(Black Section)

            Big Springs Cemetery is located about 4 miles east of Pinson, Tennessee on the south side of Ozier Road. It adjoins the white cemetery for Big Springs Methodist Church. White burials are along a the crest line of a low hill and on the north and west slopes, while black brials are on the south slope. The burials at Big Springs are laid out on the traditional east-west axis, but the southern fence/property line runs in a northeast-southwest direction. The division between the black and white sections is an imaginary line a bit north of parallel with the fence line and running the full length of the cemetery. There are hundreds of unmarked black burials here, and the south slope of the cemetery is full. So far the problem of reuse of space seems to have been avoided in the black portion of the cemetery. In November 2003 Mercer Brothers Funeral Home buried Ezell Green north of the imaginary line in a small area free of unmarked burials.

            David Donahue recorded this cemetery November 14, 2003 based on earlier work by Jonathan K. T. Smith. Updated February 4, 2004. Jonathan K. T. Smith recorded the black section of Big Springs Cemetery in 1995. It appears in his Tombstone Inscriptions from Black Cemeteries in Madison County, Tennessee. This is referred to as Smith in notes below.


Allen, Helen [see Croom, Helen Allen]

Ballard, Bertha [see Collier, Bertha Ballard]

Ballard, Clyde W., Feb. 12, 1921-Mar. 19, 1950, military marker "Tennessee Pvt 1447 Svc Comd Unit World War Ii

Ballard, John W., Apr. 16, 1863-Jan. 18, 1949

Ballard, Lena M., 1907-1958

Ballard, Ludie [see Cason, Ludie Ballard]

Ballard, Vesta C., July 2, 1897-May 14, 1986

Bradford, Silas, Jr., Sept. 14, 1915-July 4, 1951, military marker "Tennessee MA3 US Navy"

Bray, Nora, Aug. 28, 1885-Sept. 2, 1904, "Dau. of Bob Bray"

Butler, Lowell C., d. Sept. 7, 1933, "A-C-Ford" (homemade)

Cason, Leslie, July 18, 1894-Dec. 18, 1945, military marker "Tennessee Pvt 302 Pioneer Inf World War I"

Cason, Ludie Ballard, 1891-July 19, 1923, "Mother" [replacement]

Chaney, James L., Dec. 6, 1920-July 11, 1996, temporary marker, Cosmopolitan Funeral Services, Dyersburg, Tennessee, mounted on a wooden cross which has sunken several feet into grave

Cobb, Nathan N., Feb. 20, 1911-Feb. 12, 2003

Collier, Albert W., Sep. 25, 1919-Dec. 14, 1975, military marker "US Army World War II"

Collier, Bertha Ballard, Aug. 7, 1895-May 3, 1933, "Wife of Guthrie Collier"

Collier, Clate A., Jan. 12, 1914-Mar. 2, 1996, military marker "PFC US Army World War II"

Collier, George, Sr., 1829-1903, "Husband of Martha Collier"

Collier, Guthrie S., Mar. 16, 1881-Apr. 8, 1973

Collier, James C., 1920-1996, also temporary marker, Bledsoe Funeral Home, Apr. 25, 1925-June 2, 1996, Age 71 Yrs.
Collier, Zelma Grimes, 1920-2000; also temporary marker, Bledsoe Funeral Home, Mrs. Zelma Lorene Collier, Dec. 15, 1920-Aug. 27, 2000

Collier, John Rufus, Nov. 30, 1910-July 16, 1991 [not found in 2003; reported by Smith in 1995]

Collier, Louise, Mar. 14, 1909-Jan. 24, 1970, "Mother"

Collier, Martha C., Dec. 10, 1824-July 19, 1873, "Wife of George Collier"

Collier, Mary I., July 1, 1864-May 12, 1879, "Dau. of Martha & George Collier" (broken) [broken marker with only dates remaining; other information as reported by McNatt et al.]

Collier, Pauline, May 6, 1910-Aug. 10, 1986

Collier, Rollie Lee, Jan. 12, 1917-Oct. 26, 1981, military marker "Pvt Us Army World War II"

Collier, Tennessee, Mar 16, 1860-Jan. 1, 1877, "Dau. of G. & M. Collier"

Collier, William C., Jan. 31, 1858-June 16, 1872, "Son of George & Martha Collier"

Collier, Willie Frances, May 16, 1929-May 1, 1929, "Dau."

