Bettendorf woman returns 136-year-old tombstone

BETTENDORF, Ia. (KWQC)- Jenny Begeske and her family have lived in the Quad Cities for many years, but it was just 15 years ago that they made an unusual discovery.

“We had little kids at the time and we were cleaning up the yard and a couple of the kids toys had been in the neighbor’s yard so we were cleaning those up, and my husband happened to see something like a stone under a lilac bush.”

Her husband had discovered a baby’s tombstone near their yard dated over 130 years ago.

“We always felt like this was somebody’s baby, and we have kinda and you know just couldn’t leave it behind.”

The Begeskes moved to Bettendorf and brought the tombstone with them. Over the years, they searched to find where the tombstone belonged, but weren’t successful.

“We weren’t able to come up with anything we had you know search even the parent’s names are on the headstone we searched the parent’s names and you know we just couldn’t find anything.”

One day, while watching a Fran Riley Feature, Jenny made a startling revelation. She realized she had been spelling the last name on the tombstone wrong for all these years. Once she began searching the correct spelling of the last name she was able to find the cemetery of where the tombstone came from.

“I found the parent’s names I found a map of the cemetery that was made in 1974, and somebody in 1974 had mapped out the cemetery and written exactly what was on the baby’s headstones, and it had a little diagram of where the baby was supposed to be buried.”

Friday, Jenny brought the tombstone back to Burch Cemetery, the place it originally came from.

“I don’t know why somebody would have taken it from the cemetery.”

She said she’s now filled with a sense of relief, knowing that she did the right thing.

“It’s indescribable, like I said I don’t know why, you know things kind of happened the way they did but for whatever reason I think I was meant to watch that story, and I know those pieces were meant to click together.”

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