--photo by Leroy Blair
Patton Hollow Cemetery
- List updated January 30, 2007
- Legal description: SE, NW, NE, Sect. 9, T9N, R8W
- Earliest listed grave: Unknown
- Last listed grave: Unknown
- Arkansas Archeological Survey site #: 3CE193
- G.P.S. location: 603830 - 3920978
- Number of marked graves: None
- Unmarked graves: Approximately 40
This forgotten pioneer cemetery is in danger of being lost as development continues in this area. It is located between
Pangburn’s downtown area and Little Red River but is actually in Cleburne County. The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad
once passed through this hollow, which was settled by Pattons in the mid-1800s. Members of the pioneer Thomas J. Patton
family are believed to be buried here.
Leon Van Patten of Searcy, long-time treasurer of the White County Historical Society, remembered the graves in the area
from his childhood days at Pangburn during the Great Depression. But when he tried to take Society member Leroy Blair
there in the spring of 2001, the area was so different he was unable to find it.
Blair returned to the area on a hot, humid July 4 day a few months later. While his wife Ellen worked on the Independence
Day celebration with other volunteers, Blair went back to the hollow. This time he found more than a dozen graves.
To get to this cemetery from Pangburn, he said, take Dripping Springs Access Road to the Little Red River. Follow it until
it makes a sharp right turn toward the river about a half-mile, where the road turns right. To go to the cemetery, turn left
on a farm road. About 200 feet up the farm road, a cable crosses it. You will have to walk from there. Go up the road about
360 paces until you come to an old barn. The cemetery is located in the woods on the left of the road across from the barn.
It is about 200 feet back in the woods.
“All that is left are a few rocks marking graves,” Blair reported. “ I found 12 plus two sunken areas that are probably
graves. I found one rock with what appeared to be the letters ‘B.E.’ on it. I did not find any other markings. There
may be more stones under the leaves. The cemetery is not overgrown very much.”
Another Historical Society member, Scott Akridge of Bradford, visited the cemetery in September 2004 and was impressed
with its natural beauty, filing the following report: “I found 25 rocks and 5 sunken places. The cemetery is in the
woods but is covered with a ground cover that I think is called vinca. The same covering can be found in the old part
of Crow Cemetery. Thus it must be planted. It effectively knocks out all weeds and only trees grow through it. Thus
the cemetery is actually an open wooded area. The cemetery is about 40 yards east-west and 50 yards north-south. I
would estimate the number of graves here to be in the 30 to 50 range. There is a large, well-built deer stand located
on the northeast corner of the cemetery. The cemetery is in Cleburne County and is approximately one-third mile west of
the White-Cleburne County line. The site is in a beautiful hollow that is surrounded on three sides by high mountains.
To the north is the Little Red River.”
Van Patten said he was told as a child that Pattons were buried here, including a great grandfather. In 2004 he presented to
the White County Historical Society a detailed genealogical report produced by Verda Haile of Searcy in 1977, which provided
information on Pattons who are buried here.
Haile’s study showed that Thomas Jefferson Patton was the third husband of Susan Elizabeth Davis. (Her first husband, William
Henry Joyce, died in a “flu epidemic” in 1860 at age 19, one year after they had married. She then married Joe Chandler, who
died in the Civil War.) Susan, the daughter of Peter Cardwell Davis and Tomishia Peterson Davis, married Thomas Jefferson
Patton in 1866 or 1867, according to the Haile report. Their daughter Lisa died at a young age and according to family
records was buried in “Patton Cemetery.” A son, Thomas Jefferson Patton Jr., died at age 19 and was also buried in the
family graveyard. When T.J. Patton Sr. died in 1882 or ’83, he was also buried here. When Susan died January 9, 1923,
she was buried in Henderson Cemetery. Two of Susan and Thomas Jefferson Patton’s children reached adulthood. They were
Martha “Mattie” Patton, who married M.J. Trentham, then a Hammock and died in 1930, and Tomishia Patton, who married Frank
Lawrence, then a Porter and died in 1958. Both Mattie and “Mishie” are buried at Henderson Cemetery.
The graveyard is mentioned in a history of the Henderson Cumberland Presbyterian Church prepared by Theophal Eugene
Henderson and published in the Little Red River Journal December 31, 1985:
“A small plot with a few graves of the Thomas J. Patton family lies near Pangburn in what is known as Patton Hollow but the
graves are not discernible, having been abandoned several years ago… In 1888 some of the Hendersons had moved away [from
Pangburn], leaving too few to carry on the church work in its fullest. At the same time, Spring Hill Church (Patton Hollow),
another congregation, experienced the same falling away as Henderson Church, so Spring Hill Church came in with the Henderson
The 1860 census of Liberty Township in Independence County, now a part of White County, shows one Patton family. James
M. Patton, 41, a farmer from Mississippi, and his wife Mary E. Patton, 34, from Georgia, had eight children – Joshua T.,
17; Green O., 15; Washington L., 13; Jefferson T., 11; Susan A., 9; Haden M., 7; Nancy J., 4; and Henry C., 2. Nancy
and Henry were both born in Arkansas, all the others in Mississippi. This probably indicates the family moved into the
area some time between 1853 and 1856.
The following people are possibly buried in Patton Hollow Cemetery in unmarked graves. They have not been found in any White
| Name || Birth || Death |
| Patton, Green O. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. amd Mary E. Patton (was 15 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Haden M. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 7 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Henry C. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 2 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, James M. || no dates || no dates || (was 41 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Jefferson T. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 11 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Joshua T. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 17 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Lisa || no dates || no dates || died young daughter of Thomas Jefferson Sr. and Susan Patton |
| Patton, Mary E. || no dates || no dates || wife of James M. Patton (was 2 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Nancy J. || no dates || no dates || daughter of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 4 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Susan A. || no dates || no dates || daughter of James M. and Mary E. Patton (Was 9 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
| Patton, Thomas Jefferson Jr. || no dates || no dates || died at age 19 years son of Thomas Jefferson Sr. and Susan Elizabeth Patton |
| Patton, Thomas Jefferson Sr. || no dates || no dates || |
| Patton, Washington L. || no dates || no dates || son of James M. and Mary E. Patton (was 13 years old when the 1860 census was taken) |
If you have additional information on Patton Hollow Cemetery, contact the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537,
Searcy, AR 72145 or Leroy “Lee” Blair, WCHS cemetery research director, P.O.Box 537, Searcy, Ar 72143 501 207-2057.