A Grey Afternoon at Grigsby Chapel

Grigsby 4
Grigsby 32
Pictures don’t look as pretty on grey days at winter’s end, but that’s the kind of day it was when I stopped by Grigsby Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery a few weeks ago.
I don’t have as much context for this post as I’d like.  Perhaps any local historians could chime in down in the comments, but I couldn’t find much online about the church, the cemetery, or even the Grigsbys, even though they have not only a church but a road named for them!
At least I know where they are now:
Grigsby 24
Grigsby 25As you can see, this cemetery has been here for awhile.  The church was established in 1851, and the earliest marked burial is dated 1864.  One online source suggested that earlier graves are unmarked.
It’s still an active cemetery, with the most recent burial occurring in 2013.  Which means that alongside the traditional stones we have ones with more modern touches:
Grigsby 33I don’t know the story of this young man, but his stone touched me, with a picture of him forever frozen in one happy moment in time.  But the graves of children always get to me, even when they are very simple:
Grigsby 10
Grigsby 20
One family was especially unfortunate:
Grigsby 35Someone still comes back and remembers this little fellow:
Grigsby 34
And these twins:
Grigsby 3
In almost every older graveyard I’ve visited, you’ll find one area with all the older stones.  Not so here.  It was odd how mixed up everything was, and even though this is an exceptionally flat graveyard for hilly East Tennessee, the graves were scattered more then usual, with less of an attempt at making rows.  Not that I care–straight lines are boring anyway.  But it’s unusual.
Grigsby 18
Grigsby 14
Grigsby 2
Grigsby 1There are a lot of Kelleys buried here.  Also many Newcombs (spelled various ways), along with members of the Vinsant, Lovelace, Bates, Herron, and Letsinger families.  Some stones appeared to be hand-lettered.
Grigsby 31
Grigsby 19
Grigsby 21For whatever reason, the older stones here were extremely hard to decipher.
Grigsby 9
Grigsby 6
Grigsby 26
Grigsby 23
Grigsby 16This cemetery is mown and free of sticks or old flowers.  Of course, like all cemeteries, there are a few broken stones, along with signs that the site has experienced growing pains over the years.
Grigsby 13
Grigsby 15
Grigsby 30
Grigsby 8
Grigsby 7
Grigsby 22It’s always a treat to find a relative.  The young mother below is my fourth cousin, twice removed:
Grigsby 28
Grigsby 29It’s hard to read, but this is a lovely traditional epitaph:

Grigsby 17Sleep on my dear and take thy rest.  God called thee home for he thought best.

Grigsby 11

12 thoughts on “A Grey Afternoon at Grigsby Chapel

  1. This is weird to say, but I love cemeteries. There is an old pioneer cemetery near us that we go to and clean it up. The city is supposed to clean, but it’s not top priority. They’re peaceful and full of history. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That is so nice of you to do that! The more I blog about graveyards, the more I come to realize what a huge problem maintenance is. Once the families are gone, there is no one left to care, and that’s sad.

  2. I love looking through old cemeteries too. The babies’ stone especially touch me. I feel so bad for the families that could only afford to put a simple stone that say “baby” and nothing else. My dad has a sister that died when she was 18 months old and we have trouble finding her grave for that very reason.

    1. I know–I can almost feel their pain across the years. I can’t imagine what it was like to live in the times when so many babies died. I’ve heard that parents just didn’t get as attached to their kids back then but I don’t believe it.

  3. Jeani Lane Needham Lane

    I remember Grigsby Chapel Church very well–loved attending services – weddings – showers – and not enjoyed funerals . It is a sad rememberance of things passed and also many happier times ..thanks so much for sharing..

