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Cemeteries (info & photos)

There are 130 known cemeteries in Montgomery county.  I'm sure there are some lost family cemeteries, and more than likely some lost slaves or others with black people buried in them.  Most of the free African Americans in the county were in the area of Caddo Gap.

I have found no history of any stone engraver in the county.  I do have a diary of one man who sold stones.  Because this is a poor county, and void of transportation in the early days, stones had to be shipped to Little Rock and then picked up by wagon and hauled to Montgomery county. This was not practical, so it was not until the railroad came in 1907, that stones could be brought in economically.  Therefore, there were undoubtedly many handmade stones or wooden markers, which have not stood the test of time and elements.  Many graves were marked by planting trees, or by rocks, handmade carved wooden crosses, and other types of handmade markers.  I know of no one who has left us any insight into how some of the few nice stones were made, shipped, and placed.  Would love to hear from anyone with such a story.  I do have one ledger from Polk county with such information. Also, the railroad came to Mena in 1896, and so stones were more available after this. However, the money to purchase them was not always available.  Many people still used homemade stones.

A tornado hit the White Oak cemetery in Polk county in April 2009, but this is not the first tornado to hit a cemetery.  I know of one that hit Montgomery county before the town of Norman (Womble) was formed. destroying the Bethel church and maybe the school, and part of the cemetery.


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