--photos by Leroy Blair
This abandoned cemetery is located about a quarter-mile north of Holly Springs Church. It was originally listed as Holly Springs Cemetery in May 1962 by Cloie and Leister Presley of the White County Historical Society, who reported it "just about on the line between Section 3, Range 7 West, Township 8 North and Section 34, Range 7 West, Township 9 North." Their list was published in the 1971 edition of the Societys White County Heritage. "This location was abandoned," they wrote, "because of the difficulty in digging graves in the rocks. A boy was killed by a pitched ball in a baseball game and they never could get his grave dug deep enough in the rocks. This was the last effort to bury there."
The cemetery was visited July 20, 2000, by Historical Society member Leroy Blair. Following is his report: "This cemetery is located just north of the Holly Springs Church on Fairview Road. It is at the first house on the right side of the road almost in the back yard. It is very overgrown with broken markers. There appear to be several unmarked graves." Also, he noted that a new marker was recently placed at this cemetery which has the name Genetta Chilcoate Davenport on one side and "Old Jeffery Burial Ground" on the other side. Blair reported additional confusion over the fact that the nearby Castleberry Cemetery now has a sign "Holly Springs Cemetery" over the gate. [See Holly Springs Castleberry Cemetery.]
The Presleys lived nearby, at Clay, at one time and were very familiar with both cemeteries before they prepared their lists. "When we crawled through the barbed wire fence and visited the cemetery in 1962, it was in sad shape," Leister Presley said in June 2002. "Graves were sunken and the place had obviously been abandoned." Some residents of the area now call this cemetery "Union Hill." (Number in parenthesis indicates the position on the Presleys list.) They reported indications of 20 other burials or attempted burials.
If you have corrections or additional information on this cemetery, contact the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.
Barkhouser, Mary Ellen (5) May 10, 1847 October 9, 1896
Bradney children the last three sites have one stone and are the children of W.H. & L.E. Bradney.
Bradney, Eugene (6) December 18, 1897 April 12, 1898
Bradney, Infant son (7) April 13, 1901 April 20, 1901
Bradney, Infant son (8) born and died August 30, 1905
Pool, Eliza (4) May 19, 1918 age about 85 years
Pool, Noah E. (3) November 8, 1877 March 23, 1900
Southard, George E. (1) died December 1919
Southard, Rebecca (2) died February, 1922