Memorial service hosted for woman who lived nearly a century ago

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield community will be honoring a woman who helped wounded soldiers in the battle at Wilson’s Creek.

Rhoda Day Jones was born into slavery in Georgia and ended up in Springfield after the famliy that owned her traveled there.

Jones later died in Springfield and was buried in an unmarked grave at Hazelwood Cemetery.

Pat Haas is president of the Mary Whitney Phelps Tent, a branch of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Haas said they are finally giving Jones a headstone after she died more than a century ago.

“When the battle began, she and Roxanna took all the children to the cellar for safety,” said Haas. “When the battle was over and they came out, their home had been turned into a field hospital. Rhoda and Roxanna helped heal wounded soldiers.”

Haas said Jones never got the proper memorial she deserved.

“It’s close to Memorial Day, we actually planned it last may but couldn’t do it because of COVID,” said Haas. “It’s been 123 years since her death. She never had a headstone so now we’re giving the headstone that she deserved to have.”

With the help of Pitts Chapel, a memorial will be hosted for Rhoda Day Jones on Sunday, May 23.

“We don’t know if she has any living descendants, we have a couple of genealogists that tried to research that,” said Haas. “This will be helpful to, not only who might be her family, but to our African American community itself.”

The public is welcome to attend and details of the memorial service and marker dedication can be found below:

  • Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 2 p.m.
  • Hazelwood Cemetery (1642 E. Seminole)

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