Tag Archives: Death



The tornado outbreak, April 27, 2011, damaged many areas in Alabama. You can still see trees cut off midway, homes without a roof and many buildings in ruin. Amongst all that, lay a historic cemetery in the town of Trinity, here in north Alabama.

Minor cemetery, is a 177 year old family cemetery that was purchased by WIlliam Tompkins Minor in 1839. A descendant of Minor ( Wrenn )  states that she would visit the cemetery every year, and was distraught to see the damage following the tornadoes.The cemetery, which has 18 tombstones, dates to 1835 and stayed in Wrenn’s family until 1918. Nucor purchased the property from the bankrupt Trico Steel Co. in 2002.

Coutesy of Decatur Daily

Nucor spent $20,000 of its general funds money to restore the cemetery, build fencing and install landscaping around the cemetery. Minor family cemetery is listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register. 

Related links

Nucor restores ruined graveyard – The Decatur Daily – Decatur, Alabama.



…..or, maybe I never noticed them before.

Now that I am photographing more cemeteries, and finding them on Google Maps, I tend to see them where I least expect. I will look at the satellite view and see it in a clump of trees. Or, like Whitworth cemetery in Madison, Al.,  in an extremely nice neighborhood next to someone’s house.

It is very difficult to get a cemetery moved. This may be why you will see a cemetery still on a farm, surrounded by trees, or a cemetery enclosed in an iron or chain link fence.

Whitworth cemetery

I attempted to locate some others that were in the same neighborhood, behind some homes though. Hmmmmm… I think not. You never know what people may think about someone coming behind their house. I would rather have better access.

Bibb cemetery in Madison

Bibb cemetery is one of those in a very populated area as well. James Henry Bibb was one of the founders of Madison Station, which later became the town of Madison.This marker was erected in his honor in 1985.

Bibb marker




Whenever I visit a cemetery, I look for those of veterans. Whether it be the American Revolution or a more recent engagement, those who served our country, deserve our gratitude. Here are some headstones of those who served from local cemeteries. Remember them today, especially on Memorial Day and every day.



I love looking through cemeteries, I think I have stated this more than once, perhaps countless times. My husband now says, “where you grave diggin today” ? I enjoy the historical aspect. Looking at the different headstones can tell you so much about the person. The detail of markers from the mid 19th century are so detailed, you have to wonder why that craftsmanship is no longer requested.

The older cemeteries have much more interest to me. I hardly ever stop if I don’t see vertical markers. They have changed so much over time, from wooden markers to flat ones. These new cemeteries seem unadorned, although they are always covered with flowers. I look for the obelisks, there I know, I will find something intriguing.

But, sometimes, you come across a marker that makes you sad, that of a child. That is what I will show today. We have all heard the saying, ” no parent should ever have to bury their child “. Below are some photos I have taken of children’s headstone, from stillborn to seventeen years of age. Some parents lost two children. The lamb usually marks the grave of a child. The lamb always stands for innocence.

Lois Christine Swann, 1 year

Roger Speegle 1 year and Donald Speegle 2 years

Blaxton Boy

Charles E Lamb 1 year

Maggie Russel 17 years

Great-granddaughter of Setimus D. Cabaniss, no name or age

William James Sykes, 4 months

Curtis Ray Pepper, 2 months

Ruth Elizabeth Black, 9 years of age

Sally Haywood Hansell, three years

Edward Mason, 8 days old

James Edmond Gamble, 2 years

Mary Helen Gamble, 6 years

Burton Clements, 2 years

Infant son, Witty

William Witty, 4 months

Infant daughter, J.S. Crutcher

Too many children lost at a very early age. These are all from cemeteries in Madison, Limestone and Lawrence counties. You can search online for your relatives, and read bios on FindaGrave.


I don’t mean a child, cat , dog or even a bird. I am talking about a cemetery!!

The ACPA ( Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance ) website has a listing of registered cemeteries that can be adopted. A lot of people stumble upon old cemeteries while hunting, along rivers and lakes, in the woods or clearing land for a building. There can overgrowth of plants, headstones overturned and general neglect.


