Home builders find headstone at construction site

This headstone was discovered at the site of a home under construction in the 10,000 block of Scotch Pines Road in Payette on Wednesday. It has since been confirmed that the site, while nearby the Rosedale Memorial Gardens cemetery, is not a gravesite. Rather it is a plot of land where a duplicate headstone had been discarded.

PAYETTE

Construction crews building a new house in the 10,000 block of Scotch Pines Road made an interesting discovery on Wednesday. While clearing the space to be used for the house’s backyard, a heavy equipment operator found a headstone.

Upon making this discovery, the operator immediately contacted the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, whose deputy after evaluating the situation, turned the matter over to Payette County Coroner Keith Schuller. In a phone conversation with the newspaper on Thursday, Schuller said an investigation was underway to determine whether a grave presently exists beneath the headstone.

The headstone was created to mark the grave of Leverett E. Goodell, of Cairo. The headstone indicates Goodell was born March 11, 1891.

A genealogical search found that Goodell was born in Haigler, Dundy, Nebraska. He married Lillian Ethel Faltz on Feb. 19, 1931 and died in Ontario on June 12, 1944 at age 53.

According to Schuller, Goodell’s body could have at one point been buried there, as the site was near Rosedale Memorial Gardens cemetery, which had since been sold. The newspaper has a request for more information pending with the Payette County Assessor’s Office.

However, Dennis Haren, who is the current owner of Rosedale Cemetery, said that the site the marker was found was adjacent to the cemetery, on property where the previous owner lived, but confirmed the found property was neither at the cemetery nor a gravestone.

Haren said Goodell is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario and the headstone was a duplicate which was disposed of. Officials at the Ontario cemetery confirmed this to be true.

Schuller said the property owners cooperated in his office’s investigation by checking property records to determine if a body is buried there.

If Goodell’s body had been found there, relocation of the body would have required the owners to obtain a disinterment permit.

Work is continuing at the site, and crews on Thursday had temporarily moved away from the headstone until more was known.

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