The News-Journal (Raeford, N.C.) /
March 17, 1983, edition 1 /
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Section B _ ? ? _ _ . _
Thursday, March 17, 1983
The Antioch cemetery is a good example of how older graves can be kept in a clean and orderly
History Fading On Neglected Tombstones
By Josephine Hall
Many cemeteries in Hoke Coun
ty, especially those that are old,
some which are abandoned, have
been lost to memory.
Numerous others are on the
verge of being lost.
A survey, which was established
for the purpose of identifying these
county grave sites, is finally draw
ing to a close after several years of
The idea of a cemetery survey
came about when the 1977 North
Carolina General Assembly
established a committee to launch
the program statewide.
It is a voluntary program under
the guidance of the North Carolina
Department of Archives and
The goal is . to map every
cemetery in each county with a
sheet of information filled out on
Locations of the cemeteries are
plotted on geological survey
Two sets of information sheets
and maps are being compiled. One
set are being compiled. One set of
each will be sent to the Dept. of
Archives and History and the other
sets will be placed in the Hoke
Members of the United
Daughters of the Confederacy
Chapter in Raeford have been the
volunteer workers in Hoke Coun
A committee, composed of Mrs.
Herman Koonce, Mrs. Mary Anna
McLean, Miss Isabel McFadyen
and myself, have furnished the
leadership in locating and plotting
Credit should also go to Mr.
Charlie Parsons and members of
his drafting classes at Hoke High
School. They have plotted the
latitudinal and longitudinal loca
tions on the tapographic maps.
The organization is interested in
history and this is an area that has
been untapped too long.
Committee members have
received many telephone calls from
people wanting to know about
graves of their ancestors.
Just recently a young lady from
Apex, N.C. called to ask about a
If anyone knows the where -
abouts of this burial site the com
mittee would appreciate being told
Of the cemeteries found, 49 were
well maintained and preserved, 17
were poorly maintained or
overgrown and 31 were completely
Most of those which were well
cared for were church cemeteries.
About all of those abandoned were
family burial grounds.
Interesting information has been
turned up regarding many
cemeteries and grave sites. Many
of them reveal the history in the
For example, the old McEachern
or Mill Prong cemetery shows that
it was the burial site of early Scot
Highland immigrants who settled
in the area in the 18th century.
Some came as early as 1770.
A cemetery for slaves is located
Longstreet Church, which was
in the area of Hoke County taken
by Ft. Bragg in 1918, was started in
Many ancestors of Hoke Co.
residents were buried there.
After a Civil War battle fought
at the Green Spring - Monroe
place, also in the reservation, the
bodies of some 30 unknown
soldiers were buried in the
A small marble shaft bears the
simple inscription "Confederate
On March 9-10, 1865, General
T. Sherman, with a part of his Ar
my, camped in the church yard of
Bethel Presbyterian Church where
the cemetery is located today. This
church was organized in 1776.
After the soldiers left the follow
ing day, members examined the
V I ' AmJ
area and found the following re
quest written on a blank page in
the pulpit Bible.
"Mr. McNeill (pastor) will
please prove the absurdity of the
universalists doctrine. Mr. McNeill
will preach a sermon from the first
Epistle of John, fourth chapter,
fourth verse. Mr. McNeill will
please pray for old E.S.B. By order
of W.T. Sherman, Maj. Comd.
This Bible is now in the safe
keeping of the Historical Founda
tion of the Presbyterian Church at
About a half mile south of
Raeford near the Hoke Co. High
School, is the McLean Cemetery.
Dr. Hector McLean, a Scotsman
by birth, is buried there.
Dr. McLean founded Edin
borough Medical College, the first
Medical school in the state.
McLean converted his 10 room
brick home, near the cemetery, in
to a hospital.
During the Civil War, the
Yankees stole the valuable in
struments used by the students.
Rev. John Mclntyre, pastor of
Presbyterian churches in the area,
died at the age of 102 years, two
months and 23 days.
His grave is in the Antioch
Many old graves can be found in
the old McCaskill cemetery located
at Philippi church.
One is that of Catherine
Campbell, wife of William
Williamson, niece and adopted
daughter of the Duke of
^ ? . i . ?
. > . , ? . j
RUNDOWN: This cemetery is old and unkept. Monuments are overturn
ed, briars are growing up around them, and the fence that surrounds them
is bent and rusted.
Argyle. She was married in
Scotland, and died in N.C. about
The Mt. Grove cemetery in
Quewhiffle Township has been
there since before the county was
formed in 1911.
The old Robeson Co. line runs
on the south end of the cemetery.
