COLBERT COUNTY, ALABAMA
This listing of Mhoontown
cemetery is taken
from the W.P.A. listing in the 1930’s.
Contributed By Steve Nicklas April 26, 1997
"Mhoontown Cemetery Holds Special Fascination For Cherokee
By Gene Vandiver Times-Daily Writer
Cemeteries dot the countryside around Cherokee, like freckles of the face of a small boy. Pride Cemetery, Smith Cemetery, Malone Cemetery and Lane Cemetery all tell just a little of the history surrounding the area, but MHOONTOWN Cemetery holds a special fascination for many of the residents. Perhaps it’s the tombs- the six great marble and granite slabs which remind all who see them the people buried underneath were something special. The 12 foot monuments are the dominant feature of the cemetery, leaping into view as soon as the final turn in the road to the gravesite is made. Perhaps it’s the setting- the tall ancient fir trees which issue almost humanlike groans when the wind blows or the haunting isolation of the well-manicured cemetery and church grounds. At any rate, for many years the citizens of Cherokee and the surrounding area have told their children tales of the burial place that is older than the state itself.
Probably many a child has lain awake after his grandmother told him of the Mhoon ghosts walking about at midnight, or of the gold that supposedly was buried with the owners under the weathered tombs. Or maybe the child wondered how the robbers got to the top of George Mhoon’s tomb to steal the fortune that was reportedly hidden in the huge urn there. But while citizens of the area told their children these stories, they themselves wondered just who the Mhoons were and what made them come to the country that was then so wild and unsettled.
Mrs. Rita Dailey, author of "A History of the Rose Trail" said in a recent interview that very little is known about the family. "The Mhoons were the older members of the Pride family, a well-known Colbert county family." explained Mrs. Dailey. "they came to the region in the really 1800’s and then left for California during the gold rush. Mrs. Dailey said the Mhoons came form North Carolina, and that they were apparently a fairly wealthy family. A check of the 1790 U.S. Census reveals that John Mhoon head of the family was a resident of Bertie County, NC., had five sons and three daughters, and was the owner of four slaves. The Mhoons arrived in North Alabama about 1801, and remained until the excitement of California Gold Rush caught the remaining family members in its grip. The last surviving Mhoon daughter-in-law died in childbirth, leaving no one to carry on the family name in what had by then become Franklin County, AL. That county was split into smaller counties in 1867, so Mhoontown is now located in Colbert County.
The inscriptions on the tomb tell something of the family’s history during their Alabama years. For instance, near the circle of tombs, adjacent to Mary Mhoon’s grave, is a small stone slab which reads: "Enclosed are the remains of John, infant son." which indicates another child was born to Mary Mhoon, family matriarch, soon after arriving in Alabama. Another inscription tells of how the family or at least part of the family, went back to North Carolina to fetch Lucy Mhoon’s mother when her second husband died. The mother’s grave is near the other tombs. The plot the family chose as their gravesite is isolated even now. The cemetery is located about five miles north of Cherokee, about a quarter-mile from the Tennessee River. Mrs. Dailey explained how the large and ornate tombs got to their site. "The marble for the tombs came from Italy," explained the North Alabama historian. "The tombs were made by a firm in St. Louis, and then shipped down the Mississippi around and up the Ohio River, and down the Tennessee. Then they were hauled over by oxcart." Since it took such a long time for the tombs to arrive the dead were often buried and the tombs ordered with the funeral held after they arrived. Mrs. Dailey told of how one North Alabama family sent out engraved invitations to the services. The Mhoons left, but their influence on the immediate are remained. The spot they chose as a cemetery became the spot for a church and the people continued to come to worship, to wonder at the old tombs, and to bury their dead in the cemetery. Naturally, many stories grew from the number of people speculation about the old burial spot. Mrs. Maggie smith, 84, a lifelong resident of Cherokee, explained how at least one of the notions, the one concerning the ghosts roaming at midnight came to be dispelled. According to Mrs. Smith, one of her relatives, the Rev. Jeff Smith, was pastor at the Mhoontown Methodist church. The Rev. Smith had become a minister at 14, and continued his ministry until he died at 105. Some of the people in the church had reported seeing lights in the old cemetery at night and he decided to show them there was nothing to fear. He stayed awake all one night in the church, observing the lights and in the morning happily reported to his flock what they had been seeing was not the lights of the Mhoon Family congregation around the old tombs, but plain old foxfire (a phosphorescent substance which glows in the dark.) Of course, some of the legends still exist, and rightly so, because they are as much a part of the cemetery as the huge tombs themselves. And the tombs along with the legends comprise a central part of Northern Alabama’s history. [Submitted by Freddie Mae Malone, Rt 2 box 163, Tuscumbia, Alabama, 35674]
Mhoon, John - Infant son of Lucinda I. and William S. Mhoon.
