--photo by Leroy Blair, 2000

The residential area can be seen over the top of the lone remaining stone.

Key Branch Cemetery

Searcy, Arkansas

Leroy Blair of the White County Historical Society found the remnants of an unrecorded pre-Civil War cemetery near Pinewood Estates, west of Searcy on Highway 36, late in 2000. His subsequent research has led to more questions than answers. Following is his report:

"I first visited the location of this cemetery on November 27, 2000. I was told about it by a friend, Farrell Cook of Morning Sun. He had lived near it when he was a small boy. He said when he lived out there, there were eight or nine large stones there. But he was afraid the cemetery had been destroyed when the area was developed. I went out there and talked to a man who owns a rental store nearby. He also confirmed that there had been a cemetery there… He suggested that I check with a Mr. Davis who lives in a large house on the hill beside Pinewood Estates. So, I went to see him. Mr. Davis said when he moved to his home, there was part of a tombstone lying on the west side of his land next to Pinewood Estates. He said D.D. Young, who lives in Pinewood Estates, found the other part of the stone in his yard. Mr. Young took both pieces and put them together and set the stone up in his backyard. The name on the stone is Johneaton Wilson, who was born June 15, 1858 and died October 2, 1860, the son of S.M.K. and Mary E. Wilson. The remainder of the stones could be buried in the same area. I have been told several different stories as to what has happened to the cemetery…"

Historical Society president Bill Leach, after reading Leroy Blair’s report, recalled discussing this cemetery about 25 years earlier with two other members of the Society, editor Cloie Presley and Miss Ellen Key. He said he was told that the cemetery was of the Sipes family, who were ancestors of Miss Key, and that she had noticed around 1950 that the tombstones were missing from the original gravesites.

If you have additional information on the Wilson family on this cemetery, contact the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.