OLD BEECH RIVER CEMETERY
(Timberlake Cemetery)

            Old Beech River Cemetery is on the west side of Old Huntingdon Highway on the north side of Lexington. On the opposite side of the road from the northern end of Beech River Cemetery is a small gravel pullout and a locked gate partially hidden by young cedars. A sign says for entrance, see sheriff. This is the beginning of the access drive for Old Beech River Cemetery. Even if you could open the locked gate you cannot drive in as the southern end of the drive is overgrown. Fallen trees block it further north. Though the cemetery is beside the Old Huntington Highway, it is not recognizable as a cemetery from the road.

            By 1991 this cemetery was overgrown and had been heavily vandalized. Some markers were broken. On the north end of the cemetery every marker which could be toppled had been toppled. They never were re-erected. In subsequent years storms have brought down many large trees within the cemetery. The cemetery is now mostly inaccessible unless you are very determined.

            Old Beech River Cemetery may be the cemetery sometimes called Timberlake Cemetery, though this term more likely applies to the very large walled family plot near the northern end of the Old Beech River Cemetery. This plot might contain 2-3 dozen burials.

            If previous records are correct, Old Beech River Cemetery dates to the 1820s. It generally was in use until the 1920s. The current Beech River Cemetery east of the road was created in the 1890s and received most Adams, Bird, and Gibson family burials after the 1920s. Other families using Old Beech River Cemetery now bury elsewhere. There are single identified burials in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1960s. The last known white burials were two Barhams buried in the 1950s next to a child they had buried in the cemetery in 1902. The last known black burial was in 1967. Given the age of the cemetery, many burials, perhaps a majority, are probably unmarked. To the extent it was possible to see through the thickets, there were no obvious fieldstones. They might have been removed after 1940 to make mowing easier. There was a dedicated caretaker for many years. The total number of burials cannot be estimated.

            Many of the markers at the north end of the cemetery, though toppled, appear to be in good condition. The cemetery could be restored, but it would take a sizeable donation to pay for the necessary crews and equipment to remove the fallen trees and remount the markers.

            Three records exist for this cemetery. Frances Evans recorded this and nearby Beech River Cemetery as a single cemetery on August 1, 1936. Her record appears in Tennessee Records of Henderson County, Bible Records and Tombstone Inscriptions (Nashville, Historical Records Survey, July 27, 1939).

            Alicia Adcox, Betsy Patterson, Anita Webb, and Ophie Timberlake recorded this cemetery circa 1976. Their record appears in Henderson County, Tennessee Cemetery Inscriptions (Memphis, R. H. Harris, 1976), Vol. II, pp. 395-397.

            Old Beech River Cemetery is a mixed race cemetery. Jonathan K. T. Smith visited this cemetery circa 1995 and recorded black burials here. His record appears in his Tombstone Inscriptions from Black Cemeteries in Henderson County, Tennessee, 1995. Black burials are on the east side of the cemetery.

            To present the best possible record for this destroyed cemetery, the 1936, 1976, and 1995 records have been merged in the list below. The information for black burials comes from Smith. Frances Evans obviously knew which were black burials because she uniformly omitted them. All burials reported by Adcox et al. but not reported by Smith are assumed to be white. In case of discrepancies in data for white burials, the 1936 Evans record is given precedent. Because Evans' record includes Beech River Cemetery, items reported by her but not reported by Adcox et al. were compared against Joy Beth Campbell's 1998 record of Beech River Cemetery. Anyone reported by Evans who appears in Campbell's listing is excluded from the list below.

 

Black Burials

Parker, C. C., Oct. 1, 1892-May 30, 1919, "Son of L. M. & L. M. Parker"

Parker, C. W., d. June 26, 1912, "Aged 2 yrs.11 mos. 21 days" "Son of J. H. & A. M. Parker" "Sleep on sweet babe and take thy rest. God called thee home."

Parker, J. H., Oct. 1, 1882-Jan. 25, 1923, "Husband and Father that provided well for his household" (broken stone)

Timberlake, Daisy, d. June 27, 1906, "Aged 4 mos. 3 days" "Dau. of H. & H. D. Timberlake" "Sleep on sweet babe & take thy rest. God called thee home. He thought it best."

