--Photo by Scott Akridge, 2004

Sam Holloway’s hoe rests on a grave marker

Little Cypress Creek Cemetery

Beebe, Arkansas

This pioneer cemetery was reported to the White County Historical Society in March 2004 by Society member Sam Holloway of El Paso. His report was particularly exciting to the WCHS because the graveyard apparently dates to the early 1800s and is very close to the area where the Royall Colony of early settlers is believed to have existed. Early reports tell of a "Royal Cemetery" but its location has been lost. Following is Holloway’s report:

"This cemetery is on a farm owned by Jimmy Austin approximately 1 ˝ miles off Highway 64, nine miles west of Beebe… Mr. Austin bought this land in 1971 and was told of the cemetery by a Mr. Finley. Mr. Austin found the cemetery (consisting of) 20 to 25 graves. All were marked with rocks (or) bricks.

"Approximately three-quarters of a mile south of this cemetery was a school and church with about 20 to 25 houses with families who lived between Little Cypress Creek and Big Cypress Creek. This community was known as Bugscuffle. Preacher Fleming owned the two acres (where) the church and school were built. The name of the church was Church of God in Prophecy. Mrs. Higgins was the last known schoolteacher at the school. The two acres of land are still in the Fleming family.

"Approximately three-quarters of a mile north of the cemetery was a small settlement called Royal Colony. They had a post office. The postmasters were David Thornton from November 9, 1854, until October 27, 1857, then James Temples until (the post office) was discontinued July 9, 1866.

"The 1819 survey map shows part of a road going past this cemetery called Little Rock Ferry Road. This road was probably called the Batesville Road years later. This road came over Bull and Cadron mountains going south by the Royal Colony, the cemetery, Bugscuffle and crossed Big Cypress Creek into Lonoke County. This road ran by the Sixteenth Section Church and Cemetery and crossed the Buffalo trail or Lewisburg Road. It continued on south to the Magness Academy then turned west to Little Rock.

"I talked to James ‘Dude’ Colbert on 1-14-04 of Naylor, Arkansas, who was born one mile north of this cemetery on Gravel Road 60 which is now Highway 64. Mr. Colbert is 92 years old and he stated they always thought this cemetery was a black cemetery. He said it was an old cemetery when he was a young boy. He further stated that he had never seen a tombstone in the cemetery. It had rocks and bricks for markers. As a young boy he remembered 30 or more graves in this cemetery."

Another White County Historical Society member, Scott Akridge of Bradford, who is an archeologist, visited the site with Holloway August 27, 2004. He called the graveyard "Little Cypress Creek Cemetery." He filed the following report: "I can confirm that it appears the cemetery is only yards away from the Southwest Trail/Old Military Road which passed east of the cemetery. I did see four hand-made bricks planted upright being used as grave markers. Another dozen or so had rocks marking graves. There were no tombstones. Only a couple of graves were slightly sunken. The cemetery is on a very slight knoll on the north side of Little Cypress Creek. Visibly, there are 15 to 20 graves here in about four rows but the knoll is not large enough to hold more than 30 graves. It appears to be nineteenth century and the possibility exists that it is early nineteenth century."

If you have additional information on Lt. John W. Lindley or this cemetery, please contact the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.