--photos by Leroy Blair, 2002

Wells Cemetery

Worden, Arkansas

This cemetery is located off Highway 64 east of Bald Knob. It was the subject of a brief article by archeologist James P. Harcourt in the 1993 edition of White County Heritage published by the White County Historical Society. "I recently visited the ‘Wells’ Cemetery, located off Highway 64 near Rio Vista, while doing an environmental study of the nearby ARKLA JM-1 gasline," Harcourt wrote. "The cemetery is probably registered and is platted on the current U.S.G.S. topographic map in the north half of the north-west quarter in Section 29 of Township 8 North, Range 4 West. While the cemetery will not be impacted by the ARKLA work, I briefly mapped it for our files. The cemetery was on file with our agency, but the information was limited to the site’s location. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that similar cemeteries are looted for their markers or otherwise despoiled and can disappear over-night. Hence, when possible, I attempt to gather at least minimum data for inclusion in the State Archeological Site registry." Harcourt included a sketch map showing not only burial sites but other specific details like the location of "Treflan herbicide cans." The map and his transcriptions are included in the ’93 Heritage article but the following are the only names he listed. He did note two "unknown depressions."

According to the Historical Society, the Wells Cemetery is listed in "Worden and Rio Vista, Arkansas," by Lincoln Johnson, 1986. The same burials are listed but he does not give details of the site.

The cemetery was visited September 18, 2000, by Leroy Blair, a member of the White County Historical Society, who found graves that were not on the Harcourt or Lincoln Johnson lists. Following is Blair’s report: "To get to this cemetery from Bald Knob, take Highway 64 east to just before the Cutoff Creek Bridge. There is a small road going off to the left. It has a wire cable across it. The road will over close to the creek. Follow it for about 400 yards. You will cross an Arkla gas line. When you cross it you are about halfway to the cemetery. Go about 400 more yards. The cemetery will be on a rise on the left under a large oak and pine tree. There is a deer stand near the road. The cemetery is just in back of it. It is very overgrown. According to people who live in the area this cemetery was east of Rio Vista, which no longer exists."

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

Name Birth Death Comments
Head, James L. September 25, 1859 January 25, 1907 (only granite marker found in the cemetery)
Wells, Ellon, July 16, 1899 wife of J.M. Wells age 33 "As a wife devoted, As a mother affectionate, As a friend kind and true"
Wells, Freddie, October 10, 1897 son of J.M. & Ellon Wells age 11 months – "We will meet again"
Wells, Infant, born and died June 12, 1899 son of J.M. & Ellon Wells "We will meet again"
Wells, James W. November 24, 1889 November ?, 1915 "Gone but not forgotten"
Wells, Mary, August 29, 1888 daughter of J.M. & Ellon Wells age 16 years "May the Resurrection find thine on the bosom of thy god" (marker in three fragments)
Wells, Minnie F. November 29, 1915 age 19 "Gone but not Forgotten" (concrete marker in two pieces with possible bullet hole in back)
Wyatt, Melvin Lee Andre November 19, 1910 February 7, 1911
The following additions and comments were made by Leroy Blair:
Jones, Albert L. November 6, 1905 February 3, 1906
Jones, Elorna January 30, 1908 June 30, 1908 children of J.A. and Mary J. Jones – stone is broken in six pieces laying on the ground
Between Ellon and Freddie Wells there is only the bottom part of a stone that has printed on it the following: "We can safely leave our boy, our darling in Thy trust". There is a small piece of stone with the letter W on it. There are no dates. There appear to be five unmarked graves.