KEEL CEMETERY, HOUSTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
The Houston County Keel Cemetery is located on the east bank of the Tennessee River, just south (approximately 1000 feet) of the mouth of White Oak Creek (36.14.45N 87.55.47W). According to U.S. Geographic Service maps, it is near the end (on the right side) of the last small road branching to the left from the Tennessee River embankment road terminating at White Oak Creek. It contains 107 graves dating from 1841 to 1934, with most dating from 1870-1910. Thus, when this cemetery was established it was in the southern part of Stewart County (which became Houston County in 1871), and many of the families buried here have deep Stewart County roots.
This cemetery was scheduled to be flooded in the 1940's, when the TVA attempted to coordinate the removal of graves with surviving family members. This information was primarily derived from TVA records relating to that relocation effort, dating from Jan-Mar 1942.
After the Tennessee River Dam was completed, however, the river rose only to within about 200 feet of the cemetery. And, since TVA records confirm that no graves were actually relocated (and the cemetery is currently shown on USGS maps), it is assumed that the grave sites all remain in their original state. The current condition of the cemetery, however, is unknown.
Of the 107 graves, 67 were identified by TVA records, presented in the following table. Although the site is identified as "Keel Cemetery," only eleven Keel grave sites are accounted for. They belong to William and Elizabeth Keel, their son Richard Keel and his wife and children. William Keel is the grandson of William T. Keel, Sr., who is believed to have settled near White Oak Creek and who is the ancestor of many of the Keels who trace their roots to Stewart County . It is possible that a row of nine unidentified graves (numbers 40-48) immediately fronting the Keel graves could contain additional William Keel ancestors. Other prominent names represented in this cemetery are the McMillan's, Cathey's, Cook's, Bland's, Gill's and Daniel's.
TVA records provide no tombstone inscription data that would help identify the graves. They typically provide only name and sometimes date of death (and only occasionally date of birth). However, the identification of the relationship of the "sponsor" (the person identified by the TVA as the custodian of the grave) does provide unique and valuable relationship data. Mrs. N.M. Hudson, for example, by identifying herself as the "daughter" of Richard and Luella Keel, the "granddaughter" of William and Elizabeth Keel, and the "sister" of most of the remaining Keels, allows these relationships to be easily linked. Other identifying information (provided in footnotes to the table, below) is contained in the release forms provided by sponsor to the TVA.
It is unknown how much additional information could be derived from a field inspection of this site. I would welcome any additional information on those buried here, and would be happy to share what I have on this cemetery, the Keels and related families.
Earl Keel, Severna Park, Maryland firstname.lastname@example.org
|146-1||Hooper||Joseph C.||1914||22||Mrs. Gertie Vick||Huntington, TN||Wife|
|146-13||McMillan||A. D.||1848||1927||Mrs. A.D. McMillan||Waverly, TN||Wife|
|146-14||Hall||Elizabeth||1910||W.R. Hall||Waverly, TN||Son|
|146-15||Hall||J. W.||1927||W.R. Hall||Waverly, TN||Son|
|146-18||McMillan||Jesse Earl||1896||1896||Mrs. A.D. McMillan||Waverly, TN||Mother|
|146-22||Cathey||John G.||1876||Josie Weaver(a)||Stewart, TN||Daughter|
|146-23||Cathey||Rebecca||1896||Josie Weaver (a)||Stewart, TN||Daughter|
|146-24||Hazelwood||Eudora||1885||19||W.W. Hazelwood (b)||Roosevelt, OK||Son|
|146-25||Cathey||Charlie||1900||Josie Weaver (c)||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-26||Cathey||Robert||1903||Josie Weaver (c)||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-29||Keel||Ruby||Mrs. N.M. Hudson (d)||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-30||Keel||Waymon||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-31||Keel||Orpha||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-32||Keel||Homer||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Sister|
|146-33||Keel||William||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Gr-daughter|
|146-34||Keel||Elizabeth||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Gr-daughter|
|146-35||Keel||Robert A.||1875||26||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-36||Keel||Luella||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Daughter|
