinda E. Miller who was born and died in the same year listed on the found tombstone is buried in Section 31. A stone similar to the one found at the house is present in that section but appeared to be north of the location  listed on the cemetery kiosk.

Both stones appear to be concrete and are very similar in shape and size.

Denis Rasmussen, funeral director and licensed mortician for Ayres Calbeck Mortuary, said the two stones leave a lot to supposition, but it is possible that a temporary marker was replaced with another stone. The replacement stone might have then been brought to the house, but until records are checked it is uncertain what actually happened.

Burying a deceased relative in the back yard was perfectly legal in 1932 so it is not impossible that the found tombstone marks a grave site, said Jack Ebersole, funeral director and licensed mortician for Ayres Calbeck Mortuary. 

Several unmarked graves have been discovered in the Coats area when another grave was being dug, Ebersole said.

Until about five or six years ago it was still legal to bury the deceased within the Pratt city limits and not in a cemetery, Rasmussen said.