At the Murdoch McLeod
cemetery, also in Quewhiffle, a big
millstone sits in the middle of the
graveyard and a marble slab shows
the recording of the deed in the
Register of Deeds office. Four
large cedar trees grow at each cor
ner of the cemetery. It is told that
members of the McLeod family
died of typhoid fever and were
buried at night because of fear of
Older citizens in the Blue
Springs community report that an
old Civil War cemetery was located
in their area.
A house and garden are built
over it today.
They say in another place in
their township, a filling station has
been built over a cemetery.
Mt. Elam is the oldest Indian
cemetery in the county.
The Matthew Graham Cemetery
in Blue Springs Township is
located by an old railroad which
was used to have turpentine in
years past. Old cross ties can still
be found in the ground there.
In some places there is only one
grave - or two.
The Calvin Starling site in
McLauchlin Township is where
one grave is located. It is of a nor
thern soldier with Sherman's Ar
my, who was sick or injured and
could not travel with his company.
Two ladies in the community
took him into their home and
cared for him until he died.
Another lone grave of a soldier
is located in the school ground of
one of the county schools which
was closed several years ago.
Another single grave of a two
month old child was found recent
ly by some people clearing new
The Raeford cemetery, the
largest in the county, is where the
grave of The Honorable Mr. J.W.
McLauchlin is located.
Mr. McLauchlin, a state
senator, is known as the 'Father of
It is sad to And cemeteries that
have been abandoned and grown
up with briars and bushes. We
were not even able to get into some
The Mill Prong Cemetery is one of the oldest in Hoke County. Some Cur
rie and Gilchrist graves date to the late I700's and have tombstones which
give a brief history of the deceased, noting that they emigrated in 1770
from Cantire, Scotland.
Some are located in the middle
of fields with no access road to the
The problem with many family
cemfcteries is that the family
members move away and no one is
left to care for the site.
Sometimes property is sold,
family members have died and the
new owners have no interest in
maintaining the burial grounds.
The committee members would
like to stir some interest in identi
fying and preserving those
cemeteries which have been
neglected so long.
One burial ground in the area of
the county near the Fort Bragg
Reservation can only be identified
by a few trees.
All markers have disappeared.
Often markers are damaged by
farm animals, farming, fires,
neglect and, sad to say, even van
So far 97 cemeteries have been
found in Hoke Co.
The committee is still in the pro
cess of chartering grave sites and
anyone knowing of one which is
not included in this list is asked to
report it to one of the committee
members: Antioch Church, Ashley
Heights, Bethel Church, Bethune,
Biblical Gardens, Betsy Blue,
Bridges Grove, Dr. Neil W.
Brown, Campbell, Center Grove,
Chason, Chisholm, Old Civil War,
Community Rest, Community
United Methodist Church, Con
Culbreth, Randall Currie, A.H.
Currie, Currie - Blue Springs, John
J. Currie, Davis, Dundarrach Mis
sion, Dundarrach Presbyterian,
East Freedom, Ephesus, Gold Hill,
Friendship. Graham-Blue Springs.
Matthew Graham. Graham -
Nicholson (McCain), Graham -
Stonewall, Hoke County Holiness,
Laurel Hill, Leach Springs,
Longstreet, Love, Maynor, Mc
McDougald, McEachern-Mill Pro
ng, McEachern - Blue Springs,
McEachern - McCormick, McFa
dyen, McGougan No. 1,
McGougan No. 2, McGugan -
McLauchlin - Blue Springs,
McLean - Raeford, McLean -
Allendale, McLean - Blue Springs,
John McLeod, Murdoch McLeod -
Qoewhiffle, McLeod - Blue
Springs, John McMillian - Allen
dale, McMillian - Blue Springs,
McMillian - Raeford, McNeill -
Antioch, McNeill - Stonewall,
McNeill - McPhaul - Blue Springs,
McPhatter, McPhaul (Hector),
McPhaul - Blue Springs, Mt.
Elam, Mountain Grove, Mt.
Pisgah, Mt. Zion, Parker's
Church, Pine Hill, Patterson,
Peterson, Philippi (McCaskill),
Pittman Family, Pittman Grove,
Purcell, Raeford City, Ray,
Rockfish Tabernacle Church,
Rockfish Grove, Rock Hill, Sandy
Grove (Reservation), Sandy Grove
(Methodist), Saunders, Shady
Grove - Blue Springs, Shady Grove
- Stonewall, Shaw, Shiloh, Old
Shiloh, Silver Grove, Sinclair,
South Hoke Indian, Calvin Star
ling (Union Soldiers), Sunrise and
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