Burns Cemetery

Wilburn, Arkansas

 Leroy Blair of the White County Historical Society learned of this cemetery from a friend, David Reynolds of Clay, and visited it in the summer of 2001.  Following is his report:  “To get to the cemetery from Wilburn take Tyler Road; when the blacktop ends, go 2.1 miles and take the road to the left; the cemetery is three-tenths of a mile down this road, on the right.  It was in need of mowing the day I visited, but otherwise is not in bad condition.  A lot of rocks that probably at one time marked graves have been piled back by the woodsline; some appear to have markings scratched on them.”  This cemetery, which is located in Cleburne County, was recorded by the White County Historical Society because of its potential importance to White County genealogists.  This is obviously one of the oldest cemeteries in the area.  

 Confederate Army Captain James Richard Morris, one of the earliest settlers in this area, is buried here.  According to a family history in the Searcy Public Library (“Whirlwind / Story of the Faulkner Family From Pangburn” by James H. Faulkner), Morris came to White County several years before the Civil War.  During the war he was taken prisoner and didn’t get home for two years.  Over six feet tall and of Irish and German descent, he homesteaded creek bottomland at Tyler and built a large plantation with “large vineyard, cattle, horses, ducks, geese and swans on the ponds.”  He owned and brought with him from Tennessee three slaves “who adored him,” according to the Faulkner history.  When the war ended, they stayed on and are also buried here, although their names are unknown.   According to the Faulkner history, this graveyard is located on the old Morris plantation.  Morris was first married to Emily Pruitt Morris, who was part Cherokee Indian.  She died several years before his death in 1881.  Then he married Gretchen Mary Wilson.  She died and he married Nettie Knott. 

 Blair found 39 graves marked with concrete blocks, noting that it appears that the blocks were used to replace rocks over the lower half of the cemetery.  The graves in the back part are still marked with rocks.  He found 42 graves marked with rocks or covered with slabs of rock.

 If you have corrections or additional information on this cemetery, contact the White County Historical Society.  


Bowers, Catherine  October 12, 1843  May 1920
Bowers, Henry  May 29, 1837  January 5, 1989
Bowers, William Hubert  May 27, 1886  November 14, 1904  son of Henry and Catherine Bowers on double stone with Henry Bowers
Ellis, Dessie  August 9, 1908  September 11, 1924
Ellis, Ethel Mae  May 15, 1912  September 27, 1926
Hardin, Harriet L.  November 18, 1862  January 10, 1880  wife of J.H. Hardin  grave is rocked in
Lindsey  no dates or other information  scratched on a rock
Lindsey, Mahala J.  October 28, 1841  October 6, 1903
Massey, Amelia Ann  February 8, 1855  April 14, 1917
Morris, James Richard  1835  1881  Cpt. Co. H 32 Regt. Ark. Inf. C.S.A.
Owen, John W.  September 6, 1866  February 28, 1939
Owen, Rebecca I. (Lindsey)  May 31, 1872  February 8, 1935  on double stone with John W. Owen
Warren, Elzy  1903  1988
Warren, Zelma  1906  1997
Whitworth, A.T.W.   died 1865  on stone with J.W., L.A. and William Whitworth
Whitworth, J.W.   died 1865  on stone with L.A., William and A.T.W. Whitworth
Whitworth, L.A.   died 1863  on stone with J.W., William and A.T.W. Whitworth
Whitworth, William   died 1863  on stone with J.W., L.A. and A.T.W. Whitworth