Friday, January 8, 2010

Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville, Montgomery, TN

Burial place of William(Willie) Blount, 4th Governor of Tennessee; and Austin Peay IV, the 40th Governor of Tennessee.
Willie Blount was the half-brother of Territorial Governor, William Blount, and served as his private secretary. He served as Governor from 1809 until 1815. He attempted to run for another term in 1827, but lost to Sam Houston.
Austin Peay IV was the only Governor to have died while in office. He served from 1923 until 1927, when failing health took his life. He helped establish the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The college in Clarksville was renamed in his honor in 1929.

The Cemetery at Greenwood was established in 1873 as the first "perpetual care" cemetery in Clarksville. Families from the two older cemeteries, Riverview and Trinity, moved many of their loved ones to the new cemetery. Many of Clarksville's most prominent citizens are buried here, including the two Governors mentioned above, and "Gomer Pyle USMC" actor, Frank Sutton. It is currently the largest cemetery in Clarksville.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pleasant Forest Cemetery, Farragut, Knox County, TN

Burial place for the Second Governor of Tennessee, Archibald Roane.Born in Pennsylvania in 1759. Served as Governor between the terms of John Sevier, from 1801 to 1803. Friend of Andrew Jackson, who helped get him elected to Governor. He served under George Washington in the Revolutionary War and was present at Yorktown for the surrender of Cornwallis. He died in 1819 and is buried here, in far west Knox County. Roane County in Tennessee is named for him.
This cemetery is one of the oldest in the area. It was established in 1796 and many of the stones in the areas photographed here are very old and many were hard to read. There is a large marker that notes that this land was given by David and Mary Steel Campbell, who emigrated from Virginia and established the fort here called Campbell's Station.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Knoxville Courthouse, Knoxville, Knox County, TN

Burial place of First Governor of Tennessee, John Sevier.John Sevier and both wives, Sarah Hawkins and Katherine "Bonnie Kate" Sherrill, are buried on the grounds of the old Knoxville Courthouse in downtown Knoxville.
John Sevier was born in Virginia in 1745. He served as the Governor of the State of Franklin, the first attempt to turn the area of Tennessee into a state yet failed after four years, and was the first and third Governor of Tennessee, serving from 1796 to 1801 and then again from 1803 to 1809. He served as a Colonel in the Revolutionary War and was at the infamous Battle of Kings Mountain, NC. He was infamous in Tennessee for his Indian fighting and helped to settle much of the area in East Tennessee. After his second term as Governor, he spent time in the Tennessee State Senate and the US House of Representatives.
Sevier died in 1815 while out surveying land in Alabama near the Georgia border. He was buried in a modest plot in near Fort Decatur, Alabama until 1889 when the Daughters of the American Revolution and Tennessee residents had his remains moved to the grounds of the Knox County Courthouse.
"Sarah Hawkins, First Wife of Gov John Sevier, 1746-1780. She was the love of his youth, the inspiration of his manhood, a gallant, courageous colonial and revolutionary patriot. Her descendants number many notable leaders of men. Tennessee's First Five Star Mother."
The back of the markers reads:
"Sarah Hawkins Sevier, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Marlin Hawkins, born in Shenandoah County, Virginia. 1746. Died in Washington County, Tennessee, 1780. She had an unusual education and great strength of character. Married to John Sevier at fifteen, she was for the nineteen creative, formative years of his life the greatest single factor in his spectacular early rise to fame and fortune. A wise, capable, understanding wife and mother who commanded her husband's post in his absences. Made the hazardous journey down the Shenandoah Valley in December 1773, with seven children under eleven years of age. The mother of ten, giving five fighting sons to the protection and building of Tennessee. Finally giving her life during an Indian uprising."
She died just after giving birth to her tenth child, after having been moved to the fort along the Nolichuckey River. Because of the Indians in the area, she had to be buried in the woods secretely. Her grave has never been found. The monument here was placed June 3, 1946, the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Katherine Sherrill Sevier BONNY KATE
Died in Russellville, Ala. October 7, 1836.
Kate married Sevier in 1780, after the death of his first wife. She and Sevier had eight children. She was nearly as infamous as her husband for her bravery during the many Indian attacks of the time. She was by John's side to serve as First Lady in each of his terms as Governor and was much loved by the residents of the state. There are schools and other areas of east Tennessee that are named for her. She died while living in Alabama in 1836. In 1922, descendants authorized the moving of her remains to lay beside John at the Knox County Courthouse.
A few months after the re-interment of Bonny Kate, the original headstones of John and Kate were presented to Knox County and placed upon the wall of the courthouse, near where they are now buried.

