Messick Cemetery AKA Needmore, Cannaday and Liberty Baptist
This old cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Henry County. On 1 May 1828 William Cannaday donated ½ acre of land to The Liberty Congregation Church trustees Eli Fraizer, George Hedrick and Calvin Russell for use as a burial ground for the Liberty church. At one time it was maintained by the township trustee and was kept moved and maintained by them. Over the last couple of decades it has been completely forgotten and
allowed to become completely overgrown and abandoned. Several attempts by various individuals have cleaned this cemetery every year without any help from the township trustee. It is in terrible shape, the worst of any in Henry County. All stones but one, which was reset by descendents of that family, have been knocked over and covered with debris. Henry County should consider this an historic cemetery because of the epic novel and later the movie 'Raintree County' by Ross Lockridge that was based on life in Henry County in the mid-nineteenth century. The Dr. William B. Shockley, his wife Louisa and members of their family are portrayed as T. D. and Ellen Shawnessy in the novel and movie are buried in this old graveyard. That is why Henry County boast of being the "Raintree County." It seems that it should be given more respect than what it receives.
Bill and Evelyn Humbles and Glendon and Norma Plymale of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints recorded this cemetery in October of 1964.
In 1873-74, Mr. Thomas Hamm returned to this cemetery and attempted to record it again, but it was so overgrown several stones could not be located. Mr. Hamm used several other resources to come up with other burials in this cemetery that were not listed in the earlier recordings. There are five veterans of the War of 1812 buried here.