Missing headstone has ties to Steele

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
This headstone was found in a building on Main Street in Dyersburg, Tenn. Hellen Ann Goad has been looking for the family of Eugene Bolden Jr., whose last known residence was in Steele, Mo.

Hellen Ann Goad of Ripley, Tenn., has been searching for the family of a headstone found at a building owned by her son. The headstone is that of Eugene Bolden Jr., who served his country in World War II and Korea. The last known residence of Bolden was in Steele, Mo.

“My son purchased a piece of property there on South Main in Dyersburg, Tenn.,” said Goad. “The building had to be cleaned up because the 2010 flood had damaged it severely. They went in and did a lot of cleanup. One of the workers found the headstone in one side of the building. So he got it and put it outside in front of the building.”

This is when Goad walked by and saw the headstone sitting there. “I just happened to come by there and saw it sitting there. I asked my son what that headstone was doing there. He said he didn’t know that it was just found in the building,” Goad explained. “So I went over there and read it and asked him what he was going to do with it. He said he didn’t know.”

Hellen Ann Goad

Goad then decided to try to find the family members of Eugene Bolden Jr. “I told him to load it up in my truck because I was going to try to find a family member of that fallen soldier. So he had the people working for him load it up.” Since then, she has been searching for a family member. “I’ve been asking people that had the last name Bolden, and nobody seems to know of a family member by this name.” She’s also been visiting and calling local funeral homes. However, that has been a dead end as well. “After going to and calling all the funeral homes and trying to get information on people being buried there, there was no one at any of them. There’s one funeral home that they said that possibly could have information, but it’s closed down. I know there is a family member out there somewhere, I feel like, who would love to know where their family member’s headstone is.”

Another avenue Goad has tried was contacting the previous owner of the building. He was aware of the headstone, but he told Goad he hadn’t give much thought to it. She said, “He rented the building to so many people. I tried to contact the last renter of the building, and his phone was disconnected.”

Eugene Bolden Jr., was born July 5, 1921, and died Dec. 6, 1983. According to Ancestry.com, he enlisted in the Army Aug. 11, 1943 and was released Sept. 11, 1952. He was issued a social security number in 1952 in South Carolina. Anyone with information regarding the headstone can contact Goad at (731) 445-7815.