Collier, Willie Mae F., Mrs., Oct. 28, 1911-Mar. 23, 1992, temporary marker, Bledsoe Funeral Home, found loose in 2003 approx. 5 yards southwest of marker for Louise Collier

Croom, Effie Mae, Mrs., July 31, 1911-March 14, 2000, temporary marker, Stephenson-Shaw, 5 yards north of military marker for Clate A. Croom and just north of two mostly unreadable homemade markers

Croom, Helen Allen, Aug. 30, 1903-Jan. 8, 1987 (homemade) [almost unreadable in 2003; 4 yards north of military marker for Clate A. Collier]

DePriest, Brown, Aug. 20, 1911-Mar. 8, 1963, military marker "West Virginia S1 USNR World War II"

Gill, Lessie B., July 8, 1919-June 12, 1962 (improperly mounted) [death date buried in 2003; death date shown is that reported by Smith in 1995]

Godwin, Homer, Jr., Aug. 1, 1946-Aug. 14, 1948

Grimes, Zelma [see Collier, Zelma Grimes

Green, Ezell, d. Nov. 24, 2003, temporary marker, Mercer Brothers Funeral Home, about 12 yards south of marker for Willie Frank Moore [this burial is north of the imaginary line described in introduction]

Harden, Addie Pearl Thomas, Feb. 5, 1925-Sept. 18, 1994

Hart, E. C., Oct. 8, 1863-Oct. 17, 1916, "She is at peace"

Hart, Emmer Susan, Jan. 30, 1933 [replacement; infant-size grave]

Hart, M. D. L., Jan. 12, 1835-Feb. 18, 1913, "He is at rest"

Hart, Mary C., Nov. 5, 1895-Jan. 31, 1933, "Wife of R. L. Hart"

Helms, Della Sue, Oct. 8, 1939-Jan. 16, 1988

Hopper, Elvis G., Apr. 22, 1917-Dec. 18, 1918 [replacement]

Hopper, J. L., Oct. 6, 1915-Nov. 28, 1935 [replacement]

Hopper, O. F., Oct. 18, 1888-May 25, 1961
Hopper, Cordelia, June 17, 1892-Nov. 10, 1965, Together Forever

Jones, Lawger G., Jan. 8, 1918-Jan. 15, 1947, military marker "Tennessee Tec 5 386 QM Truck Co World War II"

Jones, Mary, Mar 1, 1898-May 27, 1960

Jones, Ola V., May 9, 1919-Jan. 8, 1992
Jones, Wilber Jones, Dec. 21, 1919-July 28, 1994

Lancaster, Lorenzo, Husband, 1901-1966

Moore, W. R., Feb. 12, 1934-Mar. 22, 1934 (homemade)

Owens, Eddie Nolan, July 12, 1894-May 26, 1972, "Son"
Owens, Bill, 1860-Feb. 26, 1940, "Father"

Pack, J. D., Sr, d. Aug. 1, 1989, Age 70, temporary marker, Stephenson-Shaw Funeral Home [not found in 2003; reported by Smith in 1995]

Pack, Joel, June 23, 1952-Mar. 10, 1964

Pack, Wayne Collier, July 1, 1939-Feb. 27, 1992

Parker, Mercie T., Nov. 3, 1906-June 15, 1985, "Our beloved mother and wife"

Polk, Edna Lucille, June 3, 1948-Nov. 20, 1998, "In loving memory of my sister" "Daughters-Latonya & Latasha" "Grandchild Tatyanana"

Steele, Daniel Claybourne "Danny", Sept. 14, 1952-Oct. 24, 1994, "Children-Quincy-April-Ashley"

Taylor, James David Mark, 1858-1892 [replacement]

Thomas, Addie Pearl [see Harden, Addie Pearl Thomas]

Thomas, Carrie Bell, June 1, 1890(?)-July 31, 1986 [not found in 2003; reported by Smith in 1995]

Thomas, Eugene Calvin Rufus, Jan. 17, 1875-May 9, 1962

Thomas, Nola Mae, June 13, 1905-Jan. L, 1988

Thomas, Rossie, 1904-1964, "Father"

Woodson, Luke, Aug. 2, 1879-Feb. 3, 1957
Woodson, Cassie, June 14, 1881-July 29, 1974

Wray, W. P., no dates, "Son" (homemade)


Black or White? Some Other Markers

Jonathan Smith lists the row of Andrews and Hemby markers as part of the black section of Big Springs Cemetery. However, they are north of the imaginary line separating the black and white sections. For this and other reasons, I think these people are white. David Donahue, November 2003


Andrews, Hexie, Jan. 6, 1906-Apr. 14, 1972

Andrews, Pierce, Apr . 19, 1907-Feb. 28, 1976

Hemby, Bob, 1877-1948, "Father"

Hemby, Demmie, Mr., Jan. 13, 1910-July 10, 1979 (homemade)

Hemby, Eva, July 12, 1910-Nov. 15, 2002 (homemade)

Hemby, Johnnie, 1903-1962

Hemby, Mollie, May 1, 1881-Aug. 29, 1964, "Mother"