What is now known as the Vaiden Cemetery came into being through the formation and joining of several different cemeteries as the need arose for a new burial ground over the years. The search for the beginning of the oldest cemetery (known as the Shongalo Cemetery and located in the southeastern section) goes back to the earliest marked graves – those of James H. Cain (1813 – 1837) and Eliza Love Pleasants Wells (1818 – 1837). Shongalo, an Indian settlement, was a very short distance southwest of the cemetery. Soon after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in late 1830, the Shongalo area filled rapidly with white settlers.
Shongalo Presbyterian Church was organized in 1834 and a post office in 1837. Shongalo was located on low sandy soil, but just north lay higher ground of clay. What better place for burials?
There are many interesting tombstones in the Vaiden Cemetery. One of significance is that of Dr. Cowles Mead Vaiden, for whom the town is named. Another is that of Revolutionary War Drummer Boy John Cain (1766-1854). A large marker in the Shongalo section is that of 32 then-unknown Civil War Soldiers, who were killed in skirmishes in the area.
On most any pretty Sunday afternoon you can find someone in the cemetery strolling along the monuments. Some are placing flowers on loved ones' graves and others may be searching for the burial place of an ancestor. To quote an article in the Greenwood Commonwealth by Richard Rubin, ". . .a few minutes within these gates will go a long way towards telling the multitude of stories that comprise Vaiden's colorful past and present."