A new home for Robert
By Jacob Hatcher
On June 28, 1909, a circuit preacher named Jeremiah Cullom wrote in his journal, “A very strenuous day…At nine o’clock, funeral of little Bob Floyd at Locks.”
Little Bob Floyd laid in that simple grave for more than a century. While his family ate watermelon in the yard, carved turkey at the table and opened presents by the fire, he laid there.
While his brothers and sisters went to school, he laid there. As his nieces and nephews were born, he laid there. No one’s quite sure when, but eventually the family moved away from the old home place, and still he laid there.
Every winter the snow blanketed what used to be the garden, and every spring the undergrowth pulled at the house more and more, until all that’s left standing is part of a chimney.
And still he laid there.
He laid out in the woods by himself, until Aug. 29, 2022. As the sun beat down and mosquitos swarmed around us, Little Bob Floyd’s family went into those woods and went back in time.
We stood where Jeremiah Cullom had stood and took the dirt back out of the ground until we finally looked into that hole and saw some cedar planks, the likes of which had not been seen since before the Titanic sank. I was overwhelmed at what I was seeing. With one scoop of the excavator these names and stories I had heard my entire life all became so much more real. It was as if they were standing there with us.
The next day, Little Bob Floyd was moved to the church cemetery where his family is buried. No longer an orphan left alone in the woods, the earthly reminder of him will rest near those who loved him.
His grave will no longer be decorated with wildflowers and undergrowth, but beautiful bouquets. His existence will no longer be a footnote in a family history, but something that all comers will have a chance to discover.
The world may never know what could have been of him, but at least now the world has a chance to know of him.