Cemetery mystery: Haines City looking to match owners with cemetery plots

Polk County

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Haines City officials are trying to match 365 cemetery plots with owners or descendants of owners half a century after the plots were purchased.

“It’s possible that they’re still alive but it’s also possible that maybe they had passed on and their families are just unaware that they own these spaces,” City Clerk Linda Bourgeois said.

The city will transfer the ownership of the plots to descendants if proof is provided.

The vacant plots are in the original section of Forest Hill cemetery on E. Grace Avenue.

“I’m a history buff. I like to research and one of my main goals is to find these individuals and or family members so we can make them whole,” said Bourgeois.

Forest Hill Cemetery was managed decades ago by a private funeral home, Bourgeois said.

The records were handwritten and unclear. They lacked details like full names and contact information.

The city took over the cemetery management around the 1970s. A few years ago, they started working on a project to go digital. Information about the plots is now available online.

“As we were digitizing, walking it, tightening the records up, that is when we discovered there were a lot of [plots] out here that were vacant and then those vacancies became ‘ok, when were they purchased? Do we have deeds?’” asked Bourgeois.

Deeds are nowhere to be found for spaces purchased more than 50 years ago.

“We do recognize the handwritten records as if there was a deed on file and then we would take it to the next level and actually produce one for their heirs that come forward,” said Bourgeois.

The city has released a list of names and is already receiving calls from owners and/or potential descendants.

Plots are eligible for transfer under “presumption of abandonment” if they were purchased in the original section of Forest Hill before Dec. 31, 1968.

If you think yourself or a relative purchased one of these plots contact the City Clerk’s Office at (863) 421-3600 ext. 5114 to schedule an appointment. You will need to show proof of relationship to the owner.

The following names are the ones listed by the city as owning a plot that is presumed to be abandoned:

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – The city of Haines City is trying to match 365 cemetery plots with owners or descendants of owners half a century after the plots were purchased.

“It’s possible that they’re still alive but it’s also possible that maybe they had passed on and their families are just unaware that they own these spaces,” said Linda Bourgeois, Haines City city clerk.

The city will transfer the ownership of the plots to descendants if proof is provided.

The vacant plots are in the original section of Forest Hill cemetery on E. Grace Avenue.

“I’m a history buff. I like to research and one of my main goals is to find these individuals and or family members so we can make them whole,” said Bourgeois.

Forest Hill Cemetery was managed decades ago by a private funeral home, Bourgeois said.

The records were handwritten and unclear. They lacked details like full names and contact information.

The city took over the cemetery management around the 1970’s.

A few years ago, they started working on a project to go digital. Information about the plots are now available online.

“As we were digitizing, walking it, tightening the records up, that is when we discovered there were a lot of [plots] out here that were vacant and then those vacancies became ‘ok, when were they purchased? Do we have deeds?’” asked Bourgeois.

Deeds are nowhere to be found for spaces purchased more than 50 years ago.

“We do recognize the handwritten records as if there was a deed on file and then we would take it to the next level and actually produce one for their heirs that come forward,” said Bourgeois.

The city has released a list of names and is already receiving calls from owners and/or potential descendents.

Plots are eligible for transfer, under “presumption of abandonment” if they were purchased in the original section of Forest Hill before December 31, 1968.

If you think yourself or a relative purchased one of these plots contact the City Clerk’s Office at (863) 421-3600 ext. 5114 to schedule an appointment.

You will need to show proof of relationship to owner.

