Cobbite Cemetery Picture

Cobbite Cemetery

Clay, Arkansas

The Cobbites were a fanatical religious group involved in a murder in 1877 that led to their banishment and destruction of this cemetery at Clay. They organized at Clay but later moved just south of Searcy. Here, they committed a murder and some of the members were killed. Others returned to Clay and remained there until they could collect their membership, supplies and oxen, then move to Missouri. They did not associate with the community, so they started their own cemetery about a half mile north of the store at Clay.

When Cloie Presley of the White County Historical Society visited the site in 1996 the gravesites had "been destroyed and the only name I have been able to learn is Katy Nelson, a retarded girl whose mother was a member of the group." Additional information on the sensational story of the Cobbites may be found in the 1966 and 1972 editions of White County Heritage. (See "Heritage Index" elsewhere on this web page.)

According to Mrs. Presley, whose husband Leister was raised at Clay, probably the first cemetery at Clay was just south of the Baptist Church. "Some of the Caruthers family were buried there. Several years ago the stones were removed and used to build a storm cellar and no sign of the graves remain." She also recorded that "Anthony Smith is buried in an unmarked grave on Sharp Hill (between Dewey and Clay). This is the only grave there and is just out of the road ditch."

If you have additional information on Cobbite Cemetery, contact the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.