Born in Raleigh, NC Oct 11, 1831; died Tuscumbia, Ala. Jan. 25, 1837
Mhoon, William S. - This monument is erected to the memory of
William S. Mhoon, Born in Bertie Co., NC Dec 25, 1801
died in Franklin Co., AL .Dec, 26 1841. Age 43 years.
Mhoon, William Spivey - Was the son of John Mhoon and Mary his wife.
John was born in Marine Co., NC Nov 12,1761 and died
March 4, 1816. He was the son of Josiah Mhoon and Mourning his wife.
Mhoon, Mary - was born in Bertie CO., NC Oct 5, 1758,
died in Tuscumbia, AL Oct 16, 1838. She was the daughter of
Mose Spivey and Jemima, his wife. Moses S. was born Oct 19, 1729
and died Aug 2, 1771 and was the son of Joshua Spivey and Alie his wife.
Jemima the mother was born Nov 4, 1734 and was the daughter of
Jonathan Stanley and Margaret his wife. Mary was married to
James Bate June 20, 1776 who died June 3, 1787. Again married to
John Mhoon Feb 8, 1790 who was born Nov 12, 1761 and died
March 4, 1816. "In death and for many years before she enjoyed
most perfect assurance of immortal life."
Mhoon, Mary daughter Jas. E. and Mary A. Mhoon -
born Oct 5, 1858 - Died Nov 11, 1861
Fraser, John W. M. and Lucy W. Sacred to the memory of .
Born Mar 12, 1821 and died Jan 20, 1841 in 23 years of his age. JWMF.
Granbery, Letitia Cotton - Sacred to the Memory of Letitia Cotton, Daughter of
John and Lucy Bishop born in Halifax Co., NC April 9, 1775, died
Sept 3, 1849. she married William Granbery by whom she had five children.
John, Lucy, William, Josiah, and Langley. William Granbery the husband
died Aug 21, 1808. Lewis Cotton her last husband died Feb 8, 1817. She
came to this co. with her daughter Lucy the wife of James G. Moon June 1837.
James, W.C. - born Feb 24, 1836, d. Oct 10, 1895
Too good for earth, God called him home.
James, T.S. - born July 16, 1871 died Feb 21, 1890 Son W.C. and M.E. James
We will meet again.
James, D.F.,, - born Jan 22, 1879 died April 30, 1914 God called thee home,
He thought best.
James, G.W. - born July 20, 1890 died Nov 20, 1915 A precious one from us has gone.
James, Julie A. - 2/18/1870, 5/27/1926 Gone to a bright home where grief cannot come.
Bennett, Ella M. Cook b. Aug 9, 1857 d. Age 31 years. Wife J. J. Bennett
Blessed are they who walk in the fear of God.
Bennett, Sam M. - d. Nov 4, 1897 Age 8 years. Death in the crown of life
Lee, Ruben Jr. B&D Oct 26,1926. Son of R. and Bessie Lee :Gone to be and angel."
James, Mrs. Mary E.
Mhoon, James E. son of J.G. and A. Mhoon b. April 6, 1821 d. Feb. 16, 1868
46 years, 10 months, 10 days
Borex (Rorex?), Little Sue b. Nov. 13, 1884 died Feb 19, 1890
Daughter of L.A. and Jackie Borex
Benson, Sallie Lou b. May 5, 1870 d. Sept 1, 1873
She budded on earth to bloom in heaven.
Benson, Lucy daughter of J. S.H. Benson B. Oct 27, 1876 d Oct 20, 1886
Beautiful, Lovely she was but given a fair bud to earth to bloom in heaven.
Benson, John - b. Aug. 24, 1850, d. Feb 3, 1879
Benson, James F. b. Nov 4, 1867 d. Mar 2, 1890 Son of J. and S.H. Benson
his last words: I have crossed the river, Meet me in heaven."
Benson, John Calvin - d. Jan 5, 1930 Age 62 years, 10 months, 14 days.
Brown, Infant son of R.M. and M.S. Brown Died 1879
Brown, Infant daughter of R.M. and M.S. Brown Died 1886
Brown, Maggie L. - b. July 10, 1892 d. July 19, 1896 Gone but not forgotten
House, J.T. - born Jan 13, 1853, d June 1, 1885
Messer, Ada M. Beloved wife of F.M. Messer - Died April 10, 1883 Aged 22 years
Brown, Robert - Apr 25, 1858 d Feb 7, 1887
"Since thou can no longer stay to cheer me with the love
I hope to meet thee again in yonder bright world above"
Askew, Elizabeth M. - Feb. 26, 1804 died July 12, 1884 Wife of L.B. Askew
Here lies a sinner saved by grace
Brown, S.A. Askew b. July 11, 1833 d. Jan 10, 1983
Married to W. I. Brown on Mar 1, 1868. She was a good wife.
