Sign at the entrance to Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson.
Contributed by Natalie Maynor January 16, 2006
ESTABLISHED BY FEDERAL LAND GRANT IN 1821
by Mary Collins Landin, PhD
HISTORY FACTS: A Federal Land Grant dated 21 November 1821 established a 6-acre burying ground in Jackson, which is now 22 acres in size. Greenwood is not the oldest cemetery in Hinds County, with several family cemeteries and church cemeteries older by death dates on gravestones, but it is the Capitol City's oldest and most historic burial ground. The cemetery was first recorded by John L. Power in 1864, editor of the daily newspaper and a prominent businessman in Jackson prior to the Civil War. I recorded the cemetery in 1979 and published the records for 309 cemeteries in the entire Hinds County in 1988. Jackson had less than 800 people in 1837, and only about 7000 in
1900, and these are the pioneer families and their descendants who are buried at Greenwood. Newer residents of Jackson were buried at Cedar Lawn (established approximately 1878) and other newer cemeteries within the city.
BURIALS: Greenwood is burial ground for over 3000 people, including hundreds of unmarked graves. The historic cemetery contains graves of 7 governors, numerous U. S. congressmen, U. S. senators, state legislators and senators, 14 mayors of Jackson, 8 judges, 6 Confederate generals, at least 205
Confederate soldiers, at least 24 clergymen of all faiths, and more recently, Miss Eudora Welty.
IMPORTANCE: The cemetery is of great importance to the history of Mississippi and Hinds County because of the prominent people buried here, and their achievements and stories are the foundation of this great State. Equally as important to historians and genealogists are the many records of individuals and their families and interconnections who have been buried here for close to 200 years. Numerous American immigrants, especially Irishmen, are buried here. Earliest slave graves are here as well, prior to other black cemeteries being established after the Civil War within and near the town of Jackson, and both black and white burials continue to occur. Greenwood also contains a
large CSA burial ground, many of whom are unknown soldiers who died in the vicinity of Jackson and in military hospitals in Jackson. There is also a large ?paupers? section of unmarked graves, or where graves were marked with wooden markers that have long since rotted away, or yellow fever victims buried in haste, in the lower areas near the front gates. These are both white and black graves.
CEMETERY LAWS WITH POTENTIAL FOR GREENWOOD CEMETERY
Greenwood Cemetery is already protected by virtue of it being on the National Register of Historic Places, and a Designated Mississippi Landmark. However, such designation and recognition infers no financial support to the historic cemetery, and funds for maintenance generally come from the City of
Jackson (as it does for all Jackson's public cemeteries).
MS Code 19-7-39 provides for maintenance and repair of public or private non-profit cemeteries in certain counties, but they MUST be outside municipalities.
MS Code 39-13-15 provides for governance and fining of property owners of historic properties in municipalities and counties who neglect or fail to maintain them properly. There is no provision for historic properties owned by the municipalities or counties themselves, requiring them to maintain such properties in an adequate manner to respect the dead and to encourage tourism and visitation.
MS Code 39-5-19 provides for repair, rehabilitation and/or maintenance by boards of supervisors of historic cemeteries and properties considered abandoned or neglected.
MS Code 39-5-141 recognizes that the heritage of Mississippi is reflected in its historic properties located throughout Mississippi, and that the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of these historic properties (including cemeteries) is of great cultural, educational, and economic importance to Mississippi.
MS Code 41 and its various sections provide for all regulation, rules, governance, operation, maintenance, restoration, and care of Mississippi's cemeteries.
Action by the Mississippi Legislature may be required for historic cemeteries within municipalities owned by the municipalities or counties themselves, to ensure proper care for Greenwood Cemetery.
Greenwood Cemetery (partial)
Contributed by David McBride
December 29, 2005
Disclaimer: This information was obtained from a book on Hinds Couny, Ms. Cemeteries.
This information can be viewed at The Ms. Dept. of Archives and History, Jackson, Hinds Co., Ms.
Joe Albert Porter
1872 - 1939
Kate Mitchell Porter
1869 - 1945
Kate Hobson Porter
1835 - 1909
Major D. P. Porter Jr.
1867 - Nov. 16, 1899
Daniel Price Porter [born Franklin, Tn.]
Nov. 31, 1835 - June 24, 1899
Sept. 11, 1880 - Sept. 07, 1889
Josh Albert Porter
1872 - Feb. 18, 1939
Fannie Madge Porter
Sept. 11, 1868 - Sept. 24, 1893
Jessie Madison Porter
Aug. 26, 1875 - Aug. 10, 1898
Robert T. Porter
Dec. 10, 1870 - Oct. 12, 1909