Mysterious 169-year-old gravestone found in backyard of family's home

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MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa (WQAD) — You may recall two stories, the first and second from this past summer about a mysterious gravestone found buried in a Davenport backyard.

Since the discovery, WQAD News 8 has done some research to answer who the stone belongs to, how it ended up in Davenport, and where it belongs. On Thursday, Nov. 10, the stone was finally laid to rest in its rightful place.

Crunching leaves is the sound only autumn can make. But then from afar comes an interruption.

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Mysterious gravestone found in backyard of family’s home
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Mysterious gravestone found in backyard of family’s home
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The Nye Cemetery in Muscatine County is suddenly occupied by strangers — workers with the county conservation group. But these determined visitors bring something familiar, a member that's been missing for years.

It all started when this gravestone was dug up in a Davenport backyard.

The 169-year-old gravestone was found buried under a concrete wall about four inches into the dirt. Muscatine County Conservation officers suspect the stone traveled to Davenport back in the 1970's. They say that's a time when there was cemetery vandalism.

The gravestone was for Mary E. Wright from Montpelier, Iowa. At 19, Wright died and was buried in the Nye Cemetery in Muscatine County.

"We made a base to hold the stone upright," says worker Bob Kenyon.

Now, with the help of county workers, it was restored and is now being put back in its rightful place.

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