In the year of our Lord, 1872, Mrs. Sallie Cox, wife of Dr. P.M. Cox of Fayetteville, Arkansas, suggested the idea of gathering and interring Confederate dead in a befitting resting place.
On Monday, June 10, 1872, about 40 ladies met at the Methodist Church-South in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to discuss the possibility of establishing a Confederate Cemetery. The ladies favored taking steps to gather the Confederate dead who lay in and around Fayetteville. Mrs. T.M. Gunther was called to the chair and Miss Helen Severs requested to act as secretary. The election of officers included: President, Mrs. Mary Pollard; Vice-President, Mrs. Jane Gunther; Recording Secretary, Miss Helen Severs.
The Southern Memorial Association was born. Its declared purpose was the procuring of a suitable site for the interment of the Confederate dead, where the officers and soldiers who gave their lives for the Southern Cause might be collected and properly interred. The site was obtained, the ground enclosed, and a monument erected to the memory of those brave men.
At that time, the members of the Southern Memorial Association, in addition to the purposes mentioned above, determined to properly maintain the grounds, the wall around the cemetery, the monument, and also to improve and beautify the land embraced in the enclosure.
The membership of the 21st century does hereby declare that it is also the object and purpose of the Southern Memorial Association to protect the historic integrity of the Confederate Cemetery and to maintain a beautiful, serene, and dignified place of rest for the Confederate soldiers who are buried there.
Because the Confederate Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has been deemed of national historic significance. Thus, it will also be our purpose to maintain this site in appropriate ways, which will retain our inclusion on this prestigious list.
We further declare that the Southern Memorial Association of the 21st century plans to continue the work started by the first members in 1872 and will encourage a membership that has a heart for this endeavor. It is our fervent desire that the work be accomplished in ways that would be pleasing to the founders and that it be done with the same spirit of enthusiasm and love which brought the Southern Memorial Association into existence.
On Saturday August 6, 2011, the Southern Memorial Association was presented the deed to the Walker Cemetery, also on East Rock Street and adjacent to the Confederate Cemetery. The present membership does hereby declare that it also the object and purpose of the Southern Memorial Association to protect the historic integrity of the Walker Cemetery and to maintain a beautiful, serene, and dignified place of rest for the Walker family members who are buried there.
The Southern Memorial Association of the 21st century has declared that it will continue the work which the founding ladies began and that it will maintain a beautiful, serene, and dignified place of rest for the soldiers buried in the Confederate Cemetery. In accordance with the declared purposes, the Southern Memorial Association has adopted the following policies. These policies also apply to the Walker Cemetery of which we obtained ownership in 2011.
Polite and well-behaved visitors during daylight hours.
Reverent and respectful memorial services in honor of the Confederate dead, such as are conducted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy, or any other group which has obtained permission from the Southern Memorial Association.
Historical guided tours with permission from the Southern Memorial Association.
Any group or organization which desires to volunteer a work or clean-up day at either cemetery may do so only with permission from the Southern Memorial Association, and under the supervision of at least one Southern Memorial Association member.
All work or projects must be in accordance with the Southern Memorial Associationís landscaping plan.
Volunteers are always welcome at work days scheduled and conducted by the Southern Memorial Association.
Weddings, picnics, camp-outs, initiations, concerts, or other such events which are not befitting in a cemetery, or as determined inappropriate by the Southern Memorial Association. Planting trees, bulbs, flowers, or changing anything in the cemetery without permission from the Southern Memorial Association.