  4. Pingback: Sunday Snippets | Life in Every Limb

  5. Pingback: My Graveyard Stories | Life in Every Limb

  6. Alice Johnson

    (Grigsby Chapel Road, off Campbell Station Road)
    Compiled and contributed by David Donahue 
                This cemetery is located at Grigsby Chapel United Methodist Church on Grigsby Chapel Road, off Campbell Station Road north of Kingston Pike. Perhaps as many as 50 percent of the graves are either unmarked or marked only by plain cut marble markers. The oldest part of the cemetery probably is the now nearly vacant area on the eastern side. There are several large vacant areas with only sunken spots. Some of the oldest parts of this cemetery may be being reused. This cemetery was recorded April 15, 1989, and was checked October 11, 1989. Update January 20, 1997.
    Ballard, Maggie, 10/1/1880-2/11/1972, “Mother” footstone\Ballard, John, 8/22/1854-5/26/1910, “Father” footstone
    Ballard, Melvin Jessie, 5/20/1909-12/8/1987
    Barrett, Gladys [see Lee, Gladys Barrett]
    Bates, J. S., 5/15/1877-9/10/1902
    Bates, J. T., 3/12/1848-11/29/1912
    Bates, Jesse A., 5/27/1916-5/29/1916\Bates, Clarence T., 1/10/1918-1/13/1918
    Bates, Jesse W., 2/13/1894-11/10/1972\Bates, Katie E., 3/12/1898-11/1/1982\Bates, Dorothy, 12/13/1920-12/13/1921
    Bates, Jessie May, 1/5/1906-4/24/1906
    Bates, Johnny, 2/27/1921, “Infant son of T. A. & Sarah Bates”
    Bates, Leonard, 5/13/1917-1/29/1920, “Son of J. W. & Katie Bates”
    Bates, Martha, 1859-1940, “Mother” [adjacent to marker for J. T. Bates]
    Bates, Nellie, 9/11/1882-4/12/1909, “Wife of W. A. Bates”
    Bates, Pearl, 12/3/1918-2/16/1920, “Dau. of J. W. & Katie Bates”
    Bates, Roxanna, dates unreadable [infant-type marker, eroded almost to unreadable, 2 yards south of marker for Henderson F. Lawson]
    Bates, Tilman, 9/29/1889-1/3/1929, “Father”
    Beeler, Maude [see Tolle, Maude Beeler]
    Black, Cecel, 10/23/1924-1/23/1925
    Esther, 6/13/1904-4/28/1980, “Wife”\Black, James F., 3/24/1901-10/12/1996, “Husband”
    Black, Louise Hutson, 11/9/1882-6/11/1968, “Mother”\Black, James, 12/19/1879-6/26/1953, “Father”
    Black, Roy, 1904-1929, “Brother” [probably brother of James F. Black and son of James Black and Louise Hutson Black]
    Boring, Pleasant, 7/11/1880-7/22/1881, “Son of J. A. & E. F. Boring”
    Buck, John Vernon, Sr., 5/22/1936-11/8/1987, “Army PFC in Korean War. He left a wife, two sons, two daughters to carry on,” military marker as footstone “PFC US Army Korea”
    Buffalo, Marget E., 2/2/1857-1/5/1901, “Wife of J. J. Buffalo” “Mother”
    Buffalow, Joseph J., d. 2/4/1916, “Age 64 Years” “Father”\Buffalow, Lizzie Hutson, 11/5/1878-5/9/1972, “His Wife”
    Burns, Bessie Mae, 1/23/1900-11/12/1933
    Casteel, James B., 5/23/1891-6/26/1974, “Brother”
    Casteel, Joe L., 6/22/1888-6/7/1958, “Father” footstone\Casteel, Bessie Dowling, 5/12/1892-9/15/1943, “Mother” footstone
    Clowson, Elizabeth, 9/13/1806-8/1/1864
