Hugh L. Small

August 8, 1952
Lexington Progress
Forum, The Progress Editor

          You recall when I visited to your office about June 15 and subscribed for your paper. I am a native of Henderson County, although I have been living away for many years and living here in Fort Worth. I believe the persons who have relatives buried in the Natchez Trace Park will appreciate the matter about which I am writing and hope you may give it proper attention in your paper so they may be advised and perhaps be offered assistance to the state.

          There are many old cemeteries in that area where pioneers are buried, among which is the old Lovell Cemetery where my grandfather, Billie Lovell, and most of his family are buried, and two or three others, being some 12 graves in all. This spot is in the park some three miles east of where the South boundary of the park crosses Brown's Creek. The Lovell family has long since left that country and this old cemetery has been neglected for many years, nobody there interested to look after it. Result: it is almost obliterated, grown up in rubbish and can only be identified by cedar trees around the spot planted there nearly 70 years ago. Prior to the construction of that great park, we had placed markers there but hunters and others destroyed them.

          Upon my return from back there a few weeks ago, knowing there are other cemeteries in the area, and all practically abandoned and neglected, I wrote to Governor Gordon Browning explaining this situation and suggested that the state take over and care for all of them now since nobody is allowed to trespass in that area, and unless it did, all cemeteries within that area would soon be lost and forgotten.

          Governor Browning agreed with me in the plan and advised me that he had referred the matter to the Department of Conservation. This Department through Mr. Buford McRae, Executive assistant, then advised me that he in turn had referred my plan to Mr. Carl I. Peterson, state forester in charge of the Division of Forestry, having charge of the Forest and Park. Mr. Peterson approved the plan and immediately advised me that he had issued instructions to the Forest Ranger in charge, Mr. Earl Braden of Lexington, Superintendent of the Park to proceed with the straightening of all markers in the cemeteries, and to clean off and maintain all cemeteries within the area so that they will at all times be preserved and maintained in an orderly and presentable manner. We think this is the sensible, respectable and humane thing to do; that in the future they mow the grass and keep them so they will have a neat and cared for appearance.

          In view of the humane act of these officials so promptly rendered upon having their attention called to the matter, I, for one, and I am sure hundreds of others, desire to publicly express my very genuine appreciation through your paper.--Hugh L. Small, Fort Worth, Texas

Lovell Cemetery, December 1999


          There are no marked graves here. Known to be buried in this cemetery are:

Billie Lovell and most of his family

Margaret Ann Small, Aug. 21, 1870-Aug. 6, 1886, Daughter of John W. Small and Sarah (Lovell) Small


Note: A 1976 visit to this cemetery revealed no inscribed markers. No estimate of cemetery size was provided.

From Henderson County, Tennessee Cemetery Inscriptions (R. H. Harris, Memphis, 1976), Vol. II, p. 704.


Sixth District
Researched by: Betsy Patterson
Location: On Wildersville-Chesterfield Road, 7 miles north of Chesterfield; within Natchez Trace State Park.

Unmarked Graves


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