Eloise & Green Steed

Steed Cemetery

Bradford, Arkansas

This is the final resting place for members of the Steed family who settled in this area shortly after the Civil War. There are several graves here but only one is identified with a headstone, two-year-old Festus Steed who died in 1896.

Leroy Blair of the White County Historical Society visited this cemetery January 13, 2003, after receiving information about it from the property owners. Following is Blair’s report:

"The cemetery is located at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Bernard C. Smith of Bradford. The burials are on a hill in a pasture field. The Smith home is located on the right side of Highway 367 about two miles south of Bradford. There is no street number. About two miles south of Bradford there is a grove of pine trees on the side of the highway with a paved driveway going up through them. The home is about 200 yards from the highway and cannot be seen from the highway. Just before you get to the house, turn right across a dam that holds a large lake or pond. Follow the farm road through two gates. The cemetery is on the left about 100 feet after you go through the second gate. There is one grave with information and four marked only with rocks."

Blair reported that Dr. Smith told him, "All of the graves are of Steed children who died of smallpox around the turn of the century." But Blair said some of the graves, which are marked with field rocks, appear to be too large for children.

Steed family historian Melanie Atkins of Dalton, Georgia, saw the above report on the Internet and in June 2003 reported to the White County Historical Society that Festus Steed was the son of Green B. Steed and his second wife, Sarah Eliza Whitley Steed. Contrary to the tombstone, Melanie Atkins stated that records in a Steed family Bible indicate Festus was born in 1894. The handwritten records in the Bible do not show any other Steeds to be buried here. But the others could be from Sarah Eliza Steed’s second marriage, to another man named Steed.

According to Melanie Atkins, Green Steed was born June 10, 1844 in Tennessee and married Eloise Woodward in White County on Christmas Eve, 1867. Six children ensued, including two who died in childhood, Tennessee Eloise in 1879 and Zachary Woodward in 1888. But neither is buried here. The Steed family Bible indicates that Green Steed moved his family to Fannin County, Texas, in 1878. It was while they were living there that Tennessee Eloise died, after falling into an open fire. She was buried in Fannin County, and the Steed family back to White County shortly afterward. After the death of Eloise in 1885, Green Steed married Sarah Eliza Whitley of Bradford August 26, 1888. Three children were born during the next five years, the last being Festus in 1893 or ‘94. Green Steed died of blood poisoning July 12, 1896, just weeks before Festus died. Green was buried at Prince Cemetery beside his first wife Eloise but Festus was buried here. Sarah Whitley Steed became the fourth wife of Callier Adkin Steed Jr. December 3, 1899. Green and Callier Adkin may have been from the same Steed family but their common ancestor is not known.

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

Steed, Festus – January 25, 1893 – July 27, 1896