    Crawford, Glen E., 11/11/1936-____ [seems to be realted to Ruby E. and Charles N. Seaton]
    Crawford, Henry A., 4/19/1913-4/4/1946
    Cross, Mary Jane [see Lovelace, Mary Jane Cross]
    Cummings, Infant, 5/25/1889-5/26/1889, “Infant son of George & Parthena Cummings”
    Dalton, James H., 9/9/1912-8/9/1994, military marker “Pvt US Army World War II”; also temporary marker, Smith Funeral Home, “James Henry Dalton”
    Dalton, Mae, 11/21/1915-5/8/1934 [replacement]
    Dalton, Susie, 6/1/1882-3/23/1930 [replacement]
    Dalton, William J., 11/22/1879-7/12/1955 [replacement]
    Davis, Lucile Hayes, 10/28/1917-9/9/1958, “Mother”
    Derrick, Kender R., 1/11/1916-____\Derrick, Edith N., 4/25/1917-12/11/1989
    Derrick, Richard K., born & died 11/30/1939, “Son of Mr. & Mrs. Kender Derrick”
    Dowling, Bessie [see Casteel, Bessie Dowling]
    Evans, Charles, 1923-1933
    Evans, Ibby, 1899-1934 [adjacent to marker for Thomas Evans]
    Evans, Louise, 1/12/1927-1/29/1927
    Evans, Thomas, 4/15/1885-12/27/1961, military marker “Tennessee Pvy Sup Co 28 Infantry World War I”
    Eyebett?, Margarett R., 4/26/1843-8/16/1866
    Fox, James A., 11/15/1857-6/21/1919\Fox, Lenora M. M. Scott, 6/4/1861-1/19/1936, “His Wife”
    Glass, Terry Lee, 8/2/1960-2/7/1977
    Graves, Infant, 10/17/1943, “Infant dau. of Mr. & Mrs. Walter Graves”
    Grigsby, N. B., 9/2/1805-3/22/1883
    Grigsby, T. A., 2/16/1813-2/13/1887
    Hayes, Carrie L., 5/3/1891-10/11/1963, “Wife of E. H. Hayes”
    Hayes, E. H., 12/18/1884-5/30/1972, “Husband of Carrie L. Hayes”
    Hayes, J. H., Jr., born & died 10/1/1906, “Infant son of J. H. & Lizzie Hayes”
    Hayes, Lucile [see Davis, Lucille Hayes]
    Herron, Amanda M., 3/11/1844-12/30/1893, “Wife of J. M. Herron”
    Herron, Beulah Prater, 6/7/1881-12/13/1964 [adjacent to marker for James Eaton Herron]
    Herron, Blanch R., 3/17/1888-____, “Mother”\Herron, Pleas H., 10/31/1886-4/20/1945, “Father”
    Herron, Charles Frank, 11/22/1883-3/6/1960, “Father”
    Herron, Charles L., 6/23/1918-8/11/1970, military marker “Tennessee PFC US Army World War II”
    Herron, Delia [see Holloway, Delia Herron]
    Herron, Dora T., 8/21/1891-2/23/1954, “Mother” [adjacent to marker for Charles Frank Herron]
    Herron, Earl A., 11/25/1922-7/6/1964, military marker as footstone “Tennessee PFC 335 Infantry World War II BSM-PH” [marker is partially buried]
    Herron, Earl L., 10/18/1912-7/8/1965, military marker as footstone “Tennessee PFC Medical Department World War II”\Herron, Eleanor B., 7/12/1924-6/27/1976, “Mother” footstone
    Herron, Irene, no dates, “Daughter of W. S. & Pearl Herron”
    Herron, Irene H., 12/17/1913-4/22/1981
    Herron, James Eaton, 4/17/1879-5/25/1953
    Herron, James M., 2/25/1842-3/10/1908
    Herron, John H. 3/16/1910-11/5/1962
    Herron, Matilda Morrison, 4/3/1868-8/29/1909, “Wife of W. S. Herron”
    Herron, Pearl V., 1880-1959 [adjacent to marker for William S. Herron]
    Herron, S. M., 1870-1952\Herron, Katie Kelley, 1873-1966
