Former Louisiana governor’s gravesite found in Rapides Parish

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Former Louisiana Governor Joseph Walker’s gravesite has been found in Rapides Parish after being missing for 60 years.

Walker was the 13th governor of Louisiana, serving from 1850 to 1853.

Local historians found the gravesite off Bayou Rapides Rd., after searching for the historical landmark since the 1950′s.

Benjamin Fuselier, a local metal detectorist, said, “The fact that the graveyard had been missing for so long is because the tombstone or the markers that we know from that time period are not where they used to be.”

When the former governor passed away in 1856, he was buried in a family graveyard located on his property in Rapides Parish. In 1864, his home was burned to the ground and then nearly a century later, the gravesite went missing.

“Something happened around 1960 in which the graveyard was plowed under to use for cultivation of plants. It is a great loss to our state’s history,” said local historian Michael Wynne.

Local historians said that aerial maps, artifacts and witness statements helped pinpoint the location of Walker’s burial site several weeks ago.

“The finding of this grave for Governor Walker is very important in our state’s history,” said Wynne. “In fact, he is the youngest governor that we never knew where the grave was. His graveyard has been missing for sixty years, and we have now found it.”

The historians who found the gravesite are hoping a historical marker is put up in front of the location to honor the former governor.

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