Pleasant Garden UMC Cemetery

[continued from Pleasant Garden United Methodist Church]

Frederick Fentriss, 1791-1874

Frederick Fentriss, 1791-1874

Pleasant Garden United Methodist Church Cemetery

The Pleasant Garden United Methodist Church has owned and operated a cemetery since the early 1800’s. Our cemetery is located at the intersection of Pleasant Garden Road and Sheraton Park Road in Pleasant Garden across the road in a southeastern direction from our church. It is a rolling tract of land, covering approximately four acres. Two of our former churches have stood in this cemetery. Although a church property, the cemetery is financed entirely by money received in the form of donations, interest from certificates of deposit, sale of gravesites and miscellaneous income. No expense incurred in the operation of the cemetery is paid for by the general budget of the church.

It is believed that the first person to be buried in our cemetery was an orphan girl who was staying with Henry Hendrix and his wife, Mary, who were members of our first congregation in the early 1800’s. Since then, there have been Civil War soldiers, veterans of all wars since, members of our congregation, and others buried in the cemetery.

There are many weathered tombstones in the cemetery, many of them with inscriptions all but illegible due to the elements of time. Many of them give a good idea of the age of our cemetery. Listed are some of the inscriptions and how they read:

Jane Ward, Wife of M. Ward, died August 3, 1835
Robert Gilbreath, died January 22, 1832, aged 84
Elizabeth Gilbreath, died February 27, 1831, aged 73

Samuel Wiley, born 1741, died September 23, 1823
Edward Millis, born February 1, 1741, died June 5, 1817
Frederick Fentress, born July 8, 1791, died September 9, 1874
Mariah Fentress, born April 13, 1815, died May 12, 1862

Timothy Cude, died February 16, 1856, aged 74 years [booklet has the surname misspelled as Jude]
Elizabeth Cude, died May 31, 1837  [booklet has the surname misspelled as Jude]

John A. Weatherly, died March 14, 1844, aged 39 years
Jane Weatherly, died December 27, 1897, aged 92 years

Colonel James Neelley, December 8, 1783, died January 26, 1845
James N. Hendrix, died August 4, 1864
D. W. Swaim, March 18, 1855, April 15, 1896
John Hardin, born December 17, 1805, died June 16, 1850
Elizabeth A. Hardin, born February 16, 1811, died December 20, 1891
Levin Ross, born October 3, 1776, died March 18, 1844
Elizabeth Ross, wife of Levin Ross, born 1786, died 1819
Dr. Levin G. Ross, born June 26, 1819, died April 17, 1876
Commodore C. Taylor, Killed by the Train near Wilson, N.C., December 30, 1895
T. S. Kirkman, born November 30, 1802, died June 28, 1862
Mrs. Lydia Jarrell, born November 13, 1805, died August 22, 1866
Winfield Taylor, born July 26, 1853, Died December 9, 1881
J. W. Kirkman, died June 6, 1889
Rev. C. W. King, born March 5, 1829, died October 4, 1894
Rev. Moses J. Hunt, born December 21, 1824, Died July 6, 1901
Dr. Clayborne Gray, born September 17, 1830, died January 14, 1916
Sarah Jane Thurston Gray, January 24, 1845, died November 3, 1923
R. F. Fentress, born October 25, 1849, died August 28, 1920
Henry L. Coble, born July 11, 1862, died October 25, 1932
Victor Luther Rockfield, born May 6, 1866, died October 4, 1944
Dr. Grady Cornell Siske, MD, born February 5, 1901, died August 25, 1981

In 1986, our Church Cemetery Committee began a program to clean the grounds and bring our cemetery and its records up-to-date. The boundaries of the cemetery were overgrown with brambles, weeds, and scrub growth of young trees.

The only map available was one made in 1937; that detailed only a small percentage or about 10% of the actual property.

The first step was to have a survey made of the property, define the boundaries, and map each gravesite. An agreement was entered with Trulove Engineering Company of Greensboro, North Carolina, to do this job. After the cemetery was surveyed, the undergrowth was bulldozed, the grounds leveled and the trash hauled off. The newly cleared area was seeded. In 1988, a project was begun to reset and repair broken and fallen stones.

Our Church Cemetery Committee has put a lot of work into the improvement of the cemetery, and it has paid off. Thanks to people such as Culver J. DeLoach and James Owen Vickrey in the past, and today, thanks to the untiring efforts of cemetery committee members such as Phil Pearce, Nelson Ingram, Jimmy Vickrey and Bob Kistler, we have a beautiful, well-maintained cemetery. It is not only an asset to our church, but to the entire Pleasant Garden Community as well.