(Parsons City Negro Cemetery)

            Clay Cemetery is a black cemetery located on Pentecost Street in Parsons and until at least the 1980s was the only place blacks were buried in Parsons. It takes its name from Edward Clay, a black Union soldier who is buried here. Clay Cemetery is labeled as "Parsons Cem" on the U.S.G.S. Jeanette quadrangle (1986). In 1991 the cemetery was badly overgrown. By 1996 it had been cleared and was being mown on a regular basis. As is characteristic of many black cemetery, many graves have not received permanent markers. There may be over 100 unmarked graves. David Donahue recorded this cemetery in late spring 1991; updated it December 26, 1996; and checked and updated it October 25, 2003.

            The cemetery was recorded by Margarett Alexander and Bobbie Bartholomew on June 17, 1976. Their record appears under the name Parsons City Negro Cemetery in Decatur County, Tennessee Cemetery Records published by the Captain Nathaniel A. Wesson Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Parsons, Tennessee, 1984, pp. 346-348. Reference is made to this earlier record where appropriate. Alexander and Bartholomew estimated 33 unmarked graves but note that they were not able to locate all the graves because of the poor condition of the cemetery.


Clay, Edw'd, Dec. 25, 1837-Feb. 19, 1908, "Corpl." "Co. E. 12. U.S.C.I." "Husband of Vina Clay" [military marker with information added; Masonic symbol added]

Dixon, Joe, 1896-1946

Faulkner, Effie, d. Aug. 16, 1908, "Aged 40 Years" "Wife of Esquire Faulkner" [Daughter of Tabor symbol]

Faulkner, Esquire, d. Oct. 20, 1918, "Age 55 Ys" "Husband of Effie" "777" [Masonic symbol]

Fisher, Anna E., Jan. 3, 1906-Feb. 20, 1996
Fisher, J. B., Sr., Mar. 6, 1903-Feb. 13, 1979

Fisher, Ida, Oct. 12, 1866-Aug. 14, 1916, "Wife of H. G. Fisher" "Mother" "I.N.O.T. 333"

Fisher, Velora, Nov. 17, 1900-Aug. 14, 1990, "Married Aug. 1, 1920"
Fisher, Mitchell, May 4, 1901-Oct. 3, 1968

Hill, Mary, d. Feb. 4, 1911, "Age 72 Ys" (broken at death date) [death date from UDC transcription]

Houston, Pearl, Oct. 14, 1811-May 10, 1900

Ingram, Lonnie, Jan. 15, 1883-Dec. 3, 1898 (broken and repaired)

Jones, Mattie, Sept. 24, 1889-Oct. 13, 1906, "Wife of Richard Jones" "I.N.O.T. 333" "She lived a consistent member of the M. E. Church..."

Laster, Moralee, no dates, "Mom" (homemade); temporary marker, Parham Funeral Home, read in 1991, still readable 1996, "More L. Laster," d. Apr. 23, 1993, "Aged 75 Years 7 Months 27 Days"
Laster, Mack, no dates, "Dad"

McAlrath, Elizabeth [see Pitts, Elizabeth McAlrath]

McDonald, Florence, 1858-1946 (homemade)
McDonald, Frank, no dates

McDonald, Frank, d. 1923 [not found in 1991; from UDC transcription]

McDonald, Hettie, d. Oct. 12, 1976, "Aged 93 Yrs. 1 Mos. 9 Days," temporary marker read in 1991, Parham Mortuary, 4 yards north northwest of broken marker for Mary Hall and 8 yards north of double marker for Velora and Mitchell Fisher

McDonald, Ida, Dec. 19, 1895-Oct. 30, 1935 (homemade, fallen) [death year may be 1939; this marker was almost totally unreadable in 2003]

McDonald, Jacob, May 26, 1899-Apr. 11, 1955, military marker "Pvt US Army World War I" [not found in 1991, 1996; or 2003; from UDC transcription]

McDonald, Jesse, Oct. 15, 1841-____, "Husband of Martha McDonald" "Father" [Masonic symbol]/Martha, Apr. 1, 1839-Sept. 7, 1917, "Wife of Jesse McDonald" "Mother"

