Girl Scout helps Stockdale Community

Katie Rigsby standing behind the plaque that she had made after she cleaned up the stones and made a record of all of them in the Stockdale Cemetery.

Girl Scout, Katie Rigsby, kneeling by one of the many stones that she worked on and recorded for Stockdale Cemetery.

MINFORD — Katie Rigsby, a 2020 graduate of Minford, is a Girl Scout who, during this time, earned the Gold Award as a Girl Scout.

Rigsby has been a Girl Scout since she was in the second grade and is now considered a lifetime Girl Scout. According to Rigsby, the Gold Award is the highest award for Girl Scouts, as the Eagle Award for Boy Scouts and you must give back to the community.

“I was thinking about doing something with 4H and then that didn’t happen. My Troop 574 and I always go clean at the Stockdale Cemetery for the Memorial Day service and I had asked Angie Roberts and Tracy Reed, Girl Scout leaders, if there were any records of everybody there. We were comparing their cemetery to like Greenlawn and others and they said there was no record or anything of the cemetery, except what you could see on the stones.”

Rigsby continued, “I thought OK, I’ll do that for my project, I’ll make a record, a map of everything so it will be easier to find. That wasn’t enough for the council to approve, so then I added going back and learning the history of Stockdale because Stockdale is a very small town and all of the stuff it was known for is either gone or demolished by now. I then looked up the history of Stockdale and talked with Angie (Roberts) because she is the town’s historian and talked to a couple of other people she told me to talk to. I had a plaque made at Portsmouth Monument and Stockdale is now building a platform to put it on. It is quite big. It is big enough that people can read it from far away.”

Rigsby added, “I went through the entire cemetery and I broke it in half. I did the old section and then the new section. With the old section, you could barely read any of the stones, so I spent like three months just cleaning stones. It was easier to do after that, so I had my mom with me and she would write the information I could find. You know how blind people read braille. I was feeling the stones letter by letter by hand. We got the names of everyone we could and the dates of everything that was on the stones.”

Rigsby concluded, “Then I was able to do the new side and I put it all on a spreadsheet and then organized those in alphabetical order and made a PowerPoint. I took a picture of each stone and what the stone looked like before you went to the cemetery and tried to find it.”

Rigsby added that there are over 500 people buried there, but only 300 some stones because some of them have three to four people listed on the stones. She was then able, with her dad’s help, to turn the PowerPoint into a slideshow, to where they turned it into a video and posted it on YouTube, on Facebook and pages on there, like Stockdale community, alumni, and places like that. She said many commented on them that they didn’t even know their relatives were buried there.

The requirement for the gold award is spending 100 hours and Rigsby said that she spent well over 200 hours. She has since received the gold award and has been told that they are trying to set up the award ceremony in June or July due to COVID. Thanks to Rigsby, Stockdale has a nice cemetery to visit and a record of everything in that cemetery.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights