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Fayette County, Alabama
~ Jenkins Family Cemetery ~

Location: Southwest of Pea Ridge (S29-T15S-R10W)
Copied by: Herbert M. Newell Jr. & Jeanie Patterson Newell - 28 Mar 1959 

JENKINS, Verris R. - Feb 2, 1861 - Sept 30, 1933

JINKINS, M.C., wife of Gen'l L.W. Jinkins - May 15, 1825 - Aug 14, 1890 

JINKINS, L.W. (Gen'l) - Sept 16, 1822 - Jan 20, 1863 

DEVOURS, M.A. - Feb 18, 1851 - Aug 2, 1888 

JENKINS, Mary A., wife of Lewis Jenkins - Abt. 1786 - Aug 30, 1855  

JENKINS, Lewis - Nov 15, 1786 - Jan 27, 1863 ~ Pvt. Austin's Regt. S.C. Militia, War of 1812 

WHEELER, Maggie M., wife of C.A. Wheeler - died Dec 8, 1893  

HYDE, Earnest, son of J.M. & S.E. Hyde - Oct 31, 1902 - Aug 4, 1903

"The Jenkins Graveyard"
by Carrie Deavours
a special to the Broadcaster

In the deep woods, almost hidden away from the world, is a graveyard of distinguished people who left their mark on Fayette County History but whose living descendants are few in number.

This is the resting place of Lewis and Mary A. JENKINS and a few of their offspring.  Inscribed on his tombstone is: Pvt. AUSTIN's Regt. S.C. Militia - War of 1812 - born November 15, 1786 and died January 27, 1863.  His wife Mary A. [SANDERS] JENKINS born abt 1786; died August 30, 1855.  Her grave is the oldest one marked.

General L.W. JENKINS, evidently their son, was born September 16, 1822 and died January 20, 1863 thus dying seven days before his father.  His wife was born May 15, 1825 and died August 14, 1890.  They had at least five sons and two daughters.  [L.W. Jenkins was a son of Lewis Jenkins, and several of his children were buried here according to Greenberry Jenkins' book.]

The son Verris ["Buck" JENKINS was] born February 02, 1867, died September 30, 1933, married Susanna FOWLER, born 1867, died in 1958.  She is buried in the Berry Cemetery.

One daughter, M. [Mathelda] Alice JENKINS, born February 18, 1851, died August 02, 1888, married George Washington DEAVOURS.  They had triplet sons, but only one Lucian lived to maturity.

The other daughter Maggie M. [JENKINS] wife of C.A. WHEELER, M.D., died December 08, 1893.  Dr. WHEELER was well known in the North River beat and married Siney KIMBRELL after Maggy's death.  They had one son Kelcy.  The doctor is buried at Musgrove Chapel.

The JENKINS men were a unique class.  They nicknamed most all their acquaintances, both male and female, and not just ordinary names.  I made a collection of many of them from my dear father-in-law, the late H.V. DEAVOURS.

They called my father, Bedford SAWYER, the Whangadoodle.  In about 1913 he helped "put up" a phone line and it was called the "Whangadoodle Line."  Once at a writers conclave, I asked the guest speaker, a Poet Laureate of South Carolina, Dr. Archibald RUTLEDGE, what the word meant, as I had seen a reference to it on a visit to Hepsidam, Winston County.  He thought it was a mystical creature of undefined characteristics, a human usage.

Uncle John SAWYER was the Gander, Uncle Henry was Duggan, cousins Austin and Verris, Dobber and RufeJohn SMITH was Sidehar (side harrow), Isaac DEAVOURS, the Gabbet, and William SMITH, Diadapper.

But they also named each other.  Verris [JENKINS] was called Buck, Sidney P. [JENKINS], buried at Mt. Zion Methodist Cemetery, was Thacker, Alvin Sumner [JENKINS], buried at Studdards Crossroads, was Dude.  I can't recall those given to Freeman S. and William P. (other than Bill) but some of the relatives may know.  Mrs. Eula HAMMACK told me her husband Bill was called Bogs, [but] he didn't exactly cherish the assignment.  My mother Margaret SAWYER, was the Goose, Mrs. Florentine BROWN was the Cultivator

Once Mr. Jim ELLIS "rung up" Mr. FREEMAN to inquire of his wife, Sis, who had been "under the weather," to which he replied, "Oh, she's complainin' of feelin' better this mornin'."  Another time he called to ask about some sick and aged, very sick man: "Oh, he went west last night" (died).

My husband and I cleared off this old burial ground on a recent Saturday.  It was badly overgrown.  I got the feeling of stepping back into history, viewing the unusual care used in committing these loved ones to their last resting places.  First a large skillfully hewn stone about seven feet by five feet was laid, then another, about six feet by four feet laid on top of this, then the marker.  A hewn rock wall encircled it.  A cedar tree and a thick stone were placed in each corner.  A four-strand wire fence rusting away, enclosed it.  One small grave, not a Jenkins, read Earnest HYDE, son of J.M. and S.E. HYDE, born October 31, 1902 and died August 04, 1903.

These people were honest, moral and skillful.  They lived better than most.  All had large orchards, bees and vegetable gardens. Mr. FREEMAN had a Cider Mill.  They were also rock masons, and a few chimneys still stand, attesting to their art.  Well curbs their were their specialty, knowing how to cut a perfectly round or square hole to accommodate the old oaken bucket.  They lived near each other and had few children.  Lewis JENKINS likely had land granted to him for war service.

Any relative reading this might want to revisit this quiet and lovely spot.  If so, you will have to wind your dusty way through and around mounds of dirt and rock, for Mr. PEABODY's coal trucks have hauled their broad acres away!

Source: Undated, loose newspaper clipping on file at the Jasper, AL, library.  Information within brackets [ ] was added by the submitter.

Generously contributed by
Betsy Haley Dill

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This page last updated 05 May 2005.