By Bob Parker -Puzzles From the Past

Danny Flanagan teaches math at Westover School near Lexington in Henderson County. After someone told him that Thomas Beal and his wife, Mildred, early settlers and ancestors, were buried in a wooded place on a nearby hillside, he decided to try and locate their graves.

It wasn't easy, but he finally discovered the site. Partially hidden by foilage, two graves covered with moss were found ona hillside. Inscriptions on the stone markers were still plain. Thomas Beal died 1852, wife Mildred did 1857. It was then that Danny made a discovery. A third grave with a broken headstone that lay beside the others was found. It was the grave of a two year old child. The inscription read - "George C. Washburn, son of Calvin and Mildred Washburn, born 1813, died 1815. For the first time in his life, Danny added two and two and found the answer five. This just couldn't be possible.

The first settler had come to Henderson County in 1820, after Andrew Jackson, then president, had made the "Jackson Purchase" buying all of West Tennessee and western Kentucky from the Chickasaw Indians. Before 1818, when this occurred, settlers were forbidden by the government to come into this Indian territory. However, after the Revolutionary War, some whites braved the mountain trails and wilderness and migrated into what is now Tennessee. Henderson County history records no whites before 1818 or 1820. Danny was puzzled by his unusual find. The grave posed a mystery. How could a child be buried at this site several years before settlers came to the county? He visited libraries in search of information, asked senior citizens,yet no one knew the answer.

He agreed to show me the grave site. We walked through pasture lots, climbed fences topped with barbed wire, crossed small streams and climbed a hillside. We examined the broken headstone. The dates were just as he had described. Lacking an explanation, we agreed that there was a possibility the Washburns may have been some of the early pioneers who came over the mountains into this Indian Territory, either decided to return to North Carolina or move further west. We could only visualize their two year old son becoming ill and dying and lying buried in this lonely spot with the help of friendly indians. We wondered if they, or some relative, returned later to erect the headstone we had found.

After taking pictures of the site and the grave stone markers, we left, hoping the Henderson County Historical Society in its charting of all old cemeteries in the area might find the answers. Perhaps, too, some senior citizen might remember a story they had heard of this child's grave. Who the Washburns were, what they were doing in Indian Territory, where they went after burying their child, is a myster. Butt they were in Henderson County before Joseph Reed and other early settlers moved into the area. Until we find the answers, which seemingly, only the Washburns adn a few Chickasaw Indians knew, we will wonder, guess and imagine why this child's grave is in this forgotten site.

*** An unknown submitter on Rootsweb/World Connect has this information posted.
Thomas Beal was born in 1784 - he deid 5 June 1852 in TN. Mildred was born 7 Dec 1795 and died 10 October 1857. They had a son Brooks Beal born 1822 in NC who married Sarah E. McGee 11 Dec. 1845 in TN and later married Trinia O. Kizer in 1859. He had several children. Brooks died in Bryan TX in 1882.

**** I have to wonder if Mildred Washburn and Mildred Beal might be the same person?


Located about .2 mile south of Rocky Springs Road, from a lane off this road about a half mile from its juncture with Highway 22-North at Parker's Cross Roads.

The old Dr. Dudley H. Williams' log house (two story log house, two rooms over two rooms) stood for many years about .1 mile from Rocky Springs Road just southwest of which was the family graveyard. According to Mr. Rush Kee (born 1930), whose family has owned this location for many years, the old Williams house burned about 1945. He remembered personally seeing dark blotches on timbers in upstairs of the house his elders told him were blood stains from wounded soldiers brought there for treatment at the time of the battle of Parker's Cross Roads in December 1862.

The burial ground has been disturbed by cattle and some tombstones are missing.

Lester Andrews May 13, 1883-Nov.30, 1883, "Son of Dr. A. G. & M. E. Andrews"

HewletteAndrews, May 13, 1883- July 10,1883, "Son of Dr. A. G. & M. E. Andrews"

J.W. Pritchard, May 11, 1829-August 25, 1881

A footstone inscribed: A.M.P.

Lower portion of a tombstone inscribed: Died Oct.13, 1883
This marked the grave of Dr. Dudley H. Williams. The various censuses indicate that Dr. Williams was born about 1815 Also buried here, according to the Jackson Dispatch (Tenn.), September 5, 1890, is Susan, widow of Dr. D. H. Williams, born September 20, 1820; died August 24, 1890; married in 1835. There may be other individuals buried in this abandoned cemetery but now forgotten. Lester and Hewette Andrews were the twin sons of Dr. Adolphus Gayleon Andrews and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Williams) Andrews, the latter a daughter of Dr. Dudley H. and Susan Williams. Dr. Andrews and family lived in Spring Creek, Tennessee.

Information found at Everett Horn Library -- Cemetery File Folder Submitted by Jonathan Smith

Sam Hemby, who lives near Ruby's Grove, West of Lexington, says he has discovered, back of his hog lot, near his residence, a small stone marker, having carved thereon: "Bertie, son of Peter andM.E. Farris, born December 30, 1877, died January 19, 1878". There are other graves, but no markers and Mr. Hemby, has lived there 19 years. (Lexington Progress April 10, 1936).

Back Back