McDonald, Peter, no dates., "Mus'n" "Father" "Co. A. 40 U.S.C.I."; added information: "Husband of Jane McDonald" Mar. 16, 1843-Dec. 28, 1906 [military marker with spouse and date information added]

McLemore, Eveline, Nov. 1822-Aug. 12, 1883, "Wife of Peter McLemore" "Mother"

Parrish, Herman, June 10, 1900-June 28, 1901, "Son of Henry & Pearl Parrish"

Pate, Emma, d. May 18, 1972, "Age 79 yrs 11 mos 28 days, "Mrs." [not found in 1991, 1996, or 2003; from UDC transcription]

Pate, Kittie M., Apr. 10, 1929-June 12, 2002 [adjacent to military marker for McCall Pate]

Pate, Leo, Sept. 27, 1917-Dec. 25, 1977, temporary marker read in 1991, 2 yards south of military marker for McCall Pate

Pate, McCall, Oct. 4, 1922-Aug. 2, 1967, military marker "Tennessee Pvt US Army World War II"

Perrish, Annie L., Apr. 16, 1898-Mar. 31, 1964 (homemade) [name unreadable in 2003]

Perrish, Joe, Sept. 3, 1897-July 24, 1965 (homemade)

Pettigrew, Eva Mae, 1941-1968

Pettigrew, Mike, Apr. 19, 1921-Apr. 5, 1994, military marker "US Navy World War II"

Pettigrew, Nellie R., Feb. 19, 1923-Apr. 26, 1967

Pitts, Elizabeth McAlrath, d. Jan. 18, 1907, "Aged 60 Ys" "I.N.O.T. 333" "D. of T." [Eastern Star symbol]

Posey, Gloria, 1942-2002, temporary marker, Decatur County Funeral Home, 5 feet north of military marker for Mike Pettigrew

Scott, Harriet, d. Nov. 20, 1902, "Age 36 yrs 27 days" "Wife of L. M. Scott"

Scott, Henry C., 1862-1933
Scott, Annie J., 1871-1929

Sparkes, Gusey, Nov. 22, 1899-Jan. 20, 1900, "Dau. of J. G. & Juley Sparkes"

Stout, Eulah, Mar. 3, 1895-June 3, 1917, "Dau. of H. C. & A. J. Stout"

Taylor, John, Mar. 15, 1881-Mar. 20, 1973 (homemade)
Taylor, Lucy, Apr. 3, 1893-____

Tucker, James Walter, 1947-2003, temporary marker, rawls-Johnson Funeral Home, 4 yards south of marker for Jerry M. Pettigrew

Walker, Lorrine, 1922-1944, temporary marker read in 1991, 3 yards north northeast of double marker for Henry C. and Annie J. Scott"

Walker, William M., Oct. 6, 1900-Mar. 19, 1962m [Masonic symbol]
Walker, Pansy S., May 23, 1903-Sept. 18, 1971

Walker, Willie C. L., Mar. 24, 1922-Mar. 3, 1962

Webster, Annie S., Sept. 3, 1899-Dec. 24, 1961
Webster, George H., Nov. 6, 1878-Dec. 19, 1961

White, Stella, June 5, 1888-June 9, 1906, "Wife of Jesse White"
White, Infant, June 8, 1906, "Infant son of Jesse & Stella White"

Wilson, Guy, Oct. 15, 1864-____, "Husband of Millie Wilson" [Masonic symbol]
Wilson, Millie, June 12, 1868-May 18, 1926, "Wife of Guy Wilson" "777" "International order 333 of twelve Knight and Daughter of Taber" "_____ Tabernicle No. 99 ______ Temple N. 72" (difficult to read) [Eastern Star Symbol]


Also Known to be Buried Here

Celia Regina Dabbs, Oct. 25, 1980-Apr. 21, 1994

Mrs. Clara Bell Howard, 1896-1973

Mrs. Ruth S. Kizer, Sept. 5, 1906-Nov. 3, 1984


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