Kingsbury-Thames Cemetery

Greenville, Butler County, Alabama, USA Add to Map
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The Kingsbury or Kingsbury-Thames Cemetery was established by Vermont-native John Kingsbury, a brick maker who had come as a refugee from Pensacola, Florida, to Greenville, Alabama in the early days of the Civil War. Several of the Kingsburys' young children died in Greenville in the 1860s and were interred in this cemetery. A vaulted brick mausoleum has marble wall-inset tablets for John and his wife Missouri Ann (as "M. A. Kingsbury"). Their two children's markers were set on top of the mausoleum at some date before 1967, after being broken off their bases nearby. This cemetery was on a large section of property owned by Kingsbury at the time, now one block west of North College Street and a few hundred feet south of South Street.

In 1866, John sold a "lot" in the cemetery to his business partner, neighbor and friend, William H. Thames (who may also have been a relative), after one of the Thames' children died and was interred there in 1866. The deed was dated August 13, 1866, although not recorded until 1879. Details include: Received for Record October 1st, 1879, Lot in Kingsbury cemetery for one dollar sold by John Kingsbury & wife to William H. Thames. A child of Mr. Thames is buried on the land. The land is to be used as a family burying ground for W. H. Thames family. Witnessed 13th August 1866 by John T. C. Swan, John Kingsbury, M. A. Kingsbury, Rebecca C. Thomas (Thames?) [Reference: Butler County Deed Books, Vol. SS (1879) pp. 465-466].

Another legal record identifies individuals buried in this cemetery, even though their headstones or markers did not survive into the mid-20th century to be surveyed and transcribed. See "Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Alabama, Volume 42" (Brown Printing Company, 1905), pages 480-481:

[Dec. term 1880]

... Appeal from the Chancery Court of Butler. Heard before the Hon. John A. Foster. The bill in this case was filed on the 3d September, 1880, by William H. Flowers, against John Kingsbury, Gray Thigpen, and his wife, Mrs. Kate Thigpen, formerly the widow of W. H. Thames; and sought to enjoin and restrain, as a nuisance, further interments in a private burial-ground, the property of said Kingsbury and said Thames.

...The Bill alleged "that in June, 1863, when Kingsbury owned the land, one of his children died of small-pox, and was buried, “by permission of the city authorities of Greenville, on a lot or parcel of said ground, within the limits of said city of Greenville”; that another one of his children died in April, 1865, and was buried in the same lot; that an infant child of W. H. Thames and his wife was also buried there, by permission of said Kingsbury, some time during the year 1866; “that said Kingsbury conveyed a portion of the land constituting said grave-yard, by deed, to said W. H. Thames, but retained the title to the balance of the land in himself”; that said Thames died about the year 1871, or 1872, and was buried there; and that the remains of one Robert Harris were also interred there, in the year 1874, with Kingsbury's permission.

The bill contained, also, the following allegations, showing the grounds on which an injunction was asked against further interments: “Said private grave-yard of John Kingsbury is situated at a considerable distance from the public burial-grounds of said city; and no one is permitted to bury the dead in said private grave-yard, under the laws of said city, except the family of said Kingsbury and the family of said W. H. Thames, now deceased. Complainant alleges, that the graves of said deceased persons are situated a little west of south from his dwelling house and lot; that the graves of said Kingsbury's children, and the grave of the said Harris, are located about two hundred and twenty-two feet from the well in complainant's yard, and the burial-ground of said Thames is located about one hundred and eighty-eight feet from said well; and he alleges, though said grave-yard is held by separate titles, there is but one common burial-ground for the said families of said Kingsbury and Thames.

* * * * * * [end of bill excerpt] * * * * * *

  • Added: 3 Feb 2016
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2602670