    Herron, Susan C., 3/12/1849-3/30/1935, “Mother”\Herron, Joseph H., 3/19/1847-1/7/1926, “Father”
    Herron, William N., 10/22/1907-10/9/1967, “Tennessee PFC Quartermaster Corps World War II” [based on marker positions, he seems to be the son of James Eaton Herron and Beulah Prater Herron]
    Herron, William S., 1868-1942
    Hickey, Almira, 1/23/1856-3/11/1914, “Wife of Daniel Vinsant”
    Hobbs, Nancy R., 1/27/1865-9/13/????, “Wife of Samuel Hobbs” (broken at death date, heavy lichen encrustation)
    Holloway, Delia Herron, 5/27/1881-2/10/1907, “Wife of J. L. Holloway”
    Howard, G. L., no dates, military marker “Co. D. 3rd Tenn. Inf.”
    Howard, G. L., 10/23/1813-11/13/1882
    Hutson, Andrew J., 6/27/1859-2/24/1938\Hutson, Jane, 4/4/1848-4/14/1934 [replacement]
    Hutson, Lizzie [see Buffalow, Lizzie Hutson]
    Hutson, Louise [see Black, Louise Hutson]
    Jackson, Bertha [see Newcomb, Bertha Jackson]
    Jackson, Joe H., 6/14/1886-2/5/1957 [artificial flowers spelling “Dad”]\Jackson, Needa M., 8/11/1913-11/5/1981 [artificial flowers spelling “Mom”]
    Jackson, Ramsom E., 6/7/1898-6/14/1916
    Johnson, Donald V., 4/3/1946-9/3/1962, “Son”
    Johnson, John A., 10/2/1956-2/4/1969
    Kelley, Alpha F., 12/28/1924-1/3/1935
    Kelley, Cleo Jane, 2/7/1933-2/27/1988
    Kelley, Dollie Lee, 9/10/1906-4/17/1938
    Kelley, Ebenezer, 1/10/1883-11/22/1961
    Kelley, Frank Sitton, Jr., 4/21/1939-5/23/1952
    Kelley, Joe A., 12/18/1880-4/25/1938\Kelley, Mancie, 8/7/1881-11/18/1974
    Kelley, Katie [see Herron, Katie Kelley]
    Kelley, Mary, 8/18/1926-8/18/1926\Kelley, Marjorie, 8/18/1926-8/18/1926
    Kelley, Samuel J., 3/20/1878-4/8/1961, “Father” footstone\Kelley, Matilda W., 5/16/1884-7/29/1967, “Mother” footstone
    Lawson, Henderson F., 3/17/1885-8/6/1905 [Masonic symbol]
    Lee, Billie B., 8/13/1917-3/9/1945
    Lee, Jeff D., 12/27/1882-6/8/1978\Lee, Lydia B., 12/7/1888-11/27/1966
    Lee, Judy Jane, 1/28/1945-9/17/1947 [replacement]
    Lee, Marilyn Alyce, 9/17/1952-3/26/1954 [replacement]
    Lee, Mary Lou, 10/23/1939-10/23/1939
    Lee, Patsy Ann, 8/14/1938-6/18/1944 [replacement]
    Lee, Ralph Ramon, 10/4/1909-12/9/1993\Lee, Gladys Barrett, 10/15/1915-____
    Lee, Sharon L., 9/1/1948-9/2/1948
    Letsinger, Gene W., 12/31/1921-1/6/1931
    Letsinger, Hester C., 12/18/1941-1/1/1942
    Letsinger, Lewis, 1873-1923\Letsinger, Eliza Ann, 1876-1943
    Letsinger, Louis, born & died 2/10/1919 [replacement]
    Letsinger, Mary R., 1899-1963, “Mother” footstone\Letsinger, Lee J., 1891-1968, “Father” footstone
    Letsinger, Wayne A., 5/9/1925-11/25/1935
    Light, James Sam, 11/28/1905-11/18/1972, military marker as footstone “James Samuel Light” “Tennessee S1 US Navy World War II”\Light, Ruth L., 12/24/1912-____
    Light, Myrtle [see Neely, Myrtle Light]
    Lovelace, Alene H., 5/20/1916-12/10/1954 [adjacent to marker for Walter W. Lovelace]
    Lovelace, John Robert, 1897-1976\Lovelace, Elsie N., 1910-1996, “Married Dec. 23, 1932” [older primary marker]