Genealogy researchers seem to be the ones most interested, it connects them to their past. It gives them clues to marriages, children and financial status, as well as their role in the community. Headstones can be interesting, from the ornate to the homemade. They can give information about a person’s religion, career, interests and heritage.

Getting youth interested in preserving cemeteries is integral to the future of how these cemeteries will continue to exist. Perhaps a Boy Scout project or church youth group could take on such as task. They could research those buried there or even study what was on the land in years past.

Mooresville Cemetery , Limestone County Alabama

Reynolds Cemetery, Lawrence county Alabama

Elliott Cemetery, Lawrence county Alabama

Alabama is not the only state that has websites and organizations devoted to cemetery preservation. Check out these below.

Saving Graves

Arkansas Cemetery Preservation

African Heritage

Colorado Cemetery Preservation

Save the Slaves


Wimbley Cemetery AKA Kimbell Cemetery

This cemetery is located just west of Decatur Alabama on highway 20/72. It is on the property that belongs to ULA ( formerly Boeing). It’s posted no trespassing…..I can’t read apparently. This means nothing to those of us eager to take a photo not listed. I was sure to be extremely careful. It is within a fenced area and rock wall as well. It contains the Kimbell family as well as names MInor, Mosely and Murphey. It is very poor condition, with many of the monuments overturned. The only information I can find on this family, is that Edmond Kimbell once operated a stagecoach in Decatur. So, it was a point of interest for many to stop, probably because of the  river.



These are some houses in the historic district of Courtland Alabama. Courtland is home to one of the first southern railroads.

One of the South’s First Railroads – 1832

Seeking a means to ship cotton and other goods around the treacherous Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River, area planters and merchants met at Courtland in 1831 to consider a rail line. On January 13, 1832, the 50 mile long Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad was chartered. Early trains were usually horse-drawn, although an English-made steam locomotive was acquired in 1834. Absorbed by the Memphis & Charleston line after 1850, the railway was largely destroyed during the Civil War. The rebuilt railroad became part of the southern system in 1898.

Courtland’s Early Architecture

Structures within the Courtland historic district represent over 150 years of changing tastes in building design. Several of Courtland’s earliest buildings survive to this day. The Federal-style architecture of the oldest houses suggest the community’s strong original links with Virginia and other states of the upper South. Typical early residences of frame and brick feature a gable roof with tall chimneys at each end. Sometimes weatherboarding conceals log walls underneath. Many buildings dating from the 1850s through the 1930s reflect Italianate, Victorian and neoclassical architectural influences. There are also early 20th century “bungalows”, some built of native sandstone. Courtland still counts about twenty buildings predating the Civil War (1861). During the early 19th century, an assortment of wooden, brick and log business structures surrounded the town square. Most of the old buildings on the square today (north and east sides) date from the late 19th century and early 20th century. The fronts of some of them feature characteristic Victorian detailing. At the northeast corner of the square are four 19th-century stone mounting blocks placed for the convenience of horseback riders. The blocks were also supposedly used for selling slaves during the slave period. The tall red cedars seen throughout Courtland and along the streets radiating from the square have been a feature of the landscape since early days.

Located near downtown, is Courtland Cemetery and Courtland Black Cemetery.

Historic Marker Courtland Cemetery

Courtland Black Cemetery

I noted that on FindaGrave, of all the 456 burials in the Black cemetery, none of the burials have photos attached on FindaGrave. So, while there, I managed to take some headstone photos. Not enough of the 456, but, I tried. Courtland cemetery is one of the prettiest I have seen.

Lou Watkins

The Red Rovers

A volunteer military company was organized at Courtland in 1835 to aid Texas in its struggle for independence. Commanded by Dr. Jack Shackelford, a local physician, the company derived its name from the color of their home spun uniforms made by citizens of Courtland. The dye used was reportedly derived from the rich red clay abundant in the area.

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