ABERDEEN, MS (WLBT) - The town of Aberdeen sprang up in almost a day back after 1830, after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek opened up former Choctaw land for settlers to inhabit. And almost immediately, they started burying people here in the Old Aberdeen Cemetery.
Jim Crosby: See, Aberdeen was chartered in 1836 but there were people in here so they started burying on this spot at that point.
Walt: That's Jim Crosby of Aberdeen. The markers in the Old Aberdeen Cemetery are from the era when people could afford, and wanted, ornate markers for their graves, markers that tell a little story, some of them. Like that of Graham McFarlane, who died coincidently at the same time as his oldest son.
Jim: The marker on his grave is rather unique. It has a rambling rose bush on it.
Walt: The two roses cut from the bush lying on the ground beneath it represent the father and son and the buds and full rose on the bush represent the living wife and the living children.
Jim: Due to the fact that his wife remarried twice, she's not buried in this cemetery. She's buried over across the way.
Walt: And across the way is Odd Fellows Cemetery. And it has it's own interesting markers. This one of a weeping angel prompted Jo Uptain to write a poem about it for a poetry class she took at the "W" in nearby Columbus.
Jo Uptain: Weep no more stone angel. Sleep beside your interned charges. They have all gone where you cannot. To a place of repose not made for slumped and mourning angels.
Walt: After having to be relocated from downtown to make way for Highway 45, Aberdeen's Confederate statue was placed in the old cemetery where it watches over the Confederate graves.
Jim: Don't really know just exactly who's buried there. Most of these people were brought down here from the battle of Shiloh. There's probably some northerners as well as southerners that were brought in here at that time. Unidentified bodies.
Walt: And one lady is even entombed sitting in her favorite rocking chair with her knitting in her hand. Interesting places, old cemeteries. So if you go to some pilgrimages this spring, after you've seen the houses where they once lived, come see their graves. The graves are the final chapters of the stories of the lives of people who lived there.
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