Welcome to the
Fulton Co. Genealogical Society's

"A Walk Through The Past"

                      

Third Annual Cemetery Walk
in Fairview Cemetery

September 21, 2007


    Good evening ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Fulton County Genealogical Society, I would like to welcome you to the Third Annual Cemetery Walk - "A Walk Through The Past". You are standing in Fulton's Historic Fairview Cemetery. 

    The cemetery was first established in 1881, with its first burial in March of that year. The first acre of land bought for the cemetery was purchased wih the proceeds from a minstral show. 

   In 1885, two sections were added for the Colored population of the town. Another three sections were added in 1898 and a fourth in 1930. The cemetery now contains approximately 8-1/2 acres of ground, that houses some 4000 burials. Of that 4000, a little over 1100 are unmarked.

    Tonight, you will meet some of the more prominent people in our town, in their day and time. You will learn facts that you never knew and hear many an interesting story. Your guide will point out other interesting facts on your journey, we hope you enjoy your tour and ask plenty of questions.

Enjoy your walk through Fulton's past

Stop #1


Arch Daniel
Huddleston, Sr.

portrayed by

Walter Hatfield


 
 
Arch Daniel Huddleston, Sr.

   Hello ladies and Gentlemen, it is so nice to see you here this evening. I hope you’re enjoying your visit and now let me introduce myself. I am Arch Huddleston, Sr., perhaps best known as having been the owner of one of Fulton’s oldest business establishments; A. Huddleston Hardware and Tin Shop, but we will get to that later.
   My parents were Milton and Betty Huddleston and I was born in 1868, on my parents’ farm in South Fulton, Tennessee, across from the old South Fulton High School. At the time it was officially Weakley County, but the county line was later moved.
   In October 1890, I was married to the energetic Miss Mildred Eddings. She was the daughter of Levi and Margaret (McFall) Eddings. We had one son, Arch Huddleston, Jr. and two daughters. One daughter, Margaret, died at one year old and the other daughter, Marion, later married Harry Murphy of Nashville, whom she met while attending Vanderbilt University. Arch Junior married Eleanor Dawson, daughter of Judge Dawson of Louisville, whom he met while attending the University of Kentucky. Arch Jr. and Marion remained in Fulton until their death a few years ago. They are buried across the street at Greenlea Cemetery, along with their spouses. My Grandfather, George I McFall, was the first person buried in this cemetery, Fairview, in 1881.
   I was known as Fa to my four grandchildren, all of which were born in Fulton. Marion and Harry Murphy had Mildred Ann, better known as “Cissy” and William Arch Murphy. Arch Jr. and Eleanor had Charles and Dawson Huddleston. I was a charter member of the Fulton Elks Club and Fulton Rotary Club and served as a Fulton City Councilman for a number of years.
   In 1893, I along with George Beadles founded one of Fulton’s most popular mercantile establishments, A. Huddleston & Company Hardware and Tin Shop. In 1915, George and I purchased Shacklett-Thomas Hardware and renamed it Fulton Hardware. In 1920, we dissolved our partnership and I became sole owner of Huddleston’s Hardware and George and his son owned Fulton Hardware.
   I used to hitch my horse to my wagon and ride to my hardware store. It upset me to have to pay 10 cents a day for my horse to stay at the livery barn next to the hardware store, so I bought the livery barn, and now my horse could stay free. In 1950 we sold the livery barn and began selling electrical appliances in our new building on Main Street.
   Although I owned Farmers Bank, I never carried over $2 on me. I figured, If I was robbed, they wouldn’t get much. During the depression, when there was a run on the banks, my bank, like every other bank, could not cover all the withdrawals. I gave my personal pledge to every single person that had lost money in my bank that I personally would repay their money. Not one person lost money in my bank. The depression was hard on Fulton folks. In fact one prominent businessman going through hard times, came to me needing to borrow some cash. I simply told him to take what he needed out of the safe and put it back when he could. I told him I didn’t want to know how much he took or when he put it back. I was trusting old soul, but I am sure he repaid his debt.
   A funny story comes to mind. We made and sold lengths of stove pipe. One day this fellow came in and told me he wanted to buy a half length of stove pipe. A little annoyed, I promptly went back to my tin-smith, Sam Brumsfield, and said some fool wants to buy a half length of Stovepipe. As I turned around, there was the fellow that wanted the pipe . . . so I quickly announced “and this fine gentleman wants to buy the other half”.
   I miss all the good ole times at the hardware store. My daughter Marion, her husband Harry, their children Cissy, Arch Jr., and his son Dawson and his wife Janie operated Huddleston’s Hardware and Electrical for many years until only a few years ago, when it was closed. I lived a full and rewarding life, but after being ill for several days, death took me at 8:00 on the morning of January 11, 1951. My beloved Mildred, broken hearted died only one month later and we are together again.
   Thank you for coming this evening. I hope you enjoyed hearing about my life. Enjoy the rest of the tour.
 


