TRIP: Weatherbee Cemetery, Franklin County, Alabama

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There were two cemeteries, when compared to others, that caught me off guard. The grounds were deep with leaves, stones disheveled, even large branches and fresh animal excrement scattered about. (See what I did there? 🤣) Since I visited Lower Pleasant Site first (twice) and thought it not to be in the best shape, my impression changed when we went to Weatherbee. I am aware there has been a lot of effort, and expense, into making the long road into the cemetery paved with rock, when in previous times it was only passable likely by truck. I can also tell people visit as they were many faded artificial flower bouquets that peppered the grounds. It is a beloved cemetery, as is Lower Pleasant Site. But there are no groundskeepers as with the other sites we went. And I am very emotionally invested in both of these particular sites.

I have ended up posting these stops out of the order in which they occurred. This site we visited on Saturday. Some places require more focus than others and this is one of those. The photos taken at both Weatherbee and Lower Pleasant Site have been posted to FindAGrave (FAG) with possibly a few exceptions where the stones were completely illegible and the only way to determine it’s owner is by the shape of stones from previous photos on existing memorials.

The road you turn onto from 23, to reach the Cemtery. This is now paved with gravel.

Again, I hesitate even giving my experiences in such an open forum because I can also tell that both sites have visitors and that in past, people have performed maintenance on both sites. These observations are being said with a kind heart, one that is planning to remedy what I saw upon my next visit. I’ve already enlisted cousin Jim, mentioned to cousin Diane and have a few ideas to run by some family locally, and others I know. After photographing many of their current identifiable residents, knowing the names of others reported to be buried there, many of which I am related to, both are places that mean very much to me.

With this in mind, let’s talk about the site. We hopped across the highway from Lower Pleasant Site and drove down a beautifully landscaped road, trees scattering each side of the road. Their colors just invited you to let go of all your thoughts and focus on the beauty in their collections of shapes, textures, even heights touching the sky.

The road between Lower Pleasant Site and Weatherbee cemeteries. I love the tree on the left but who could be unhappy driving down this road, or most of them, in this area. It’s truly amazingly gorgeous.
Wide satellite view of 23 coming up to the road into the cemetery. The top left side, 23, is where we came from, then turned left onto the cemetery road, you see that winds into the entrance. The view you can see in the first photo above.

From Rootsweb Franklin Co, AL. This is the Township/Range map use by BLM but also the T/R’s are used by the census takers for these counties. Weatherbee Cemetery is in T7/R14. (Note: This was added 5Jan22)
This is where the 2 roads meet. The road to the right is 23, and the cemetery road, as pictured above both in satellite but the rock paved road, is the long winding road above.
A closer up of the cemetery, you can see one of the headstones if you look very closely. You can see the trees create a circular enclosure with the road leading in from the left. Following the letter h in Weatherbee to the top of the photo, to the green trees, that’s where cousin Jim’s great grandfather is buried.

Cousin Jim and I immediately began what worked out to be quite helpful, we split up and yelled out names. I quickly started from one to the next, taking a quick photo, winding around the right side then to the left. You can see my aim wasn’t always spot on. The sun so bright it was hard to see the screen, let alone confirm pictures in between.

Here’s a view standing at the entrance, looking more to the left.
Think about this for a minute. Someone, born over 200 years ago, was thought of and remembered by etching their name into stone, with everything they had. Love. The backwards lettering gives this one even more appeal to me and one I will always remember. Whoever Elizabeth was, she was beloved. Elizabeth (Bates) Patterson b1820 d1857, aged 37.
I paid attention to the stones with Weatherbee on them, since the cemetery was named for this family. I will try to do a little research on their family to see how they were given a place of rest in their name. perhaps too why my and cousin Jim’s Long & Sartain families are buried here.
Definitely need to find the metal supports for the upright markers like this. Many are found broken in half, whether by deliberate damage, weather or just age, these are truly helpful in keep these markers for generations to come. I am always amazed at the quality and detail in the work of these stones, especially when you consider their age.
John F Wearherbee b1830 d1902. I wish I know about the stone in front of this marker on the ground.
Cousin Jim’s ggf and brother to my 3ggm. This has become one of my favorite photos from this cemetery, and from the trip. The sun. The trees. The stone. I don’t know why he and his wife, were buried so far outside the main section of the burials. Jim and I could tell there were many others, buried just a bit away, also outside the main portion of the cemetery. It would be amazing if we could ever find a cemetery map of burials, but the likelihood is slim to not even in your wildest dreams.
Something I started doing at the end of the visit, a video at the entrance or the backside of the cemetery, with some notes primarily for myself but sharing so you can “be there too”.
I should also clarify: we knew going into this Thomas Albert Sartain, his 3 wives, including Tyrena Long, sister of a Silmon and my 3ggm Zana Long, are buried there without markers, Also Silmon’s wives don’t have markers. Silmon has a marker because the military paid for it from his time in the 64th Illinois Infantry, along with his brother James.

We promise, we will be back. Rakes, bags, brushes, buckets, chainsaws if needed. It may not be till the spring, but we will.

And, in case you started with this post, there are more in this trip series. (And more still to come). Here they are so far.

TRIP overview, a first must read. 

Old Rondo Cemetery, Texarkana, AR 

Weatherbee Cemetery, Franklin County, AR

Potts Camp & Bethlehem Church Cemetery, Outside Potts Camp, MS

Guntown, MS

Trees of the cemetery: a combination of sites

Pontotoc County & descendant of John Franklin, son of William and Malissa.

FindAGrave memorials of the photos Jim and I took this day. Here’s the main page for Weatherbee Cemetery and a few additional pics taken by Dennis Yerby, plus two I posted.

Dizie L Dedmon, d/o TA & MJ Dedmon b Oct d Dec 1898

Mattie J (Weatherbee) Dedmon b1874 d1963

Thomas Alonzo Dedmon b1870 d1944

Egbart M Hardin b1854 d1878

Amos Hardin, s/o AB & Alma Hardin bNov 1903 d Aug 1904

James Franklin ‘Jim’ Hardin b1860 d1922

JH Henson 11 mos.

Rosa Catherine (Taylor) Johnston, w/o CW Johnston b1870 d1906

Silmon Long Co F 64th Illinois Infantry **part of the Club BLC family

Altie A McKinney , d/o CW & SA McKinney b Nov 1900 d Oct 1901

Charles William McKinney b1860 d1928

Infant Daughter of CW & SA McKinney b Aug 1909 d Nov 1909

Sarah Ann E (Weatherbee) McKinney b1870 d1956

Elisabeth (Bates) Patterson, w/o Peter b1820 d1857

Nancy Mary (Daniel) Sartain b1831 (d1873) Nancy is the 2nd wife of Thomas Albert Sartain, who is an allied family to the Longs & Buchanans

Clarence O Shewbart, s/o JM & SJ Shewbart b Jul 22, 1806 d Oct 9, 1906

James Manuel Shewbart b1872 d1919

JW Shewbart b1875 d1878

Nancy E Shewbart, w/o JM Shewbart b1870 d1914

Sarah Jane (Townsend) Shewbart, w/o James M Shewbart b1882 d 1911

Infant son of Arthur & Annie Thorn b/ Nov 18, 1933

Emily E (Witt) Weatherbee b1832 d1923

John Franklin Weatherbee b1830 d1902

Milton Forrest Weatherbee b1871 d1935

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