Otey Chapel Saint John's Episcopal Church Cemetery

Photo added by Gary T. Williams

Otey Chapel Saint John's Episcopal Church Cemetery

4075 Tchulahoma Road
Oakville, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Memorials 12 added (58% photographed)

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This appears to be a vacant piece of land now. But it was a viable cemetery on Otey Chapel land which still belongs to the Diocese of Western Tennessee. Don't know whether they moved the bodies and stones or what happened to them but these are friends and family of mine so I created a virtual cemetery based on some observations captured online by someone who cared and wrote down the stones while they were visible. These are mostly relatives of Belle Edmondson, the famous confederate spy.
Historical Note
The Edmondson/Bray/Williams/Stidham Collection chronicles the interwoven histories of several families of North Mississippi and Tennessee. The papers primarily concern the life and career of Isabella Buchanan Edmondson, known as "Belle." She was born in Pontotoc, MS in 1840 and was the eighth child of Mary Ann Howard and Andrew Jackson Edmondson. Andrew, a veteran of the War of 1812, worked as a surveyor during the wild days surrounding the cession of Indian lands in the 1830s. He worked in different capacities over the course of several years: Receiver of Public Monies and Recorder of Deeds in Pontotoc; as clerk of the Chancery Court in Marshall County in the late 1840s; and by 1856 he was a farmer by profession.
The family lived in several different homes throughout Belle's youth. She was educated at the prestigious Franklin Female College in Marshall County. The Edmondson family moved to Shelby County, Tennessee just before the Civil War began and much of the collection reflects their association with Memphis as well as Mississippi.
During the War, while Belle's brothers served in the military she worked as a spy for the Confederacy. She mainly worked in and around north Mississippi and reported primarily to Missouri troops. Belle also smuggled goods across the Union picket lines after Memphis was taken by Federal forces after the battle for the city on June 6, 1862. In 1864 a warrant was actually issued for Belle's arrest due to her spying and smuggling activities and she moved to Waverly Plantation in Clay County, Mississippi in November 1864 to escape. It is known that she remained at Waverly into the early part of 1865 but it is not known if she ended the war there. She would end her days in July 1873, two days after announcing her engagement to an unknown individual, a "Col. H."
Materials in the collection include war correspondence from Belle regarding her efforts on behalf of the Confederate soldiers in the area. Much of the collection also relates to Belle's eldest sister, Mary Edmondson who later married and became Mary Edmondson Anderson, then after Mr. Anderson died, she remarried and became Mary Edmondson Anderson Bray. She was also known as "Mollie." Her daughter, Susie Bray, would marry a Mr. Williams and live in Memphis, TN. Susie Bray Williams would have a daughter Mary E. Williams who would marry into the Stidham family. The 20th century correspondence is primarily from the Stidham family.
For much of the information about the early portion of the collection please see the transcribed diary of Belle Edmondson in the publication, A Lost Heroine of the Confederacy: The Diaries and Letters of Belle Edmondson. Edited by William and Loretta Galbraith. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1990.
Susan Tate Bray Williams is buried in Otey Chapel Cemetery—St John’s Episcopal Church –owned by Diocese of West Tennessee 692 Poplar Ave. Memphis.
0 Tchulahoma Rd., I mile south of Raines Rd on East side.

From the intersection of US-78/Lamar & E Raines, east of the Airport, travel west on E. Raines for 2.0 mi., turning north (right) onto Tchulahoma Rd., going about 100 yards to the cemetery off in the woods on the west (left) side of the road, before the first house.


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GPS Coordinates: 35.0377, -89.9552

  • Added: 17 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2635174