    Lovelace, Robert, 9/12/1897-2/5/1976, “Dad”\Lovelace, Elsie, 8/11/1910-6/6/1996, “Mom” [newer marker used as footstone]
    Lovelace, Mary Jane Cross, 10/6/1875-2/3/1964, “Mother” footstone\Lovelace, George W., 4/27/1871-8/8/1960, “Father” footstone
    Lovelace, Rudolph G., 6/13/1904-____\Lovelace, James Leonard, born & died 7/9/1937\Lovelace, Bonnie Kate, 9/11/1912-12/12/1958
    Lovelace, Walter W., 10/3/1908-5/26/1951 [Masonic symbol]
    Marlow, Nova H., 5/28/1905-7/17/1983
    Marlow, Thomas, 9/6/1895-6/18/1980, military marker “US Army World War I”
    Martin, Dorothy I., 10/5/1926-1/30/1929, “Dau. of R. R. & Gertrude Martin”
    Martin, Robert, 3/13/1933\Martin, Roy, 3/13/1933, “Infant sons of Mr. &. Mrs. R. R. Martin
    McCarter, Ben Albert, 6/3/1937-7/18/1973, military marker as footstone “Tennessee A2C US Air Force”\McCarter, Mary Alice, 7/18/1938-7/18/1973, “Mother” footstone [footstone positions are in reverse order from the names on the headstone]
    McCarter, Bryson, 4/7/1900-11/11/1977\McCarter, Lizzie, 9/25/1904-10/12/1989
    McCarter, Carl V., 12/16/1921-11/12/1966, “Father” footstone
    McCarter, Herbert J., 11/3/1925-2/1/1978, military marker as footstone “SFC US Army World War II Korea”\McCarter, Maria A., 9/24/1926-____
    McCarter, Stacy Lynn, 8/26/1978-9/17/1978
    McLain, Eddie L., 8/24/1943-3/12/1982, military marker “SP4 US Army Vietman” [also temporary marker, Rose Mortuary, “Eddie Leroy McLain”]
    Morrison, Mary C., 8/26/1866-3/19/1895
    Morrison, Matilda [see Herron, Matilda Morrison]
    Morrison, Thomas G., 7/27/1873-3/19/1895
    Neely, Myrtle Light, 3/18/1885-8/27/1972
    Nelson, Flora T., 11/23/1891-5/4/1967, “Mom”\Nelson, Frank, 3/1/1880-5/8/1970, “Dad” “Married Dec. 7, 1911”
    Nelson, Harold R., 3/26/1930-1/25/1947
    Nelson, William, 8/15/1829-11/12/1891
    Newcomb, Alfred, 4/14/1928-1/8/1929 (homemade) [this difficult-to-read marker is 2 yards west of the marker for Louis Letsinger]
    Newcomb, Bertha Jackson, 2/24/1918-2/6/1987, “Mother” footstone\Newcomb, Richard Hale, 8/1/1915-1/29/1977, “Father” footstone
    Newcomb, Carrie, 9/17/1902-9/17/1902 (homemade)
    Newcomb, Dale Allen, 4/5/1939-7/28/1939 [replacement]
    Newcomb, Dennis E., 1955-1956
    Newcomb, Frank E., 9/1/1893-3/22/1972\Newcomb, Stella J., 1/4/1904-____
    Newcomb, Georgia E., 12/10/1889-9/29/1947, “Mother” [replacement]
    Newcomb, I. N., 1874-1931
    Newcomb, John W., 6/6/1883-10/6/1971\Newcomb, Georgia E., 12/10/1889-9/29/1947\Newcomb, Laura L., 3/6/1884-7/27/1914
    Newcomb, Laura, 3/6/1884-7/27/1914 (homemade)
    Newcomb, Lloyd “Ted,” 6/20/1926-5/12/1984, “Dad” footstone
    Newcomb, Tassie Ree, born & died 3/10/1910\Newcomb, Isabell, born & died 3/10/1910 (homemade)
    Newcombe, Corda, 10/22/1897-8/6/1938
    Newcombe, Irene [see Tindell, Irene Newcombe]
    Newcombe, James A., 8/19/1936-9/7/1936
    Newcome, Clarence, 5/6/1906-4/7?/1907 (homemade)
