Request: Reburial

Activist takes his quest to investigate the Chico Cemetery to the state

Willie Hyman

Willie Hyman


In February, the CN&R published an article, “Buried under the road,” that raised a question as to a portion of paved road at the Chico Cemetery that a now-deceased cemetery historian had said covered over as many as 24 bodies. Many of the graves were those of early African-American Chicoans.

Willie Hyman, president of civil-rights watchdog group the Butte Community Coalition, is still on the case. He has tried several times—through letters and phone calls—to get in contact with the Chico Cemetery, to no avail. He wants the portion of road in the oldest section of the cemetery dug up to find out if bodies are, indeed, buried there.

Just last week, Hyman (pictured) sent a letter to the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau of the state Department of Consumer Affairs. In it he requests immediate action to remove the road and rebury any bodies found underneath it.