Timberlake, Hance, 1883-1967, In Loving Memory

Timberlake, Hettie, Jan. 1, 1888-June 28, 1925, "Wife of H. G. Timberlake" "Prepare to meet me in heaven"

Timberlake, John, June 14, 1844-July 2, 1904, "Husband of Harriet Timberlake"

Timberlake, Leon, Mar. 27, 1927-Apr. 11, 1927, "Son of Edward & Essie Timberlake" "Darling we miss thee"

Watson, Joe, 1866-Oct. 25, 1918, "Progress Temple 717, Jackson , Tenn."

Watson, Mary, June 18, 1871-May 17, 1922, "Wife of L. F. Watson," "She died as she lived a Christian"

Young, Hermon J., July 2, 1902-Jan. 9, 1920, "Age 17 yrs. 6 mos. 7 days" "Gone but not forgotten"

 

From Henderson County death records:

Parker, Clide, d. Dec. 2, 1920, Aged 6 mos. 10 days, Son of Jim H. and Addie Parker

 

Additional Black Burials Known from Death Certificates:

Thompson, Joe, died Feb. 7, 1919, aged about 65 years

Watson, Mary, July 1868-May 17, 1922. Father: Harrison Pyles. Mother: Tiley Pyles.

Young, Herman, died Jan. 9, 1920, aged 17 years. Father: Fred Young Mother: Elizabeth Pearson

 

White Burials

Adams, Aslee, July 29, 1872-June 30, 1909, "Dau. of Jasper & Matilda Adams"

Adams, Levi, July 21, 1811-Dec. 2, 1879, "Husband of S. R. Adams"

Adams, Martha S., Mar. 17, 1860-Sept. 26, 1862, "Dau. of Levi & S. P."

Adams, Matilda A., 1832-Nov. 2, 1917, "Wife of Jasper Adams"

Adams, S. R., June 27, 1817-Aug. 7, 1897, "Wife of Levi Adams"

Adams, Sudie, June 10, 1870-Nov. 2, 1909, "Dau. of Jasper & Matilda Adams"

Barham, Louanna Timberlake, Jan. 12, 1867-Sept. 12, 1954, "Dau. of E. C. Timberlake" "Wife of Judge Barham"

Barham, Neuge R., June 23, 1898-May 20, 1902, "Son of Neuge R. & Louanna Barham" [Nevce both cases in Adcox et al.] [HTML editor's note name might be Neuce as a contraction of Newsom]

Barham, Rayburn Newsom, Feb. 11, 1863-Aug. 15, 1950

Bird, Margaret, 1916-1917, "Dau. of Mr. & Mrs. George"

Bird, Oleva A., Jan. 18, 1865-Oct. 13, 1868

Clark, Kate Timberlake, Jan. 4, 1880-Aug. 16, 1904, "Wife of S. D. Clark"

Flake, Euphratus, Sept. 22, 1847-June 24, 1887, "Consort of Bina Flake"

Gibson, Thomas L., d. Mar. 29, 1875, "19 yrs. 2 mo. 3 da"

Howard, Bettie, Sept. 13, 1849-Oct. 25, 1916

Howard, John H., 1879-1934

Howard, Louise S., 1853-1916

Howard, Martha Virginia, Oct. 2, 1857, "Aged 1 Yr. 9 Mos., 16 Das" "Dau. of S. & M."

Howard, Mary, d. Oct. 3, 1864, "Aged 33 Yrs., 9 Mos., 6 Das." "Wife of Samuel Howard"

Howard, R. W., 1849-1929

Howard, Samuel, Nov. 27, 1823-Nov. 7, 1905

Howard, Willie Mae, Aug. 1, 1864, "Dau. of S. & M."

