Monday, March 22, 2010

Files Cemetery, Itawamba County, Mississippi

by Terry Thornton

In the small Itawamba County burial ground known locally as Files Cemetery are two marked graves and several graves marked with brick. Depressions in the ground indicate there are more burials there with no type of marker.

The two markers with readable information are

FILES, James, born 1811, died ___ marker broken, Files, imgs 4850 and 4851
LESLEY, G.G., nd, CSA marker, Files, imgs 4848 and 4849

Click the image links above to view the photographs.

Bob Franks has written two articles about Files Cemetery at Itawamba History Review. The first offers several excellent photographs of the cemetery and provides some background of those buried there. To read the first article, click this link:
The second Franks' article presents the now missing and broken Loyd-style stoneware marker for a third person known to have been buried at Files Cemetery with a formal grave marker, James Files [1769 - 1842]. Mr. Files was one of the early pioneers into Itawamba County which was formed in 1836. Click this link to view that lost marker:

Only the base of James Files' marker remains as can be seen in this March 7, 2010, photograph. It is hoped that the other pieces of his marker can be be recovered from the thick layer of leaves which blankets the cemetery.

The early-1970s inventory of Files Cemetery by Burton-Cruber (Cemetery Markings) lists only three marked burials at the cemetery (which Burton-Cruber calls Cemetery # 16).
Franks' 1982 photograph of that third marker confirms the Burton-Cruber inventory name and dates.

Local citizens state there were only three marked graves with names in the cemetery over the past fifty or so years.

In April 2005, a memorial service was conducted at the cemetery honoring CSA soldier Garland G. Lesley. The service featured re-enactors from the Lt. John Sallis Camp 1776, Sons of Confederate Veterans of Tremont, Mississippi. The following two photographs were made at that time (photographs courtesy Virble Booth of Itawamba County).

There is a sign at Files Cemetery requesting information. Click the image below for information about how to contact researcher Ken Loden.

The following map shows the location of Files Cemetery. Any help with restoration of the markers and/or information about those buried at Files Cemetery will be most appreciated. Left click the image for a larger view.

Index of burials and grave marker photographs copyright © 2010. William T. "Terry" Thornton, Fulton, Mississippi. All Rights Reserved.

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