 

Stop #2


Mose Homra

portrayed by

Bill Homra


 
 
Moses Homra

   Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and let me welcome you to Fairview Cemetery. It is always a pleasure to have visitors. But first let me introduce myself. I am Mose Ellis Homra, born in 1869 in Merdjyour, Syria, now called Lebanon, to George and Mary Homra. In our small village we had heard many glowing stories of America and how you could get rich quick, so in my teens I decided to leave home and seek my fortune in this new country called America.
   After landing in New York City, I was told Texas was the place to go, so I began the long walk westward. After reaching my destination, I soon discovered Texas was not the place for me. Shortly thereafter, being homesick, I decided to return to Lebanon and began the long walk back to New York, to catch the next boat home. However, fate intervened. On the way back after crossing the Mississippi River, I somehow ended up in a small town called Fulton. There was something about the town which appealed to me and I decided to stay. It turned out to be a wise decision.
   Eventually, my two brothers, Asber and Kenlen joined me in Fulton and we opened up a retail and wholesale department store named Homra Brothers on Lake Street. Other immigrants in the area who had migrated from Syria would buy their wares from us and peddle in the surrounding territory. On Saturday they would return to settle up their accounts, restock their packs with items such as needles, thread, scissors and even eye glasses and head out on Monday for another week’s work.
   About 1904, I was ready to marry and settle down, so I went back to the old country and found a childhood sweetheart Lizzie Khourie. After a brief courtship we were married and returned to Fulton. Our first home in Fulton was on Walnut Street in a house which until recently stood next to the Fulton Electric System Office. Within a few years we were blessed with two daughters, Monira and Lola. Monira married Foad Homra, some of you may remember him. My daughter Lola never married. My brothers Asber an Kemlen also lived with us before they married.
   After selling my home on Walnut Street to John Noffel, Lizzie and I moved to a two story frame home on Norman Street, next to what would later become Sunny Dip Swimming Pool. It was across the street from the old ice plant. Asber and Kemlen also bought homes on Norman Street where they lived until their deaths.
   My brother Asber died in 1925, I died in 1939 and my younger brother Kemlen died in 1973. Most of you here today are not old enough to remember Asber or myself, but you remember Kemlen, who owned K. Homra’s on Lake Street.

 

Stop #3


"Uncle" Charlie
Whitman

portrayed by

Tramel
Kerney


The steamboat The Robert E. Lee


Charlie Whitman

   They called me “Charlie”, just Charlie, because slaves weren’t entitled to last names.  I was born into slavery on a plantation near New Market, Alabama, in 1827.  I don’t know where my mother was from.  I don’t know my father.  My mother’s master was Albert Whitman.  At my birth, he became my master.  I did his bidding.  I worked the plantation.  I followed orders.  There was no choice.  I was a slave.  I was property.  I remained on the plantation until the South seceded from the Union.  When my master, Albert Whitman, joined the Confederacy, I went with him.  After the war, I became a free man and that’s when I took the name of Whitman.  Many slaves and former slaves took the surnames of their masters.  The years after the war were turmoil.  I wound up in New Orleans and got a job as a “fireman” on the great steam wheeler “Robert E. Lee.”  I was responsible for keeping the fire going that was necessary to produce the steam which powered the boat. I worked on that majestic boat for 4 years.  We made history on the Robert E. Lee.  In June, 1870, the steamboat Natchez made a record run from New Orleans to St. Louis in 3days, 21 hours, and 58 minutes.  The Natchez was captained by T. P. Leathers.   My Captain, John W. Cannon, decided that the Lee could better that and challenged the Natchez to a race.  The Natchez accepted.  Captain Cannon stripped the Lee of all excess weight, including passengers, to give us an advantage.  The Natchez refused to do this and carried her passengers.  When we left New Orleans the Lee was ahead.  I kept the fires going and even added pine knots and great slabs of fat bacon to the furnace to keep up the steam.  The 2 mighty boats were a sight to see as we raced up the Mississippi.  The Natchez got stuck on a mudflat for 6 hours and the Lee was the first to reach St. Louie and win the race.  After my time on the Robert E. Lee, I eventually returned to the old plantation.  Of course, I returned as a freed man.  I stayed on the plantation until 1882 when old Col. Whitman died.  I wandered around the country looking for work.  Also “jumped the broom” or married a few times.  By 1930 I was living in Fulton and working as a dishwasher at the Busy Bee café.  You all heard about the Busy Bee, owned by the Patton family, a couple of years ago.  Also that year, when I was 103, I married my 10th (yes, you heard right) wife.  My bride was just 19. You young folks would call me a “player”. I lived another 10 years.  Had at least 36 children that I know of and unknown number of grandchildren.  I had a large number of friends and was known as a “gentlemen” and a man with a “great sense of humor.”  When I passed away in June of 1940, I was 113 years old.  I have the distinction of being the oldest person buried in this fine cemetery.