The following names are the ones listed by the city as owning a plot that is presumed to be abandoned:

  • Adams, Edwin Ruthven Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 5; Space; 1
  • Adams, Sarah B. Forest Hill Original Block S; Lot 5; Space(s); 3, 7 and 8
  • Alderman, Orville Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 21; Space; 7
  • Allen, Adella Ann Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 14; Space; 1
  • Angle, J. F. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 4; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Angle, J. F. Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 4; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Arnold, Mrs. Roy L. Sr. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 26; Space; 4
  • Auld, H. S. Forest Hill Original Block T; Lot 15; Space; 4
  • Bailey, Cecil Guy Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 5; Space; 2
  • Bailey, R. N. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 26; Space(s); 1 &2
  • & Ina Fae Lane or H. C. Dean
  • Baxter, Hattie L. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 2; Space(s); 1, 3 &4
  • Benson, Frank F. Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 17; Space; 2
  • Boline, Carl Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 19; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 &4
  • Bolster, Everett A. Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 32; Space; 4
  • 820 Maury Rd. Orlando, FL32822
  • Bowen, Mrs. T. M. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 22; Space(s); 1 & 4
  • Braxton, Jay J. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 7; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Bryant, W. H Forest Hill Original Block C; Lot 22; Space; 3
  • Byrnes, Mrs. Mary Delores Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 19; Space; 4
  • Carlton, J. M. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 21; Space(s); 1, 2 &5
  • Chaffin, Dorothy Ann Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 7; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Chaffin, E. E. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 13; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8
  • c/o James Edmonston
  • Clark, Horace G. Forest Hill Original Block U; Lot 16; Space; 5
  • Cline, Mittie W. Forest Hill Original Block DD; Lot 1; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 &4
  • Coger, Raymond Lloyd Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 17; Space; 5
  • Collins, Delbert Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 12; Space(s); 2 &6
  • Consoer, Viola Forest Hill Original Block Z; Lot 4; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Cook, James T. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 4; Space(s); 5 and 6
  • Cook, Jimmie Lou Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 3; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Cooley, J. W. Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot 26; Space(s); 2, 3 &4
  • Craft, Marie Davis Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 16; Space(s); 1, 2 and 3
  • P.O. Box 516 Haines City, FL33844
  • Crawford, William T Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 26; Space(s); 1, 4, 7 & 8
  • & Pearl Lamar
  • Cromartie, Bob Forest Hill Original Block FF; Lot 21; Space; 1
  • Cromer, R. L. Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot 8; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, &4
  • Crosby, C. C. Forest Hill Original Block I; Lot 15; Space; 3
  • Daniels, J. S. Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 15; Space(s); 1 &4
  • Daugherty, Myrtle Stearns Forest Hill Original Block S; Lot 8; Space(s); 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8
  • Davis, A. S. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 10; Space(s); 2
  • Davis, Alice M. Forest Hill Original Block EE; Lot 20; Space(s); 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
  • Davis, Bruce Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 18; Space(s); 3 & 4
  • Day, George Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 6; Space(s); 2, 3 & 4
  • Day, Irene Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 4, Space; 7
  • Dean, H. C. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 23; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, & 4
  • Dixon, J. S. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 8; Space; 1
  • 1305 Moss St. Haines City, FL 33844
  • Douglas, Athie T. Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot 18; Space(s); 1 & 2
  • Douglas, Grace J. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 14; Space(s); 1, 2 and 4
  • Duke, Mrs. Othy L Forest Hill Original Block; E Lot 20; Space; 2
  • Dyson, Ellie Greer Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 4; Space(s); 7 and 8
  • Elliott, Bertie & Fred Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 5; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Elliott, Ralph C. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 11; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Elliott, Raymond & Veona Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 5; Space; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
  • Freeman, T. F. Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 24; Space(s); 2, 3 and 4
  • Freese, Earl Forest Hill Original Block C; Lot 6; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Gabel, L. A. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 21; Space; 7