Near the original headstones is a memorial marker to another heroic Tennessean. The marker reads:
Captain Charles T. McMillan II
United States Air Force
Husband of Janice Means McMillan
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Only Son of Charles T and Nora Long McMillan
Corryton, Tennessee Born Oct 5, 1951
A Tennessee Volunteer who gave his life
while attempting to rescue 53 American
hostages in Iran, April 25, 1980
A privilege of many to love our country,
but destiny decrees that some
make the supreme sacrifice

Charles McMillan is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Knox County, TN

Burial place of First Territorial Governor of Tennessee, William Blount.
Founded 1792, with James White, John Adair and George McNutt founding elders. White, who gave the ground for the Church, is buried here, as are Samuel Carrick, first pastor and president of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee, William Blount, Governor of the Southwest Territory, and many other prominent pioneers.
(from historical marker)
William Blount, 1749-1800. Served as Territorial Governor from 1790 to 1796. He was a member of the Continental Congress and signed the US Constitution in 1787(as a representative of North Carolina). He also served as a Senator from the state of Tennessee from 1796-1997. He named the town of Knoxville for Secretary of War, Henry Knox. His home, built in 1792 in downtown Knoxville, still stands. There was an attempt to impeach him from the US Senate, but it failed. The people of Tennessee loved him however, and he was elected to the State Senate and served as Speaker until his death in 1800.
"In Memoriam JAMES WHITE
Founder of Knoxville, Born Iredell County, NC 1747, Died Knoxville, Tennessee Aug 14, 1821
Captain and Colonel in Revolutionary War, Brigadier General State Troops
Elder First Presbyterian Church, Donor of land for this church and graveyard"
It was part of James White's turnip field that became the churchyard in 1792. He had come to the area and set up home and fort near the forks of the Tennessee River and First Creek in 1786. When the town was to be established, White gave the land between First and Second Creek for it.

The church and graveyard sit on State Street, between Clinch Avenue and Church Avenue. The view in the first photo is from Clinch Ave, the street you see below is State. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Richardson Cemetery, Smyrna, Rutherford County, TN

I have my daughter to thank for finding this small graveyard. It is located along her bus route, and one day she came home to say she thought she had seen some headstones. At first I dismissed her claim, as I knew there were no cemeteries at all in the vicinity of her school. After she later insisted that she had indeed seen headstones(that's my girl!), I had to check it out.

This small burial area is located just off Old Nashville Highway on Todd Lane. There are eight marked graves and an unknown number of unmarked. Only 2 of the graves have actual headstones, one being a military marker and the other a modest small flat granite marker.

The military marker belongs to Leonard S Richardson, 2nd Lt US Army, who died May 23, 1999. The other marker is for Larry Crawford Jr, who died April 18, 1984. The other markers are all funeral home markers. The surnames(that I could read) include Richardson and Davis. The most remarkable one is for Michael R Davis, who died May 23, 1974. His funeral home marker has been fixed onto a concrete slab, and it still lovingly reads "Pork and Beans" in the type at the top.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brown and Elder Cemetery, Leanna, Rutherford County, TN

This African-American cemetery is located just east of State Route 840 on Joe Brown Rd and north of the exit to Sulphur Springs Rd. As it is still a fairly new cemetery, I did not photograph most of the markers. Many were simply funeral home markers. There are probably 50-75 graves, maybe more unmarked. Many of the surnames are Brown and Elder, with Alexander, Finney, Gooch and Smith also. I'm not certain if I had found the "Joe Brown", but there was a marker that was a small homemade concrete cross with letters bought from a supply store-but most had faded and could not be read.

The main sign was down when I visited, I hope to get back one day and get a better photo of the entrance.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Zack Taylor Batey Cemetery, Blackman, Rutherford County, TN

I found this small cemetery by searching zoning maps. It is located at the back of a yard of a home. It is surrounded by a low thick brick wall. There appears to be about 8-10 burials here. The large marker in the middle has a listing of the members of this family that are buried here. All the rest of the markers that I could see were fieldstones except for one. The one marker with an inscription is a small modest marker that says:
Jennie O Pishan McGuire Nicks Sep 25, 1877-Dec 16, 1931
The family marker lists the following names:
Zack Taylor Batey Nov 18, 1848-Dec 9, 1920
Katherine Richardson Batey Mar 2, 1859-Feb 22, 1923
Albert Green Batey Dec 6, 1879-Aug 5, 1929
Evelyn Macklin Batey Sep 7, 1899-Oct 11, 1899
James LaFayette Batey Jr Feb 16, 1925-Jul 18, 1926
Lorena Lynne Batey Sep 11, 1954-Sep 13, 1954
Lola Katherine Tramel Sep 15, 1964-Sep 15, 1964

According to some sources, Zack Batey is the grandson of Captain William Batey, a Revolutionary War soldier who settled near Blackman and is buried a few miles south of here. Zack's father is listed as Benjamin Bass Batey, whose grave I have not located, though a wife and another son, James M. Batey, are said to be buried in another small cemetery a few streets over. However that cemetery can not be found at this time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year!

One of my resolutions is to spend more time keeping this blog up to date. One of the first things I'm going to do is post information on all of the cemeteries that I have found in my county, Rutherford County, Tennessee, that were never listed in the historical society's books. These are cemeteries that I found spending hours and hours researching old maps, zoning maps, various books about the county and its history, and time spent simply driving every road in the county looking. Then I hope to get back to posting some of the more interesting cemeteries, graves and stories about cemeteries from the southeast. I hope you enjoy reading them.