 

Stop #4


Levi Chisholm

portrayed by

Hunter
Whitesell


 
William Levi Chisholm

    Even though I was a successful business man, many people here remember me for my ghostly activities. I am William Levi Chisholm. I was born in White County in middle Tennessee on November 27, 1877. I remained there in Columbia until I was a young man. I courted many young women, but when it came time to marry, I chose the lovely widow, Ellen Edwanda Godwin McKnight from Williamson County, Tennessee. Even though she was 15 years my senior we were soul mates. She was a graduate of the school of Osteopathy. She unselfishly gave up her profession to help me. We came to this thriving town in 1907. Some people called me a visionary because I foresaw the importance and Magnitude of the new-fangled motion pictures. In July of 1911, my wife and I opened the Orpheum Theatre in Fulton. The building and furnishings cost $15,000 – believe me that was a great deal of money back then. It’s said to have cost more than any other motion picture theatre in Kentucky outside of Louisville. The theatre comfortably seated 500 patrons and had an excellent ventilation system. It was beautiful with artistically hand painted walls. Motion pictures were my only business. I did not allow any of that vaudeville, with its questionable features, in my establishment. My moving pictures were always censored of all questionable matter. I think this is one reason I was so successful. Another reason was the assistance of my wife. Her pleasant, smiling face in the box office was better publicity than money could buy. She was a helpmate indeed. It was a known fact that I was a sharp business man, and I kept a close watch on every penny. It’s been said, even in print, that I “sported a tightly closed wallet”. One of my tricks was to put a lighted candle, partially covered with a transparent red non-flammable material in my office stove, to give the stove a red glow and to make my customers feel they were being treated to a heated room. Ellen and I were never blessed with children. We made our home in a spacious apartment above the theatre. Ellen passed away in the spring of 1938 and was buried here3 in Fairview. On December 14, 1941, I followed her in death and my earthly remains were also placed here. Earlier, I told you that many remembered me for my ghostly presence. It’s been said that my ghost frequently made itself known at the theatre. I remember one particular amusing time. It was 1943 and young Martha Roberts, you know her as Martha McKnight, was working the concession booth. She had to go in to work 30 minutes early. Nevil “Nubbin” Bizzle was operating the theatre then. Anyway, young Martha, assuming that she was in the large theatre by herself, heard someone walking around upstairs. When her uncle, Jimmy Roberts, came to work, she inquired as to who was upstairs. He assured her that no one was up there. To this day, Martha swears that she heard footsteps in the projection room. Other people tell stories of my presence after death. Now I’m not going to confirm nor deny them but sometime if you are in the vicinity of the old Pure Milk Company, now Turner Dairy, and you see an apparition - - - it just might be me - - - checking up on things.
 

Stop #5


Harry Rucker

portrayed by

Karl Ivey


 
 Harry Rucker

    Hello. [maybe show an Indian sign for Hello]. My name is Harry Francis Paul Rucker and I was born on July 4th, 1870  on the Cherokee Indian Territory in Vinita, Craig County, Oklahoma. I am a full-blooded Cherokee and proud of it. Some people are ashamed and deny their Native American Heritage. Not me. 
   My parents are Harry Francis Paul Rucker and Mary Ann Bigler. I married Fannie Ann Reagon on April 5, 1918 in Weakley County, TN. Her parents are George Washington Reagon and Lucina Elizabeth Whitworth.
    My wife, Fannie is red-headed and you would think she had a temper to go with that hair, but she is a quiet woman with very little to say. 
   We have a son, named Marion Russell Rucker that inherited his mother’s red hair and is nicknamed “Red”. He is a roustabout for a traveling carnival and comes through Fulton occasionally.
   When I was young, I was a jockey. I had a way with horses and I won a few races. When I tired of racing, I joined a carnival where I dressed as an Indian chief and  I would put on a show just dancing around and yelling. I was also a roustabout for the carnival.
   When I decided to settle down, I chose Fulton. I don’t know exactly what it was about Fulton that I liked, it could have been the people or it could have been the opportunities that arose from the trains coming through town. But anyway, I decided to make Fulton my home. I opened a barber shop in the front part of one of the buildings that belonged to the Fulton County Newspaper. The Newspaper had a big press in the back room and I would help out on Thursday, that was press day. My family and I lived upstairs over the barber shop.
  Everyone calls me,” the little Indian barber.”
  Also, after WWII ended and the ball park started having ball games again, I was the scoreboard keeper. The scorer would turn on lights in the stadium to indicate balls and strikes, and I would have to turn on the corresponding lights on the board and hang up the big numbers for the runs every inning. If I missed a light or made a mistake, everyone would give a big Indian whoop.
   I died at the age of 93 on February 7, 1964 at the Western State Hospital in Christian County, KY. My body was brought back to Hornbeak Funeral Home and I was buried here in Fairview Cemetery.