  • Garton, Clarence G. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 19; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Graham, Frank Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 27; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Griner, Hilton Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 20; Space(s); 7 and 8
  • Grono, George Lemuel Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 20; Space; 1
  • Hardesty, Mychel Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot 20; Space; 7
  • Hargrove, Mrs. Allen S. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 14; Space(s); 2, 3, and 4
  • Hartzog, Mrs. C. M. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 9; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Hayes, Cecile Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 14; Space; 4
  • Helton, Charles Andrew Forest Hill Original Block B; Lot 7; Space; 2
  • Hilliard, H. A. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 5; Space; 6
  • Hines, Bronzie Forest Hill Original Block I; Lot 7; Space; 1
  • Holden, Mrs. Thomas Holden Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 18; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Humber, Mrs. Edith Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 15; Space; 3
  • Hunter, Mrs. M. E. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 12; Space; 1, 2
  • Hutchison, Daniel Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 26; Space(s); 1 and 3
  • Hutchison, I. I. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 25; Space; 4
  • Jackson, William M. Forest Hill Original Block B; Lot 11; Space(s); 2 and 3
  • Jacobs, Florence I. Forest Hill Original Block M; Lot 15; Space; 1 and 4
  • Jarvis, Mrs, Paul H. Forest Hill Original Block U; Lot 6; Space; 4
  • Jarvis, Mrs. Paul Forest Hill Original Block S; Lot 6; Space; 4
  • Johnson, C. L. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 18; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Johnson, Joe L. Forest Hill Original Block S; Lot 4; Space(s); 3, 4, 7 and 8
  • Johnson, Maxine Forest Hill Original Block FF; Lot 19; Space(s); 7 and 8
  • Johnson, Minnie Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 14; Space(s); 2, 3 and 4
  • Jones, Mrs. Daisy J. Forest Hill Original Block R; Lot 31; Space; 1
  • Keagle, Roy E. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 5; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Keagle, Roy E. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 6; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Kearce, B. H. Forest Hill Original Block A; Lot 27; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Kenworthy, E. B. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 21; Space; 2
  • King, Mrs. George Jr. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 21; Space; 1
  • Kingham, Miss. Fern Forest Hill Original Block EE; Lot 4; Space(s); 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Kipp, Alvin, L Forest Hill Original Block R; Lot 11; Space; 1
  • Kirksey, Alma Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 9; Space; 5
  • Knight, G. H. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 8; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • LaFoley, Frank Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 22; Space(s); 1, 2, and 3
  • LaMunyon, Belle Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 9; Space(s); 2, 3 and 4
  • Lane, Dave Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 19; Space(s); 2 and 4
  • Langston, George D. Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 14; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Lashley, Mrs. Florence Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 24; Space(s); 2 and 3
  • 1005 India Avenue Haines City, FL33844
  • LaTour, Louis Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 6; Space(s); 2 and 4
  • Levan , Homer C. Forest Hill Original Block B; Lot 23; Space(s); 1, 3, and 4
  • Lewis, George W. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 14; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Lindsey, S. Forest Hill Original Block M; Lot 2; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Little, W. S. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 15; Space(s); 2, 3, and 4
  • Lock, J. C. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 11; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Locke, Esther Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 11; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Manley, J. F. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 14; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Martin, C. J. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 13; Space; 3
  • Martin, Florrie Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 8; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Rt. 2 Moss St Haines City, FL 33844
  • McCall, Polly Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 22; Space; 3
  • McClain, R. D. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 15; Space(s); 2, 3, and 4
  • McClain, R. S. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 18; Space(s); 1, 2 and 4
  • McIver, M. S. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 1; Space(s); 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
  • McKeown, Mrs. Hugh J. Forest Hill Original Block X; Lot 22; Space(s); 1, 2 & 4, 5, 6, 8
  • Miller, J. T. Forest Hill Original Block DD; Lot 11; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Moore, John L. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 2; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • or Marquardt, A. H.
  • Moore, Mrs. Cadelza Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 16; Space; 7
  • Moore, W. H. Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 7; Space(s); 1, 2 and 4