|146-37||Keel||Richard||Mrs. N.M. Hudson||Stewart, TN||Daughter|
|146-38||Keel||Mary & Infant Keel||1895||30||Marvin Keel||Danville, TN||Son|
|146-39||Keel||Talmage||Marvin Keel||Danville, TN||Brother|
|146-50||Thompson||T.B.||1883||Inf.||Mrs. Lena Thompson Whitaker||Montgomery, AL||Sister|
|146-51||Thompson||Ward B.||1873||2||Mrs. Lena Thompson Whitaker||Montgomery, AL||Sister|
|146-53||McMillan||Mary J.||1905||79||Grover McMillan (e)||Waverly, TN||Gr-son|
|146-54||McMillan||Neil||1893||77||Grover McMillan (e)||Waverly, TN||Gr-son|
|146-55||McMillan||Alfred P.||1900||43||Grover McMillan (f)||Waverly, TN||Nephew|
|146-56||McMillan||Dock||1916||57||Grover McMillan (g)||Waverly, TN||Nephew|
|146-57||McMillan||A.W.||Grover McMillan (g)||Waverly, TN||Nephew|
|146-58||Powers||Mollie P.||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-59||Cook||James A.||1875||62||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-60||Cook||Dorcas||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-61||Cook||James W.||1873||18||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-62||Cook||W. L.(i)||1869||19||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-63||Cook||J. L.||1865||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-64||Cook||Carroll||1882||19||Josie Weaver(h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-65||Cook||Thomas H.||1884||27||Josie Weaver (h)||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-71||McMillan||Parlee||1894||Grover C. McMillan (j)||Waverly, TN||Son|
|146-72||McMillan||Prentice||1901||Grover C. McMillan (j)||Waverly, TN||Son|
|146-73||McMillan||Virgil||1901||Grover C. McMillan (k)||Waverly, TN||Brother|
|146-74||McMillan||William P.||1907||21||Grover C. McMillan (k)||Waverly, TN||Brother|
|146-79||Summers||Ann||1858||43||Walter B. Summers||Stewart, TN||Cousin|
|146-80||Summers||Mary S.||1841||Walter B. Summers||Stewart, TN||Cousin|
|146-81||Summers||Udora||1858||Walter B. Summers||Stewart, TN||Nearest|
|146-101||Gill||Infant||1934||Mason Gill||Humbolt, TN||Father|
|146-102||Hudson||Morris Ray||1926||Mr. & Mrs. N.M Hudson||Stewart,TN||Mother and Father|
|146-103||McMillan||Agnes Lucille & Inf. McMillan||1909||W.R. Hall||Waverly, TN||Brother & Uncle|
|146-?||Keel||Infant||1908||Howard Keel (l)||Memphis, TN||Father|
|146-?||McMillan||Ada||Grover C. McMillan (k)||Waverly, TN||Brother|
|146-?||McMillan||Alfred||Grover C. McMillan (k)||Waverly, TN||Brother|
|146-?||Bland||Infant||1896||Geo. & Lizzie Bland||Big Sandy, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Bland||Ernest||1902||Geo. & Lizzie Bland||Big Sandy, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Bland||Infant||1911||Geo. & Lizzie Bland||Big Sandy, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Gray||Infant||Marvin Keel||Danville, TN||Cousin|
|146-?||Gray||Infant||Marvin Keel||Danville, TN||Cousin|
|146-?||Gill||Herbert Eugene||1931||H.R. & Martha Gill||Waverly, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Gill||Mildred Marie||1917||H.R. & Martha Gill||Waverly, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Daniel||Sarah||Sarah Gill||Waverly, TN||Gr-daughter|
|146-?||Jacobs||Maggie||Sarah Gill||Waverly, TN||Niece|
|146-?||Gill||Heber Herman||1894||(I.)P. & Sarah Gill||Waverly, TN||Parents|
|146-?||Cathey||Mary||Mary Cathey (m)||Waverly, TN||Mother|
|146-?||Cathey||Dassie||Mary Cathey (m)||Waverly, TN||Mother|
|146-?||Ellison||Mary||J.E. Ellison||Stewart, TN||Son|
|146-?||Gill||Allie Lee||1916||Mrs. Ora Hamilton||Waverly, TN||Wife|
|146-?||Daniel||Zora||1894||Carrie Smith||Humboldt, TN||Daughter|
|146-97||Daniel||Flora||1896||Lurt Daniel||Pontiac, Mich.||Brother|
|146-98||Daniel||Betty||1898||Lurt Daniel||Pontiac, Mich.||Step-son|
|146-100||Daniel||Lula||1892||Lurt Daniel||Pontiac, Mich.||Son|
a. Also signed by Callie Taylor, daughter.
b. Also cited his aunt, Josie Weaver, in Stewart Co., TN, as an interested party in this matter.
c. Also signed by Callie Taylor, sister.
d. Signed by Christine Hudson for N.M. Hudson
e. Also signed by C. B. and Guy McMillan, grandsons, and Lizzie Bland, granddaughter.
f. Also signed by C. B. McMillan, nephew, and Lizzie Bland, niece.
g. Also signed by C. B. and Guy McMillan, nephews.
h. Also signed by Callie Taylor, nearest relatve.
i. Also possibly W. S. Cook (as entered in TVA release form).
j. Also signed by Guy McMillan, son, and Lizzie Bland, daughter.
k. Also signed by Guy McMillan, brother, and Lizzie Bland, sister.
l. Also signed by Clara Weaver, 2631 Brand St., Memphis, TN. Howard Keel also confirmed his agreement with matters approved by his "sister, Mrs. N.M Hudson."
m. Signed by Bertha McMillan for Mary Cathey.