Saturday, December 05, 2009

Shell Cemetery (Sage)

One of the most rewarding things about doing what we do is learning about
the pioneers who settled the Izard County area. It's especially exciting when it becomes personal as it did while researching the names of those resting near Sage in the Shell Cemetery.

The very first name from this cemetery I began researching online, William Mynatt, seemed to be a dead-end except for basic genealogical information. But as I began to read the descending lines from Calvin Mynatt of Tennessee, I discovered that William was my own Great-Great Uncle - brother to my Great Great Grandmother, Delitha (Mynatt) Kidwell. Small world, Izard!

Amidst the excitement is always a bit of disappointment, however. Take the grave of George w. King for instance - someone went to a lot of trouble and displayed much creativity in fashioning the stone that marks his place of rest. It's engraved with great care with the symbol of what must be an anchor as a center-piece as well as an unreadable inscription around its edge. But an online biography? No chance! Was he a mariner? If so, where? Did he serve in the navy of the confederacy? Did he just like boats? Finding a stone like this and not being able to put a story with it is indeed deflating. Perhaps someone out there in cyberville knows more of what can only be a very interesting story about an early Izard County pioneer.

Oh, and...nothing about Joseph King (1801-1859) either!

In fact, this particular cemetery has led me to spend hours searching for information online just to find out that there is a single biography available on James H. Roten in Karr Shannon's A History of Izard County (which, of course, I have a copy of but absolutely cannot remember where I stored it after using!) and that John Shell, the Tennessee Volunteer of the War of 1812, owned 3 slaves at one time (a good way down the page but the whole article is well worth the read).

If I had any hair, I'd be pulling it out!

Anyway, the Shell Cemetery is located at the end of a long lane and is quite remote. It lies among an ancient grove of magnificent cedars and is one of the most peaceful places of internment I have encountered in Izard County.

Enjoy the photos!


Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The Shell Cemetery would be that of my maternal grandmother's family. Her father was Andrew Jackson Shell (whose mother, by the way, was a Walker and a full-blooded Cherokee).

Your blog is even more interesting for me when I find a connection like this one.

Jeffery Hodges

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Al-Ozarka said...

Cool, Jeffery!

I was recently sent an e-mail from a friend of the site who told me the anchor symbol on the G.W. King marker indicates he was a veteran of the War of 1812.

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Was the anchor used because New Orleans was a port city?

Jeffery Hodges

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Ms Bette said...

At least some land in Izard County Arkansas was deeded to soldiers from the War of 1812 as payment. It is possible that Mr. King received a land grant (bounty) because he was a soldier. I have a deed to land in Izard County transferring property to Francis Battles in 1854 that refers to this. I am a descendant of Opal Shell Battles. Thank you for the pictures of the cemetery!