  • Morrell, William G. Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 16; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Murphy, W. B. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 24; Space(s); 7 and 8
  • Nelson, Alma Forest Hill Original Block U; Lot 21; Space; 8
  • Nelson, C. E. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 12; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Nichols, Caroline Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 13; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • O’Dell, William C. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 10; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Oliver, H. F. Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 9; Space(s); 2, 3, and 4
  • Owens, Elsie Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot, 20; Space; 3
  • 103 W. 8th St. Winter Haven, FL 33880
  • Palmer, Mrs. A. T. Forest Hill Original Block N; Lot 22; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Passmore, Francis Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 15; Space; 4
  • Perry, George D. Forest Hill Original Block DD; Lot 19; Space; 4
  • Perry, George D. Forest Hill Original Block DD; Lot 20; Space(s); 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 8
  • Phelps, Mrs. Charles Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 3; Space; 3
  • Pinner, Lemule Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 20; Space(s); 5, 7, and 8
  • Poe, Maude L. Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 25; Space(s); 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Pollock, Mrs. J. A. Forest Hill Original Block BB; Lot 9; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Powell, R. C. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 2; Space(s); 2, 3, and 4
  • Purvis, Thomas E. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 11; Space; 1
  • Roberts, Albert Forest Hill Original Block I; Lot 2; Space; 3
  • Robertson, Elsie Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 16; Space(s); 1, 2 and 3
  • Robinson, Earl L. Forest Hill Original Block DD; Lot 5; Space;1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Rolf, A. B. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 26; Space; 4
  • Russ, Lizzie S. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 26; Space(s); 1, 3 and 4
  • Sample, Dora M. Forest Hill Original Block EE; Lot 12; Space; 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
  • Sanderson, Mrs. William J. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 1; Space(s); 4, 5, 6 and 7
  • Shaw, Clinton Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 12; Space(s); 5 and 6
  • Sheffield, J. P. Forest Hill Original Block T; Lot 13; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Shick, Mildred Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 11; Space(s); 2 and 2
  • Shively, Sylvia or William H. Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 25; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • 515 Ave. N. SE Winter Haven, FL33880
  • Smart, R. S. Forest Hill Original Block M; Lot 16; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Smith, Carl T. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 17; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Smith, Harvey H. Mrs. Forest Hill Original Block D; Lot 26; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Smith, J. A. Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 3; Space(s); 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Smith, S. M. Forest Hill Original Block I; Lot 4; Space(s); 1 and 2
  • Smith, Stanley C. Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 50; Space(s); 1. 2 and 3
  • P.O. Box 403 Haines City, FL33488
  • Somers, Ed Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 25; Space(s); 1 and 4
  • Speer, George William Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 22; Space; 2
  • Strauss, Ann Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 13; Space; 6
  • Taylor, Hauset Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 16; Space; 4
  • Thomas, Delphia W. Forest Hill Original Block O; Lot 23; Space; 1 and 2
  • Thompson, Leon Forest Hill Original Block Q; Lot 14; Space; 1
  • Rt. 1 Box 119 Haines City, FL33844
  • Thompson, M. B. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 8; Space(s); 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Tibke, Lydia M. Forest Hill Original Block L; Lot 12; Space; 3
  • Towers, Sam Forest Hill Original Block R; Lot 15; Space; 1
  • Tyner, J. S. Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 16; Space; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, &8
  • Wagner, Mrs. L Forest Hill Original Block G; Lot 7; Space(s); 2 and 3
  • Wagner, Paul or Kathryn Forest Hill Original Block M; Lot 10; Space; 1 and 4
  • S. 2nd St. Haines City, FL 33844
  • Walker, C. B. Forest Hill Original Block F; Lot 9; Space; 7
  • West, Evvie B. Forest Hill Original Block M; Lot 9; Space(s); 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8
  • Whitston, A. J. Forest Hill Original Block E; Lot 27; Space(s); 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Wilkinson, Lydia Forest Hill Original Block P; Lot 15; Space; 3
  • 228 N. 13th St. Haines City, FL33884
  • Wilson, Marion Forest Hill Original Block J; Lot 16; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Winkler, Mr. Shirley Forest Hill Original Block Y; Lot 21; Space(s); 3 and 4
  • Witcher, Millard F. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 12; Space; 6
  • Young, Carl C. Forest Hill Original Block K; Lot 20; Space(s); 1, 2 and 5
  • Zolkos, A. Forest Hill Original Block H; Lot 8; Space(s); 5 and 6

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