McNair Cemetery
Wessington, Beadle, South Dakota

Date: 19 June 2000

Cemetery Name: McNair
Street: NW Quarter Sec 29, Sand Creek Twsp, Beadle County, South Dakota
City: About half way between Wessington & Wessington Springs, South Dakota
County: Beadle
State: South Dakota
Nation: United States
Zip: 57381
Land Type: Private
Status: Abandoned
Number of graves: 5 or more
Oldest grave: About 1893
Records: Don't Know
Inventory: Yes
Owner: Florence Deikhoff

Cemetery about to be destroyed
Overgrown-ground cover
Broken Headstones
Buried Headstones
Disintegrating Headstones
Fallen Headstones
General Neglect


A rural cemetery inventory was conducted by Mrs Ruth Herzberg, 1950 Ohio Ave., Huron, SD 57350. As per phone conversation with her, this date, she thinks it was accomplished about 1941. I found the original inventory & its work sheets in the Dakotaland Museum Fairgrounds, Huron, SD on 12 June 2000.


The cemetery is located in a pasture owned by Florence Deikhoff, 38501 211 St. Wessington, SD 57381. We didn't measure it, but I'm guessing that it is about half the size of a football field. I have 3 family members there, Ira W. Hanks, Thomas M. Culbertson and Elbert Hanks. There is evidence that there are at least members of two more families buried there, but the grave stones of the other families have been knocked over and the thick matted grass underfoot prevents a complete count. Mrs. Deikhoff, the owner, said the county erected what is left of the fence surrounding the cemetery and pleas from herself & her husband for the county to maintain it have been unanswered.

Other Problems

The owner's cattle are free to roam throughout the cemetery and have knocked some grave stones down. The growth of prairie grasses will eventually cover all graves and stones.

Previous Contacts

We located the cemetery through Mr. Wayne Testerman, 1805 Maple Drive, Huron, SD 57350. Then we went to the Restrar of Deeds & Auditor's Office in the Huron Court House where we confirmed the land description and discovered that the cemetery had a name (McNair). The Clerk assisting us indicated that the County didn't have the money to maintain rural cemeteries. We were referred to the Huron Museum where I found the rural cemetery inventory accomplished by Mrs. Herzberg of Hitchcock. This document contained a reference to a State Statute regarding the maintenance of rural cemeteries but didn't contain any identifing numbers. Next we went to the Secretary of State's Office in the Capital at Pierre. The deputy, Tom Leckey was able to furnish us a copy of the statutes: #7-26-7 & #8-2-15 which passed 1 July 1941.

Current Status

I am in the process of trying to draft a letter to the Beadle County Commissioner. The problem is, there are five. Should I write to all of them or just one. If one, which one? I also want to write to State Senator Charles Flowers on the recommendation of the Deputy Secretary of State. I'm really at odds right now. I'm not quite sure which way to go. Help!!!

Submitted by / Contact for additional Information:

name: Mary C. (Carson) Widner
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.