Benton County, Tennessee Genealogical Society
of Neglected and Abandoned Cemeteries
Society is no longer attempting to clean up and repair abandoned cemeteries.
However, they do continue to locate and
This project is to identify
abandoned and neglected cemeteries that have no affiliation with a church
or other organization.
Honoring Our Ancestors -
Marking Old Cemeteries with New Signs
In the fall of
2007 following the purchase of the Bank of Camden by the Clayton
Foundation, a dinner was held by Mr. Jim Clayton at the Country and
Western Steakhouse in Camden.
Jerold Johnson, the manager of the Big Sandy Branch of the Bank of
Camden, invited James Lynch to the dinner as his guest. During the dinner Mr. Clayton passed out to each person a
biographical book about his life, First A Dream. Although it
would be expected that you would not start reading the book while he was
speaking, Mr. Clayton admonished each of them to look inside the book and
see if they might have something extra. James Lynch opened his book and
found a voucher for $500.00.
However, there was a stipulation - he could not keep the money; he
had to use it for the benefit of the Benton County community.
Some people do the
right thing; some people do the right thing because it is the right thing
to do. James was thinking,
"How can I use this money in the best way to benefit the most
people?" As he was thinking
of various ways that the money could be used, he thought of the many old
cemeteries, such as the Hatley-Harrison and Dalton cemeteries where he had
relatives buried, that did not have a sign marking the cemetery or needed
cleaning up. A sign marking
the cemetery would let people know its name as they passed by and saw
it. And maybe,
just maybe a new sign at the cemetery, especially those old
cemeteries that did not have a sign, might create an interest in those who
have family members buried there to take pride in the cemetery and help
keep it up. James Lynch was
one of those persons who knew the right thing to do and did it because it
was the right thing to do.
James approached the Benton County Genealogical Society with the idea of
having signs made to be erected at cemeteries that did not have
signs. He explained that he
had received $500.00 from the Clayton Foundation and would like to use it
for this purpose. The
Society was ecstatic about the idea and following a meeting with the Berry
Sign Company, the Society voted to supplement James' seed money resulting
in 55 signs being made.
Although it has taken longer than we would have liked for it to have
taken, we are pleased to announce that all of the signs have finally been
erected. Some of the
cemeteries were easy to find and the signs went up quickly; others were
more difficult to get to or even find.
of the last signs to be put up was at the Hatley-Harrison Cemetery, which
just happens to be on property owned by James Lynch.
current listing and pictures of the signs erected are listed at Cemeteries
list of cemeteries were originally candidates for restoration and or marking
and can be viewed at Cemetery Candidates For
Marking and Cleaning Although the
information on this page is outdated as to the status of most of these
cemeteries, the page has been left since it does contain information on
how to get to some of the cemeteries.
After much hard work and fun, please
Return to Benton County