Kizer, Nicholos, 1844-1927, military marker "Tennessee Pvt Co D 27 Regt Tenn. Inf. Confederate States Army"

Kizer, Robert Lee, 1870-1899, "Son of Nicholas & Vernon"

Lassiter, Henry, Nov. 10, 1830-May 16, 1875

McCall, ________ (Child)

McCall, Grace, d. Jan. 15, 1892, "Aged 3 Yrs., 4 Mos., 23 Das." "Dau. of Jno. E. and Addie McCall"

Parker, Frances, Mar. 15, 1838-Aug. 1897

Rushing, Richard, Oct. 24, 1828-Feb. 23, 1892, "Husband of Ibby Rushing"

Small, Mary, Dec. 4, 1834-Mar. 12, 1916

Stanford, Clara, Nov. 17, 1893-Dec. 9, 1894, "Dau. of J. T. & Addie Stanford"

Stanford, Clary, Jan. 21, 1875-Aug. 25, 1875, "Dau. of L. A. & M. E. Stanford"

Stanford, J. Thomas, May 5, 1864-July 30, 1908, "Husband of Addie Standord"

Stanford, Jesse W., Dec. 23, 1876-Dec. 30, 1878, "Dau. of L. A. & M. E. Stanford"

Stanford, L. A., Sept. 9, 1837-Aug. 26, 1903, "Father"

Stanford, Lemuel A., Jr., Oct. 12, 1863-Apr. 11, 1911

Stanford, M. E., Dec. 4, 1842-Dec. 8, 1899, "Mother"

Stanford, Mary, Jan. 21, 1875-Aug. 29, 1875, "Dau. of L. A. & M. E. Stanford"

Stanford, Willie, Aug. 29, 1886-Apr. 25, 1887, "Son of J. T. & M. A. Stanford"

Stanford, Wm. H., 1895-1918, "Pvt. C 156 Inf. Died in France"

Timberlake, Charles H., May 30, 1874-Jan. 23, 1908

Timberlake, Edward J., May 26, 1843-Oct. 26, 1909

Timberlake, Harriet, d. Sept. 1862, "Aged 11 Yrs., 3 Mos., 12 Das." "Dau. of W. &. B."

Timberlake, Howard, Jr., May 20, 1843-Oct. 26, 1909

Timberlake, J. D., Oct. 12, 1871-July 29, 1880

Timberlake, Kate [see Clark, Kate Timberlake]

Timberlake, Louanna [see Barhan, Louanna Timberlake]

Timberlake, Mary Y., no dates

Timberlake, Mary, Oct. 16, 1791-Jan. 28, 1822, "Consort of R. Timberlake"

Timberlake, Nancy J., d. May 13, 1941, "Aged 1 Yr., 11. Das." "Dau. of R. & S. T."

Timberlake, Richard, d. Jan. 6, 1860, "Aged 21 yrs., 4 mo., 3 da."

Timberlake, Tabitha B., Apr. 8, 1802-Aug. 13, 1875, "Wife of Richard Timberlake"

Timberlake, William E., June 7, 1875-Oct. 13, 1877, "Son of L. N. & Amanda"

Timberlake, William, d. July 29, 1868, "57 yrs.., 1 mo., 19 da."

Timberlaxe, Louisa H., Nov. 12, 1844-July 6, 1912

Trice, Gilles Barbee, no dates, "Dau. of a Revolutionary Patriot"

Trice, William L., d. June 10, 1864, "Aged 18 yrs., 10 mo., 13 da., "of Co. C 16th Tenn. Cav."

White, Mary M, Dec. 8, 1798-Aug. 18, 1868

Whyte, Infant, born & died June 5, 1863, "Infant Dau. of J. F. & E.White"

Whyte, Infant, born and died Aug. 23, 1866, "Infant Son of J. F. & E. Whyte"

Whyte, Joseph, d. Sept. 19, 1861, Aged 66 years"

Whyte, Melvin, d. Feb. 18, 1867, "Aged 37 yrs 11 mo. 24da."

Young, Lizzie Lue, d. Apr. 2, 1887, "Aged 18 Yrs., 10 Mos., 2 Das." "Dau. of S. M. & M. A."

Young, Mary, d. Nov. 4, 1903, "Aged 66 Yrs., 8 Mos,, 24 Das." "Wife of S. M. Young"

 

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