Brown, W. I. - b. Feb 15, 1836 - April 2, 1911 May he rest in peace.
Askew, W.T. - b. Feb. 7, 1835 - d May 15, 1925
Askew, Sarah A. - b. April 25, 1887 - d. Mar 22, 1905
Brown, Nora L. b. Apr 25, 1887 - July 18, 1888 Daughter. W. M. and S. F. Brown
McCaig, Infant daughter of J.F. and K.L. McCaig - d. Jan 19, 1911
Mhoon, James George erected to the Memory of -
b. in Bertie Co., NC April 22, 1792 d. in Franklin Co., AL Jan 15, 1853
Mhoon, Lucinda W. - May 31, 1798 - Aug 10, 1862 Wife of James G. Mhoon
Gibbs, J.H. - b. May 12, 1862 d. Feb 18, 1929 Erected by Woodmen of the World
Dill, Freddie W. b. Feb 24,1904 d. Oct 29, 1905 son of T.J. and Alice Dill
McCaig, Bessie b. Nov. 17, 1888 d. Oct 16, 1905
Daughter of W.E. and Annie McCaig
McCaig, Jimmie Lee - b. July 16, 1898 d. Nov 10, 1902
Daughter W.E. and Annie McCaig W.E. b.May 29,1849
McCaig, Annie - b. Oct 14, 1858 - d. Feb. 19, 1929
Beard, Ellen - Jan 19, 1829 d. Jan 10, 1913 Wife of G.S. Beard
Beard, G.S. - Nov 8. 1825 - d. Feb 23, 1910
Beard, F.M. - b. Sept 13, 1864 d. May 7, 1895
McCaig, George W. - b. Jan 16, 1893 d. Nov 11, 1898
Son of W. E. and Annie McCaig
Wadkins, Mae P. b. May 9, 1920 d. Feb 22, 1923
daughter Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Wadkins
Hearn, infant son of L.W. and E.M. Hearn b&d Jan 13, 1917
Elliot, Inf dau of W.L. and F.V. Elliot b&d Jan 13, 1917
Elliot, Inf son of W.L. and F.V Elliot b May 3, 1926 d. May 17, 1926
Watson, Wiley - b. Feb 14, 1852 - d. Jan 18, 1920
Watson, William - b. Mar. 4, 1919 d. Apr 3, 1919
Mitchell, Inf dau of M and M R.D Mitchell, b&d Dec 22, 1920
Thompson, John S. - b. Apr 6, 1893 d. Oct 7, 1923
Allison, Estes - b. Mar 20, 1912 - d. mar 6, 1925
Clark, Ernest M. - b. Sept 9, 1899 d. Feb 20, 1921
Sherrod, John H. - b. May 12, 1877 - d. Mar 21, 1926
Sherrod, L.A. - Wife of J.H. Sherrod - Jan 20, 1913 Aged 31 years
Barret, A.W. - b. Nov 25, 1852 - Jan 14, 1921
Boonett, Mrs Mary - Feb 10, 1933 Aged 83 years
Nicholas, Inf dau of S.O. and R.P. Nicholas - b&d Dec. 6, 1926
Dill, E. - b. Mar 10, 1859 - d. Oct 2, 1926
Thompson, Inf of Mr and Mrs. J.W. Thompson - bad July 29, 1917
Thompson, James H. b. Aug 11, 1910 d. Mar 21, 1913
Son of M&M J. W. Thompson
Dill, M.J. - b. Dec. 7, 1907, d Feb 12, 1908 dau of E. and J. Dill
Dill, Jessie b. Nov 17, 1876, d. Dec 26, 1912 Wife of Elijah Dill
Dill, L.M. - Nov. 25, 1972, d. Aug 28, 1918 Son of E and J Dill *(dates incorrect?)
