Two local cemeteries added to state historic register

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two cemeteries in Chilton County, the Atchison Cemetery located near Isabella and the Moore Cemetery in Pletcher, have been added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Atchison Cemetery contains at least 25 burials of descendants of James Atchison (1770-1843). A native of Edgefield County, SC, Atchison purchased a 160-acre Federal land grant in May 1831, on which he established the family cemetery. While the earliest marked burials date to the 1850s, there are numerous older unmarked burials.

“For 100 years it was lost in time,” Joel Atchison, descendant of James Atchison, said. He and several relatives located the site in February 2005, and with the help of his brother Donald, he cleaned up the cemetery and submitted it for state recognition.

“My father had looked for it all his life, but he never could find it,” Atchison said.

The cemetery, located approximately two miles south of Macedonia Church, contains four readable headstones. Other burials were marked with fieldstones, lined with bricks, or were nothing more than depressions in the ground.

Three of the aforementioned four burials were children who died before the Civil War.

“No one’s been buried there since at least 1900,” Atchison said.

Moore Cemetery

Moore Cemetery dates back to 1839 with the burial of Obadiah Moore, a Revolutionary War veteran. There is only one other grave of a Revolutionary War soldier in Chilton County.

Drafted into service twice, Moore fought against the British in the siege of Charleston.

“We’re going to be getting him a new headstone because the headstone he has now is inaccurate,” said Kat Reece of the Chilton Cemetery Association. “The headstone will be supplied by the Veterans Administration.”

The current headstone wrongly reads that Moore served in the Alabama Militia when he actually served in the North Carolina Militia, Reece explained.

The Daughters of the American Revolution are expected to place a Revolutionary Period flag with a permanent pole on the gravesite. The DAR will also mark Moore’s new headstone with a bronze medallion.

A dedication ceremony will be held at a time to be announced.

Also buried here is Reuben Powell, who was named in the Act of Establishment that created Baker County (now Chilton County) passed by the state legislature Dec. 30, 1868. The last burial here was Hansford D. Chitty, private in the 59th Alabama Infantry, CSA, who died in 1911.

Reece said the descendants of Moore have a non-profit group that owns the cemetery.

“They have been doing an excellent job in keeping up the site and doing the research,” she said.

There are now 19 cemeteries in Chilton County listed in the register, which features 252 cemeteries statewide. The register is administered by the Alabama Historical Commission.