Maple Hill Cemetery is a nonprofit cemetery which is owned by its Lot Owners and which is administered by a Board of Trustees. It was started about 1865 as a direct result of the destruction of Helena's existing cemetery (called Graveyard Hill) by the shells and gunfire of the Battle of Helena, July 4, 1863. In the first years of the cemetery's existence and when its newly drawn lots were being purchased, the remains of many were removed from the shattered cemetery and from places of burial in private yards and reinterred in the new cemetery. The earliest death date on a headstone is 1827 (Section 2-A), and this stone was probably moved from Graveyard Hill. About 78 stones in the cemetery proper (excluding the Confederate Cemetery) have death dates prior to 1865; some are "moved" stones and some are stones set later with early dates. On part of the site of the new cemetery of approximately 35 acres, had been the home of the Davis Thompson family and even now articles turn up occasionally which are attributed to the materials of the house or outbuildings. Originally the cemetery was called Evergreen Cemetery and was enclosed by a fence of evergreens. In 1898, it was reorganized as Maple Hill Cemetery.
The cemetery is located at the base of and on the side of Crowley's Ridge, and its terracing and leveling were done in large part in the last century by the power of mules. It is located on one of the oldest roads in this county, the road leading to the Saint Francis River, once known as the Sterling Road and now as the Big Spring Road outside the corporation limits, and as Holly Street inside the city. Its interesting drives and its marvelous view looking toward the river make it a spot that few tourists miss when visiting this area. The fine old magnolia trees leave it with no peer in point of beauty in this part of the state.
Located on a high hill in the southwest corner of Maple Hill Cemetery is the Confederate Cemetery, which was started through the efforts of the Phillips County Memorial Association, organized in 1869. The Association arranged for the reinterment of Confederate soldiers buried in the local area after the Battle of Helena and of some who were buried at more distant places. Of the latter, General Patrick R. Cleburne's remains were brought from St. John's Cemetery, Ashwood, Maury County, Tennessee, in 1870. Major Sam Corley's remains were also brought in 1870 from his original burial place at Little Rock. As the years passed, many old soldiers elected to be buried here. There are about 73 gravestones with names on them, and 29 gravestones unidentified by names. In 1891, a marble column was erected to the memory of General Cleburne, and in 1892, a granite shaft, called the Confederate Monument, was erected in the center drive of the Confederate Cemetery. These two monuments were the results of years of effort on the part of the Association members to raise sufficient funds. There are no Union soldiers buried here, as their remains were removed shortly after the Civil War from burial places in and around Helena to National Cemeteries at Memphis and Louisville. Buried in Maple Hill Cemetery were General Hindman and General Tappan.
GPS Coordinates: 34.54292, -90.58931
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #54904
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