 

Stop #6


Major
Henry A. Ligon
portrayed by
John Ward

with
Darbin Ousley
as
Major
John Jones


 
Henry Ligon

   Hello everyone, my name is Henry A. Ligon and I was born September 14, 1794 in Jamestown, Virginia. My parents were William Ligon II and Sarah Leigh.
 My childhood was the same as any other boy’s in colonial Virginia. Nothing spectacular happened until 1812. 
   Congress declared war against England on June 17, 1812 and President James Madison signed the bill the next day. I joined the Virginia Militia and served under Captain T.E. Peter’s Company as a Sergeant Major. Most of the battles were primarily at sea and along the Canadian border. The war ended on December 24th, 1814. 
   After the War, I met my first wife, Louisa Rebecca Henry Bell and we married on September 14, 1819. She was born on May 5, 1801. Louisa and I had 7 children, Harry Bell, John Edward, George Jones, Sarah, Martha Susan, Robert James, and William Claiborn. Louisa died on May 20, 1838.
   After her death, I concentrated on work and my children. Then, a couple of years later I met a beautiful lady and my heart melted. Her name was Sarah Ann Huestes. She was an assistant governess and classical teacher at the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute in Buckingham County, Virginia. I asked for her hand in marriage and on September 15, 1841, she became my bride. Sarah was born September 14, 1812 in Barton, Orleans County, Vermont 
   I brought my new wife, Sarah and  my children from my 1st wife to Weakley County Tennessee. Here Sarah and I had 7 more children; Mary, William C., David, John, Edward H., Kate and Charles. 
   My Sarah was disowned by her family when we married. You see I was a slave owner and Sarah’s family was against slavery. She was very lonesome without any contact with them. She had our children to look after and that helped some, but she really missed her family.
    I died on July 23, 1856 in Weakley County, TN leaving Sarah with 6 small children. I left my farm and possessions, including my slaves to Sarah. She was raised in the city and had no idea of farm life and its management, but Sarah successfully raised our children to adulthood. Sarah received a Widow’s Pension from the United States Government for my service in the War of 1812, but she didn’t receive this until 1878, 22 years after I died, and a grand total of $8.00 a month.
    Sarah died on April 3, 1900 in Obion County, TN. No, she didn’t move. The county did. You see Pierce Station and South Fulton were in Weakley County until 1874, and then they became part of Obion County.
    The children buried Sarah here and had me moved here so we could all be together. Our daughter, Mary married James Morris and they are buried here in Fairview.
Also, our son Edward  and his wife, Henrietta are buried here. Son, William and his wife Laura Brown are here. Our daughter, Kate married William Carr and they built the house on the corner of 2nd and Park in 1898. It is now occupied by Dan and Alice Voegli. Yes, Kate and William Carr are buried her too.
    Well, that ends my story. I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my life and family. Have a great day.
 


Ligon Family Monument

Stop #7


Virginia
Provost

portrayed by

Caina
Lynch


 
 
