The Search for a Missing Headstone

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People say life is defined by big moments. And one of those moments changed the course of Steve Hanson's life. After tragically losing a son, he now helps the loved ones of others live on.

"I think just because of the age being part of it and the other part of it being with our son getting killed two years ago, excuse me, and finding some of the old family stones. I think that was a significant thing to go with it and then being township trustee and seeing the shape they were in made me decide it was time to do something," says Windsor Township Trustee Steve Hanson.

Steve noticed several headstones were in disrepair in the cemetery where his son was buried, and decided to change that. He took a class to learn how to properly refurbish headstones and has been doing it ever since.

"We've fixed several of them up that were laying flat on the ground, but a lot of them were just on their base leaning at a precarious angle and if you put a finger against them if you wanted to tip them right over and we wanted to level those up and make sure that they were solid enough that we didn't have to worry about them falling on anybody," says Hanson.

He took it upon himself to make a plot map of Lightner Ridge Cemetery. He's cleaned up many headstones there, but one grave remains a mystery. It's unmarked, and yet, for the past two years someone lays flowers on this spot.

"But I would like to add whoever is in that bare spot. And so I came up with the idea to make that PVC cross with a sign on it that says who is buried here," he says.

Looking for that final piece of the puzzle.

"More people are looking in genealogy and trying to look into their roots and chase history," says Hanson.

He's helping preserve history for generations to come.

If you have any information about who is buried there contact Steve at 740-559-2423 or email him at

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