Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mills Pioneer Cemetery

Yesterday I visited Mills Pioneer Cemetery, one of the older cemeteries in Livingston County, Kentucky. It's located about two miles outside Salem, on Highway 723S. It's on a small hill on the left side of the road. The cemetery is easy to miss as it is badly overgrown with briers and bushes and there are many fallen branches obscuring the tombstones.

Originally, I planned to get close enough to photograph the cemetery marker, but the pull of the cemetery was too strong. Maneuvering over branches and twisting free of briers, I managed to photograph a few of these very old tombstones. It was impossible to get to the back of the cemetery or to determine its size.

In 1999 in the Crittenden Press, there was a list of burials in Mills Pioneer Cemetery (1824-1925). The earliest burial date in the list is for Mary Phillips, who was born 1788 and died 1827. The latest burial date on the list is that of Isaac Linley, who was born in 1855 and died in 1933. In fact, the latest three or four burials on the list are all for members of the Linley family.

Another early tombstone is this one for Mrs. Clara Fowler:

To the Memory
Mrs. Clara Fowler
Who departed this life
Aug. 22nd 1829
in the 50th year of her age

According to Annals of The Fowler Family by Mrs. James Joyce Arthur (Glenn Dora Fowler Arthur), 1901, Clara Wright married Godfrey Fowler, both of North Carolina, and they were the parents of Wiley P. Fowler, the well known judge of western Kentucky.

It is sad to see the condition of this cemetery. The clearing of this cemetery would be a worthy project for a civic-minded organization and a great way to honor the early settlers of Salem.

Information on other tombstones in this cemetery will be featured in later postings of this blog.

Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Very interesting, Brenda. I hope you watch for snakes!

It truly is sad to see some of the oldest cemeteries so overgrown. In my little neighborhood, I know of several badly overgrown family cemeteries that contain graves of people who lived and died before the Civil War. The sad thing is that their descendants still live right in the neighborhood, but they make no effort to maintain the graveyards.

When my son was a Boy Scout, his troop cleaned up several old graveyards of Christian County as Eagle service projects. However, graveyards need maintenance at least once a year as a minimum.