Carnahan Cemetery
View 1  |  View 2

Visiting the Old Bean-Carnahan Cemetery, Lincoln, Washington County, Arkansas
By: Robert Keen

After about five or six visits to the old cemetery I thought that I should write a little article about it.  It is located
on the Vol Blevins farm, and they are charming people who have done a lot of work on the cemetery. In reviewing
my notes I will try to set the record straight on this cemetery.

The first person to be buried here was John Billingsley, who died on the way to Canehill.  The wagon train
was camped overnight near the Bethlehem Church and Cemetery.  Mr. Billingsley died during the night, but the
Bethlehem Church was Methodist, and the travelers, being Presbyterian, didnít want anything to do with them.
Religion ran deep in those days.  So his friends loaded Mr. Billingsley into a wagon and hauled him on to Canehill
for burial.  This was the first burial in Washington County.  It is ironic that John was the first person buried in
this cemetery, while his sister Jane Carnahan was the first to be buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery.

Jane was the ex-wife of John Carnahan.  John Carnahan divorced Jane after she joined the Methodist Church.
He later married Mary Polly Pyeatte and they are both buried in Bean-Carnahan Cemetery. This cemetery was started
as a family plot, and it was supposed to be on Carnahan land.  But as it turned out, it was on the Mark Bean land.
The mistake was made because the family had just arrived and did not have a survey done.

There are two Revolutionary soldiers buried here:  John Carnahan and Jacob Pyeatte. It was said that John Carnahan
had preached the first sermon in Arkansas some twenty years earlier near Little Rock. Jacob Pyeatte was the patriarch
of the Pyeatte family. These two, with their wives, have a rock wall around their graves.

The cemetery is a beautiful site.  One is able to view Lincoln across the Mark Bean Springs and Bush Valley.  T
here are numerous fieldstones marking graves.  Of fifty stones remaining the ones that are readable now are the following:

William Maxwell & his wife Anna Billingsley Maxwell, daughter of John Billingsley
John Carnahan, Revolutionary soldier
Jacob Pyeatte, Revolutionary soldier
John Billingsley 1772 Ė 1827

It is ironic that John was the first to be buried there, and his daughter Anna Maxwell was the last in 1880.

This is truly a pioneer cemetery and the Blevins can be congratulated for cleaning it up.
If anyone knows of any other persons buried there, let me know at

BILLINGSLEY, John--Photo--by: Robert Keen
        1772--14 NOV 1827
        Born Guilford Co., NC
        1st Early Settler to Die 1827
MAXWELL, Anna (nee:  BILLINGSLEY)--Photo--by: Robert Keen
        Wife of William
PYEATTE, Jacob, Capt.--Photo--by: Robert Keen
        Clarks Regt.; VA State; Revoluntionary War