Honored citizen Mose White Jr., shown in his barber shop, was awarded a certificate of appreciation from Mike Dumas, mayor of El Dorado, for taking on the clean-up effort of Lott Burgy Cemetery in El Dorado and restoring it to its original state.
Honored for service
El Dorado citizen recognized for saving of local cemetery, other contributions to city
By HEATHER HAWLEY News-Times Staff
A small crowd gathered on a recent afternoon at Magic Mirrors Barber Shop to honor Mose White Jr. for his service to the community.
Mayor Mike Dumas was among thosewho assembled in the small shop on East Hillsboro last week. Dumas said over a decade ago, one of the city’s cemeteries was in bad condition and the city considered shutting it down. "The Lott Burgy Cemetery is a city cemetery near the downtown airport," he said. "Back then, it’s been 15 years ago, Lott Burgy Cemetery was in deplorable condition: weeds, grass, washings, cave ins, some caskets were exposed and we had to do something about it."
The mayor also said it was White who stepped up take responsibility for its care and management.
"Mose White Jr. took on the job himself of saving that cemetery and with help from the city, he was able to finish and go back and fill in all the cave-ins," he said. "He took it over, personally, by himself and literally saved Lott Burgy Cemetery and today it is a clean, well-maintained cemetery. I don’t have any complaints." White, owner of the Magic Mirrors Barbershop, said he knew the city was going to close the cemetery, so he took control. "They were about to shut it down because it was run down so bad," White said.
He also said he and his friends did work on the cemetery.
"We (revamped) it. It needed a new entrance and we did a lot of things, not just mowing it," he said. "We put drainage in. There were a lot of drainage ditches, so we put culverts in and built a new entrance in."
The amazing detail, the mayor said, was the fact that White turned the cemetery around with his own money and hard work.
"He got no money out of the city," he said. "We provided him with some dirt, but the rest of it came out of his pocket. It was his sweat that took care of that cemetery. He took charge and brought it back."
Dumas said White saved the cemetery and went to his shop Sept. 8 to recognize him with a proclamation for his efforts not only with the cemetery, but also with in the community itself.
"I was recognizing him for his community service, not only with the Lott Burgy Cemetery, but for his care and his belief of reaching out to especially the elderly. He has personally taken on the responsibility to assist several elderly individuals over the years when they had reached the point where they wanted to remain independent and stay in their homes," Dumas said.
"He went the extra mile to reach out and see that they stayed there, not only by keeping their houses repaired and their yards mowed. He really tried to reach out and did reach out to take care of several elderly."
He said he gave White a Proclamation of Recognition for being a strong part of the community.
"I was recognizing him for his community mindedness, for his service to his fellow man, and what he did to save the cemetery." Dumas also said he declared Sept. 8 a special day to be remembered in the city of El Dorado.
"I have declared last Wednesday (Sept. 8) Mose White Jr. Day."
Congratulations Mose . . . Supporter and sponsor for El Dorado Days! We are so proud of you! Keep up the great work!