    Newcome, Flora, 4/9/1918-2/16/1919 (homemade) [these two small, difficult-to-read markers are 5 feet and 2 feet south of the marker for I. N. Newcombe]
    Oliver, Jeff V., 8/10/1901-6/9/1976, “Father” footstone\Oliver, Lula K., 7/27/1903-____, “Mother” footstone
    Oliver, Naomi L., 4/8/1924-1/16/1982, “Mother” footstone\Oliver, Jeff V., Jr., 6/20/1922-____, “Father” footstone
    Ownby, Patricia Gail, 7/4/1942-4/10/1975
    Palmer, Infant, born & died 1956, “Infant son of Mr. & Mrs. W. P. Palmer”
    Phelps, Dollie Ritter, 4/10/1869-1/27/1948 (fallen)
    Prater, Beulah [see Herron, Beulah Prater]
    Raby, M. F., 2/5/????-5/26/1935 (homemade) [birth year may by 1931 or 1934; marker is 6 yards south of marker for Nellie Bates]
    Ritter, Dollie [see Phelps, Dollie Ritter]
    Rolen, Hilla, 6/9/1822-8/16/1896\Rollen, George W., 2/10/1812-8/16/1866
    Scott, Bill, no dates (homemade) [3 yards east of marker for Nellie Bates]
    Scott, Emma, 8/3/1892-2/14/1940\Scott, Dorothy L., 5/23/1915-6/9/1915, “Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. M. T. Scott” [replacement]
    Scott, Ibby, 10/13/1822-1/9/1905
    Scott, Lenora M. M. [see Fox, Lenora M. M. Scott]
    Seaton, John F., Jr., 1/13/1943-6/19/1966
    Seaton, John L., 2/6/1905-3/6/1971
    Seaton, Ruby E., 7/25/1915-1/25/1995\Seaton, Charles N., 3/26/1902-10/10/1988
    Sitton, Lucy, 2/11/1922-6/10/1941
    Sweet, Eloise, 9/25/1915-10/22/1941\Sweet, Emma, 1/25/1896-7/31/1969\Sweet, Roy Kirk, 5/12/1917-____
    Taylor, Joan, 10/11/1939-12/14/1939
    Tindell, Clarence McNeal, 4/22/1902-12/27/1968
    Tindell, Irene Newcombe, 4/17/1905-10/18/1973 [adjacent to marker for Clarence McNeal Tindell]
    Tindell, James Pete, 8/5/1941-12/24/1952 [replacement]
    Tolle, Maude Beeler, 12/26/1903-1/8/1936, “Wife of Russell Tolle”
    Vinsant, Almira Hickey, 1/23/1856-3/11/1914, “Wife of Daniel Vinsant”
    Vinsant, Daniel, d. 7/29/1903, “Aged 86 Years”
    Vinsant, G. W., 4/26/1889-4/22/1885 [This is how it reads!!!!]
    Vinsant, Laura D., 1/5/1883-9/11/1902
    Vinsant, Susan, 3/9/1814-3/9/1879 [adjacent to marker for Daniel Vinsant]
    Wallen, Celous Y., 11/23/1903-3/4/1990, military marker “US Army World War II”
    Wallen, Portia N., 6/10/1955-12/9/1984, “Wife” footstone
    Wallen, Virginia, 2/2/1925-3/3/1925
    Wallen, W. H., 5/26/1878-10/12/1958\Wallen, Ettie E., 8/28/1886-4/23/1965
    White, Louise, 7/13/1915-6/24/1917, “Dau. of Neal & Lovie White”
    White, Mary Elizabeth, 1894-1923, “Wife of Robert N. White”
    Wice, Anna L., born & died 5/16/1890
    Wice, Carlinda L., 4/20/1857-4/18/1908, “Mother”\Wice, Mattie M., 9/6/1892-1/1/1911, “Daughter”
    Wice, J. E., 12/8/1860-10??/13/1930 (painted)
    Youngblood, Elizabeth, 3/10/1812-4/27/1886, “Wife of Garland Youngblood”
    Am____ A_____ (homemade)
    E. C. [footstone]
    E. R. [footstone]
    S. M. N. [footstone adjacent to marker for Myrtle Light Neely]
    W. C. [footstone]
    Return to Knox County, Tennessee Cemeteries On-Line

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