Wilson Cemetery of Craighead Co., AR

Wilson Cemetery
Craighead County

Compiled by Juanita Terry Talbot, 1987

- Some information has been added to aid research and is not found on the grave markers.

Surnames of those in unmarked graves will be in blue.

Wilson Cemetery in 1996 was added to the Arkansas Historical Preservation Program which listed it as an Arkansas Historical Place.
The Wilson Cemetery's earliest beginning was probably prior to the 1900's even though the earliest tombstone found is dated 1902. The cemetery derived its name from an early settler, Sam Wilson. The Wilson family lived just east of the property. A trapper was boarding with the family and became ill and died. The Wilsons buried him there, west of where they were living. Although, the cemetery is located in Craighead County, it seems to have been used more by the residents of Trumann, Poinsett County. It might be noted that due to the high water table, Trumann has never had a cemetery. During the floods of the early years, bodies were shipped from Trumann by rail to the surrounding towns.
The property belonged to Joseph Manley Chaffin and Jim Brededlove. Each man gave 1/2 acre of his land, and later sold 2 acres thereby making the cemetery 5 acres in size.
In the beginning, the community held a 'Decoration Day' which is typical for this part of the country. Each spring, on a given day everyone came, brought equipment, and cleaned off the graves and made necessary repairs (the cemetery contains 133 marked graves and some 243 known unmarked graves dating from the turn of the century through the 1940s). After working, a picnic lunch and visitation was enjoyed by all. The Whitlatch, Chaffin and Glasgow families were instrumental in organizing the care of the cemetery. As time passed, people moved away and the community ceased, except for a once a year burning of the briars and vines.
The cemetery has been neglected and had not been in general use since the 1940's; occasionally a new grave is added among the weeds.
In April 1995, a group of concerned citizens began to organize and put together a plan to clean up and preserve the cemetery to be remembered as it was in the years past, as a 'Haven of Rest' for loved ones long past. Since this project began, the cemetery has been cleaned and funds are being raised to have a permanent caretaker. An archway is being designed with a sign to read Wilson Cemetery in memory of Kenneth Richards. Mr. Richards, who died December 1995, was a major contributor to the orga nizing and cleaning up of the cemetery.
There is a directory and parking lot being designed and plans are for those to be place in the Fall of 1996. Judge Bearden will have the gravel road repaired as soon as weather permits. The garden/grounds committee is taking care of the flowers and shrubs for the cemetery. The flag pole and flag will be placed soon.
The cemetery is now beginning to become a Haven of Beauty again. January 29, 1996

DIRECTIONS. Wilson Cemetery is located five miles northeast of Trumann. At the intersection of Hwys. 463 and 69, turn east on Hwy. 69N. Follow this hwy. out of Trumann for 4.5 miles until you come to CR828. Turn right (gravel) and follow it east one-half mile to a wooded area. The cemetery is on a high sandy ridge of the St. Francis River in the sunken lands and is about one-half mile from the St. Francis River outside of Trumann toward Lunsford.

Sam & Marie Cole Sales Journal, 1927-1935

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