On Tuesday I shared the few details I have been able to glean on the lives of Harkless Hicks, his first wife Hattie, and his second wife, Josie. On Thursday I wanted to head over to Grandview Cemetery to see where they were buried. But first I had to figure out where they were. There are a couple of ways to go about finding folks at Grandview. I knew of a couple and learned about a third. So I thought I’d share these various ways in case Forgotten Fort Collins readers are interested in searching for family members or others at Grandview.
Use the kiosk at the entrance to the cemetery
If you’re in Fort Collins and want to see a grave site in person, then probably the easiest way to find the site is by using the information kiosk right at the entrance to the cemetery. It’s very easy to use, and there are handy maps on the side of the kiosk that you can grab and take with you to help find the area you’re looking for.
Stop in at the cemetery office
The cemetery office used to be located in the old stone building right at the entrance, but it has recently moved to the City Park Shop at 413 S. Bryan Ave. over by Fire Station No. 2, just west of Sheldon Lake. You can give them a call, or just drop by, to get help with locating individuals and families in the cemetery. (Find out office hours, phone numbers, and other info on the City website.)
You can also grab a copy of Walk Gently Through Grandview Cemetery. 20 Years of Honoring Fort Collin’s Past, a booklet that gives brief bios of every person that has ever been featured in the Fort Collins Cemetery Stroll. The Cemetery Stroll is the longest, continually running history event in Fort Collins.
Use the online cemetery search tool
You can get to the online search tool by going to the Grandview Cemetery page on the City website. Once there, click on the “Map of Cemeteries” link. This sometimes pops up a warning from the City about how information might not be up to date, yada yada yada, don’t sue us, thanks. Click the “yeah, yeah. whatever” button. (I no longer get this warning, so I’m not actually sure what the button says. But it’s going to be something along the lines of “OK.”)
You’ll end up with a map of north Fort Collins. You can either start zooming into the cemetery by clicking on the area just west of Sheldon Lake or, and this is far cooler, just use the search box in the upper right hand corner of the page. When I entered “Hicks,” I got 18 results. Three of them were Josie, Hartness (Do you see how Harkless’s name was rarely spelled the same way twice?!!), and Hattie.
Clicking on the name of a person will provide quite a bit of cool information about that person’s burial, such as where their burial plot is, their name, age at death, birth and death date, even the name of the cemetery director at the time of their burial. You can also sometimes get information on next of kin or the name of the person that buried them and their relation to the deceased.
Be aware that the overlay that pops up and shows where the plots are isn’t always quite right on. From the looks of it online, none of the Hicks family received a headstone. But when I went to visit the gravesite myself, I found that what looked like a foot stone (Did you know there was such a thing in cemeteries? Most stones are head stones, but occasionally there’s a smaller one at the other end.) was actually a stone for Hattie Hicks.
Hattie died in 1906. She had been married to Harkless for 23 years. Based on the fact that Josie, Harkless’ second wife, didn’t have a stone, it appears that Harkless was doing better financially in 1906 than he was in 1922, when Josie passed.
When Harkless buried his wives, he left a plot in the middle for himself. So after all my research on Harkless, which really didn’t turn up that much information about what kind of man he was, I’m left with the one small detail that he buried his wives in such a way that he would rest eternally between hardworking, low-key Hattie on the one side and his firecracker of a wife, Josie, on the other.
I want to thank Kathleen Tuttle who helped me figure out how to use the online tools to get information about Harkless and his wives. Thanks, Kathleen!
The photo at very top shows Hattie’s stone just right of center. Harkless is buried slightly towards the foreground in the picture and Josie is just to the right of him.