Monday, January 31, 2011

Old Vernon Cemetery - Jackson Parish Updated

Old Vernon Cemetery - Jackson Parish

On July 23 2001, I was in visiting in Louisiana and decided to make a trip to Vernon going by the cemetery and was sadly disappointed at the site. I took several pictures of leaning tombstones, limbs a top graves, over grown grass and weeds. There was also some over turned and broken marble tomb housing over a couple of graves, that I had believed was done by vandalism but can not be certain. When I returned home I decided to post this cemetery to the this website. I was soon notified by a person that several people in the community of Vernon had set a date on July 14, 2001 for the first meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to elect a cemetery committee. There were five members elected to serve on this committee and naming this committee "The Old Vernon Cemetery Committee".

The elected members are Leo Walker {president} Mike Barr {vice-president} Barbara Willet {secretary-treasury} Allie Bell Walker {historian} and Sue Heifner an extra member if needed for breaking tied votes.

After receiving permission from land owner with members and plenty of volunteers they started by clearing brush and limbs. When this was accomplished they took on the task of cleaning all tombstones which were finished with in two weeks.
The cemetery committee have been depending on donations and other money was made from a fish plate dinner. They received enough money over time to install a chain link fence replacing the old wire fence that had been smashed by fallen trees. A cemetery sign was attached to the fence naming "Old Vernon Cemetery" and listing the cemetery committee members with telephone members. There is not a cemetery sign on the main highway pointing to the cemetery but there is a sign advertising the Vernon church. The cemetery lies directly behind the church but a new oil well road is a better way to the get to it now.

Recently another storm has damaged some tombstones and the committee now knows that it is a continuing job to the up keep to the cemetery. The cemetery committee are researching for what may be needed in making this a historical cemetery.

There are several noted and historical persons buried in the cemetery including a civil war soldier, a former Louisiana senator who signed the succession from the union for the state in 1861. There was also the third sheriff of Jackson Parish, a Methodist circuit riding preacher and much more.

Mrs Allie Bell Walker has written a 24 page book/pamphlet listing all graves that has tombstones with information. She has also written some history of several of the persons buried there and some interesting history of Vernon.

The book is for sell with proceeds going to the up keep of the cemetery.
To buy this book you may contact Mrs Walker @ (318) 249-4344 or write:
Allie Bell Walker
5381 hwy. 146
Ruston, Louisiana 71270

Information and Photographs Submitted by Cheryl Parrish
View more photographs here.