|Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Graves Co., KY |
Pleasant Hill Cemetery is located on the North side Latta Road in the South Western part of Graves County near the Hickman County line. It is about two miles south and East of Water Valley.
From Ireland, the Virginias, from Tennessee and the Carolinas they came to their final resting place atop a peaceful hill in Western Kentucky. Several generations of these early pioneers lie buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, gone and almost forgotten by succeeding generations. Yet surely something of them lives on in their hundreds of descendants and relatives which include a governor of Kentucky, two congressmen, and perhaps the most well-known of all Pat Boone, male vocalist movie star.
The date of the first marked burial in Pleasant Hill is 1835. This was only 17 years after the land was purchased from the Chickasaw Indians with the treaty being signed 19 October 1818 and ratified by the U. S. Senate and confirmed by President James Monroe 7 January 1819. Some 84 family names can be found in the cemetery.
It is thought that Pleasant Hill Church was organized in May of 1837. However it may be a little earlier as quarterly conference minutes of the Hickman Circuit dated 25 March 1837 show among the money collected from the various churches was $2.871/2 from Pleasant Hill. According to David Snipes, historian for the Memphis Conference of the Methodist Church, Pleasant Hill may at one time have been on the Richland Circuit. It was later on the Dukedom Circuit and the Conference Journal of 1945 lists the Pleasant Hill Church as being discontinued from the Fulton Circuit and the property to be diverted to the circuit. The building was bought by Deward Wilson who razed it, using the lumber to build a house.
The reason for the location of the church and cemetery is unknown. It perhaps started as a family burying ground, later to be used by others as the church came into being. Unfortunately no records of the early years of this church are known to exist.
According to Brown Tucker, an authority on early postal routes, “Pleasant Hill was an early mail point served by one horse and also two horse sulkies at an early date. No doubt the four horse stage coach route also stopped here. The four horse coaches were generally not put into operation before 1840. The Route at Pleasant Hill #3360 had its beginning at Paducah, then to Sugar Creek, Wilson’s Creek and that mail service to Pleasant Hill was in operation before 1834.”
Ref. For above information from “invitations for Bids-Postal Routes, Calloway County, Kentucky 1834-1844,” and Burr Atlas 1839. dc
In April 1971, a group of interested people began an effort to re-claim the cemetery. See Photo of before cleanup. The cemetery was read and a listing was made of over 250 monuments. The first burial in the cemetery which lay adjacent to the small white frame church was 1835, with the second being in 1837.
At this time much effort was expended to contact descendants of those buried there with the hopes of creating a community wide effort toward the care of this very historic place. Also, the cemetery was put in a more presentable state, with the stones being re-set and the grounds treated with chemical that was suppose to keep the vegetation under control. Aside from all the effort put forth, Mother Nature once again reclaimed this place. Bushes and briars came back in abundance. Saplings grew once again into trees at a record pace, and regrettably, the vandals once again targeted the place.
In 1987, Pleasant Hill was virtually impossible to enter. See Photo. Another effort was put forth to reclaim and hopefully restore this place to the dignity it so rightly deserves. Hours of back breaking labor were expended along with countless amounts of chemical to retard the growth of vegetation. .
Realizing this spot was a collection of historical and genealogical information concentrated within this approximately 2 1/2 acres, about 1990 we began the history to record the lives of these settlers, their descendants and allied families.
Some descendants and family members shared the information on their families. Some volunteered to help research some of these families. They were a tremendous help in composing this history. Much of the information had to be researched which was very rewarding but a tremendous task. This was done to help preserve the memory of these early settlers buried there.. In 1999 we published a book: “PLEASANT HILL CEMETERY A HISTORY OF MANY EARLY SETTLERS OF THE JACKSON PURCHASE”. It has 228 pages including pictures. It does have an index. We ask a $35.00 donation for the book + $3.95 postage. Proceeded go toward the cemetery restoration and maintenance. We have a limited supply left.
In the spring of 1999 a 6ft. high chain link fence was erected around the entire plot. See Photo. This has helped the appearance of the place tremendously and hopes are this will provide some protection for this landmark. Many of the old tombstones were on the ground. . In 2000 we were able to have a monument company come in and reset/re-erect the tombstones. A “not for “ status was obtained so all donations to the cemetery are tax deductible. dc
This is truly a landmark in this area of the Jackson Purchase. It is a surviving testimony to the fruits of labor of those early settlers in establishing this place and erecting the monuments, which are really work of arts.
In order to complete the restoration of the cemetery and keep it maintained there has to be a tremendous
amount of support. This support has to be of a physical nature as well as monetary. The long-term survival
of the cemetery depends on younger descendants becoming interested. We just ask you make an effort through
younger members of the family to get them involved. Once this is done, we can accomplish much. We were
granted a “Not for Profit” status in 2000. All donations are tax deductible. Mail donations to:
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Oleen Pollard, Treas
2957 Pea Ridge Rd
Water Valley, Ky 42085
President: Charles E. Bennett
Secretary/Treasure : Oleen Pollard
Robert "Bob" Milner
Mary Louise Gossum
C. L. "Chuck" Pollard
Jerrial W. McKenzie
Contributed by Oleen Pollard, Sec. Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association
Date 05 May 2002
Last Updated on 14 May 2002
By Maria Troutman