From the Richmond Dispatch, 6/2/1900, p. 5, c. 3
A COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST SHOCKOE CEMETERY.
READ IN COMMITTEE LAST NIGHT.
Superintendent Davis Says the Fault is That of Careless Section-Owners – Expense of the Election – Other Committees Hold Session.
At the meeting of the Committee on Cemeteries last night, a letter was read from Mrs. J. E. Laughton, of this city, complaining, for herself and other section-owners, of the neglected condition of Shockoe Cemetery. Complaint was made that the walkways were not kept clean, and reference was made to two piles of rubbish which, from remaining so long, appeared to have become permanent fixtures. Mrs. Laughton did not think more than one grave per week, on an average, had to be dug, and implied that the force had sufficient leisure to keep the walks in proper condition.
Shockoe Cemetery is the oldest in the city, and in it are buried some of the prominent people of other days. The tomb of John Marshall is here. Mrs. Laughton declared it was a shame so historic a place should be so neglected.
Mr. George B. Davis, Superintendent of Public Charities, is by virtue of his position keeper of Shockoe Cemetery. To him the letter of complaint was referred. His attention was called to the letter last night by a representative of the Dispatch. He had not seen it.
Mr. Davis said the two men kept at work in Shockoe Cemetery were good men, and kept the place in as presentable shape as it could be kept. Asked if he needed a larger force, he replied in the negative. He declared that section-owners were themselves to blame for the dilapidated appearance of the cemetery. Not one in five section-owners kept his section up. The cemetery force was not required or expected to do this. The laborers were not supposed to invade the privacy of the sections.
Besides receiving Mrs. Laughton’s letter, the committee last night recommended an ordinance authorizing the sale of lots 59 and 60 in Oakwood Cemetery to Hoge Memorial church, for $75.
An ordinance was also recommended prescribing a new form of certificate of section-ownership, with authorizes the City Treasurer to make transfer of sections upon written application, attested by two witnesses.
[remainder of column, on unrelated matters, was not transcribed – MDG]