Dill, W.E. - b. Mar 2, 1906 - d, July 19, 1921 Son E and J Dill
Walston, James Stevenson, b. Jan 12, 1876 d. Feb 5, 1876
Walston, Delula Jane - Jan 22, 1879
Benson, John Calvin - Jan 5, 1930 Aged 62 years
Benson, James F. - b. Nov 4, 1867 d. Mar 2, 1890 son J. and S.H. Benson
Bayless, Mary L. - b. Dec 6, 1870, d. Jan 5, 1887
Daughter W.B. and M.D. Bayless
Bayless, Martha D. - b. April 4, 1853 d. July 7, 1886
Wife Rev. W.B. Bayless
Bayless, Annie E. - July 11, 1883 Aged 25 days
Dau W.B. and M. D. Bayless
Bayless, Emma J. b Sept 20, 1880 d. Oct 17, 1881
Daughter W.B. and M. D. Bayless
Bayless, Bishop Marvin b. June 18, 1878 - d. Aug 4, 1879
Bayless, Fannie - b. Mar 14, 1874 - d. Mar 30, 1874
Collum, Charles Jr. b. Jan 13, 1926, d. Jan 19, 1929
Son C.W. and K.M. Collum
Medford, Lucile Wellington, Sept 22, 1913 d. Oct 30, 1930
Wife Dewey Medford
Cansbee, Sarah Francies - b July 2, 1844 - d. Nov 27, 1924
Ogletree, inf. Daughter of M and M Robert Ogletree - June 20, 1918
Turbville, Louise, b. Feb 17, 1920 d Oct 13, 1921 dau S. R. and M. L. Turbville
Smith, Katherine, b. Sept. 13, 1850 d, Apr 21, 1920 Wife Rev J. B. Smith
Askew, Edna Earl, b. Jan 15, 1909, d. June 10, 1922
daughter D. W. and Sallie Askew
Anderson, Lucy, Died Nov 11, 1911 Age 63 years Wife C.A. Anderson
Glover, Inf son of Sam and Bertie Glover b & d. Aug 21, 1917
Smith, James T. Feb 17 - Nov 26, 1919 Son Marvin and Maud Smith
Smith, Vernon C. - b. Oct 3, 1920 d. Feb 16, 1922
Son Marvin and Maud Smith
Smith, Inf son of M.S. and M.L. Smith - bad Feb 27, 1925
Glover, Velma V. B. Sept 5, 1923, d. Aug. 21, 1924
Daughter W.J. and E.L. Glover
Allison, H. B. - Aug 12, 1846 d. Jan 8, 1920 Husband of Mary E. Allison
Adams, Altemont, b. Mar 4, 1900 d. May 16, 1910 Son R.O. and M. Adams
Adams, Mattie - Aug 23, 1969 d. Aug 28, 1916 Wife of R.O. Adams
Bordon, Plina - b. Sept 17, 1881 d. Sept 2, 1928 Wife J.E. Borden
Borden, Inf son of J.E. & P.S. Borden b. Feb 1, 1920 d. Mar 11, 1920
Collum, J.T. - b. Dec 28, 1844 - d. July 3, 1924
Collum, Amanda M. - b. Dec 28, 1844 - d. July 3, 1924
Collum, Ed Died Aug 5, 1932 Aged 51 years
Leegeorce, Lora -. b. Nov 25, 1886 May 7. 1887
George, Paul Talmage, Son of J.D. and M.A. George
June 23, 1894 Age 8 days
George, Fred - son of James and Mary George
b. May 22, 1896, d. July 26, 1899
Pallon, N.W. - Jan 17, 1810 - d. Oct 17, 1887
Brown, W.M. - b Feb 4, 1851 d. Dec 8, 1887
Miller, Francis O. - Jan 15, 1896 , d. June 25, 1900
daughter R. A. and W.J Miller
Odle, Monroe C., - b Feb 26, 1885 d. Mar 19, 1899
Son of J. O. & S. J. Odle
Patrick, John - Died Feb 25, 1930, Age 65 Years
Warsham, J.T. - b. Oct. 7. 1863 - Sept 8, 1923
Gilbert, Clara Allen - b. Oct 14, 1903 - d. Oct 3, 1918
Age 14 years 11 months 20 days
Smith, Oliver - b. April 7, 1884, d. Dec 24, 1921
Hall, T. S. - b. Jan 13, 1851, d Apr 24, 1913
Glover, William b. May 17, 1857 - d. Dec 30, 1922
Ogletree, R. W. - b. Feb 2, 1863, d. Mar 31, 1923
Adams, Glen b. July 17, 1909, d. Sept 9, 1918
Son R. O. and M. H. Adams
Thompson, Carl S. b. Nov 16, 1921, d. Aug 15, 1923
Thompson, F. A., b. July 14, 1912, d. Jan 31, 1929
Thompson, James T., b. Aug 29, 1853, d. Sept 30, 1929
Wallace, Inf son of A.M. Wallace b & d July 22, 1929
Cochran, Robert F. b. Jan 22, 1863, d. Jan 27, 1927
Cochran, Mary Rosie, b. Oct 8, 1864, d. Aug 24, 1923
wife R. F. Cochran
Cornelious, Mary Lillian, b. Oct , 1895, d July 10, 1925
Wife T. M. Cornelious
Turner, Edward D. Dec 7, 1881
Turner, A.P. - b. June 27, 1847 - d. April 10, 1906
Lang, Gussie May b. July 30, 1902 d. Feb 27, 1905
Daughter O. E. and M. B. Lang