Wilhamia Virginia Jones Provost

   Who am I? You may ask that question. The local officials know me as Wilhamia Virginia Jones Provost. That is the name my husband gave everyone.
   Really, I am a lady of mystery.  We arrived in Fulton, Nov.27, 1961 and stayed at the Fulton Plaza Court. You see, my husband was a farm implement salesman, working this territory. After being here two days, I became ill. I went to the Jones Hospital. There I was treated by Dr. J. A. Poe. A few days later I passed away from uremic poisoning, and I also had a chest ailment.
   After picking out my burial clothes, casket and making funeral arrangements, my supposed husband, H. J. Provost left Fulton, just three hours after my death. He told hospital and funeral home attendants that he must go back to Tulsa to arrange some money matters. He explained to Win Whitnel, owner of the Whitnel Funeral Home that he would be back in time for the funeral. Mr. Whitnel told him, if he should be delayed, to call and they would postpone the services. He did not call.
   Rev. Oakley Woodside, minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, about thirty people and six volunteers gathered for my funeral. Mr. Provost did not appear. Therefore, my funeral had to be postponed.
   My body was carried right over there to that mausoleum and stored while efforts were begun to locate my husband. Roy Nethery, the Fulton Police Chief, contacted the Tulsa, Oklahoma police department, giving them the information that Mr. Provost had given the local authorities. None of the street numbers corresponded with the ones that he had given. Also checked was the Provost license plate. That number had been issued to a truck formerly owned by an oil company in Tulsa. Some of the family members names had been given and all of them were fictitious. Social Security officials and the FBI had no luck with any identification.
   After a two month period and no identification information had appeared about Mr. Provost or me, I was buried somewhere in this cemetery. Without a headstone, no one knows where I am. Maybe in Potters Field.
   Why did my husband not come back? Did he have an accident and killed? Was he really my husband? Or was this a cleverly thought out scheme of some kind? You may ask also, is this my real name? We may never know.
   As you see, I truly am a woman of mystery. 
 

Stop #8


Emily and George
Burton

portrayed by

Kerry and John
Gallimore


 
George W. Burton

   Come on gather around and I will tell you a little about myself. My name is George Wade Burton and this is my wife, Emily Bellew Burton.
   I was born in 1843 in Virginia and my parents were James Wade Burton and Elizabeth Wall. 
My brother, James Allen and I joined the 5th Regiment, TN Cavalry and were with General Ulysses S. Grant in the Battle of Shiloh. Here is a picture of General Grant. 
   Yes, I fought for the North and I am one of a very few Union Soldiers that are buried here. I fought for the Union Army simply because I did not believe a person should own another person.  The Battle of Shiloh took place on April 6 and 7, 1862 at Pittsburg Landing in Hardin County, TN.  The Confederates surprised the Union Army with their attack., but some Federals made a determined stand at the sunken road, known as the Hornets Nest. 
  The fighting went on for 2 days. The estimated casualties for that battle were almost 24 thousand men, a little over 13 thousand for the Union Armies and almost 11 thousand for the Confederates. When people talk about Shiloh, they refer to it as “Bloody Shiloh.”
  One Union veteran said that “No soldier who took part in the 2 day’s engagement at Shiloh ever spoiled for a fight again.” They had enough of fighting.
  After the war, I married Emily on December 31, 1865 in Carroll County, Tennessee. We moved to Fulton County, where I owned the very first cotton gin in this area. I am a livestock dealer and operate a livery stable. I also have other business interests, which occasionally take me out of town. Emily takes care of the business while I am away.
/////[Mrs. Burton----- I carry “Bessie”,[[take pistol from pocket and hold up for everyone to see]] in my pocket to help with the unruly customers. I don’t have many. George taught me to shoot and I am a pretty good shot.]//////
   I remember one gentleman said that he would make sure I was in town before coming to the mill. He didn’t want to deal with Emily.
  We are the parents of 9 children. 
////[Mrs. Burton, “I bet you can’t name all nine of them either.”]
They are James Thomas, Betty, Laburn, Janie, Donna, George, Otto, Walter and Maude.
   In the spring of 1900, Emily, our youngest son, Walter and I died, all within a 2 month period and we are buried here in Fairview.
   After my death, son, James Thomas took over the business. He was already a partner. He tore down the homeplace and built 6 houses for rental property. They were located in the area of  Norman Street and the railroad tracks. James  would send his daughter Pearl to collect the rent each month and so the property became known as “Pearl’s Village”. 
   Here is a picture of my son, James. Here is a picture of the six bungalows and James’s daughter, Pearl. Isn’t she a cute little thing.
   I hope you enjoyed hearing about my life. Have a nice day.
 


Burton Family Monument


 

Say Good-bye to the actors

We thank them for a great job.


Garret Hutchins guiding some of the visitors to the past,
around on the tour.


Nancy Nettles manning the registration tent


Mary Louise Gossum played the "Water Girl"

    I know it seems like a long time ago when you started this tour; however,
we hope you enjoyed yourself and that you learned a lot of Fulton history.
 On behalf of the Fulton County Genealogical Society, we would like t
thank you very much for your attendance and hope you will come back
when we have the next walk through the past.

See you next year

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