Contributed by Jo Church Dickerson, April 2000.
OLD PAGE CEMETERY (African-American) 1st part
ST. PAUL A.M.E. CHURCH CEMETERY
Floydale Community, Dillon County, South CarolinaSurveyed and transcribed Jan/Feb 2000 by Jo Church Dickerson and grandson, John Mahaffey Additional information by Sandra Roberts-Bigham Location: Buck Swamp Road near Floydale Community, on the north edge of Buck Swamp Directions: From Hwy 41, going from Lake View toward Marion, turn right, just past Fork, onto Buck Swamp Road (formerly SR 72). Cemetery is 3.5 miles from Hwy 41, immediately past RR tracks, on the right. Or from Hwy 917, going from Smithboro toward Latta, turn right onto Burke Road (SR 46); go 6/10 mile and turn right at first road just past bridge across Buck Swamp; go 3/10's mile. Cemetery is on left, just before RR tracks. History/Condition: This old African-American cemetery is located on a beautiful wooded hillside, the graves scattered all over the hill, nestled among the many trees. As with many local black cemeteries, it seems to have had it's origins as a slave burying ground. There are certainly burials here of people who were born into slavery. It is on land that adjoins the old Captain William Page lands, less than a mile up the road from the William Page family cemetery. I do not know if it was originally part of Page's lands, or lands of some other family. I was told by locals that most recently it was part of the Reaves estate lands; that it was donated to St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Floydale by the Reaves family. It is still in use as the cemetery for St. Paul Church. I was told by the present occupants that the large old house up the hill from the cemetery was the old Reaves home, but I have no further information regarding that. There is a white cemetery, 3/10's mile up Buck Swamp Road from this one, and on the same hillside, where members of the Reaves family are buried. It is stated in the Dillon Cemetery book that this was the site of Dunbarton Presbyterian Church. I have no information about Dunbarton Church, but that cemetery is clearly on part of the same lands that the black cemetery is located on. I'm not at all sure that my suppositions belong in a document such as this, but I am going to supply them anyway, in an effort to try to understand and explain the nature and history of this old cemetery. The dirt drive that winds through the cemetery, and cuts it into two distinct sections, has all the appearances of an old road. While copying the stones at the back of the cemetery, far up the hillside it's located on, I observed that the road appeared to continue through the field that lies at the back of the cemetery. Following the faint signs of the road with my eye, it appears to bear to the right beyond the cemetery, and take a course along a line of trees at the edge of the field. Proceeding on up the hill, it seems to turn sharply to the left, and runs in front of a small, cement block building at the top of the hill that looks like it might have once been a tenant house. The little house is directly behind the cemetery, at the crest of the same hill the cemetery is on, several hundred yards away. The old road seems to continue on a line beyond the little house, to the back side of the large, old, two storey frame house that faces on Burke Road, on the crest of the same hill. Taken altogether, the inescapable conclusion is that this all looks exactly like something out of "Gone With the Wind." The large house looking for all the world like a plantation house; the little house directly in back of the big house must be located where the slave quarters once were, with a road winding down the hill to a little cemetery where people who were born into slavery are buried. I could almost see and hear the mournful procession of enslaved people bringing one of their own down the hill to the little cemetery - finally "At Rest." Due to the nature of the hillside, there are few rows, as you find in most cemeteries. Some markers are isolated, some are located in what are clearly family clusters. I have tried to organize the transcript so it gives an idea of the stones in relation to each other. I do not mean to imply relationship where none is stated on the stones, but it may be helpful to see what stones are near each other. We transcribed the stones beginning just to the left of the entry drive, then it was uphill and down hill and around trees, in a rough circle back to beginning, trying to keep grave groupings together on paper, but unable to follow a straight line due to nature of the setting. This cemetery is much larger than it looks. As with many local African-American cemeteries, due to historical and economic factors, there are numerous graves with only funeral home markers, many home-made brick and/or concrete slabs, and clearly countless unmarked graves. FHM = funeral home marker Jackson and/or Jackson McGill Funeral Home is still in business in Marion. Davis Funeral Service is still in business in Marion. Shipmen's or Shipman's Funeral Home was in Sellers, and is still in business in Latta. Troy Funeral Home is still in business in Mullins. Larry Smith Cooper Funeral Home is still in business in Mullins. Please see additional notes at end of file. CEMETERY Joseph Campbell; 10 Apr 1922 - 1 Apr 1990; ST MZ U.S. Navy James N. Roberts, Jr.; 7 Jun 1920 - 2 Sep 1978; U.S. Army, WWII "Sissie" Eloise Roberts; 1914 - 1973 Four Funeral Home markers in a row: Henry K. Bethea; 1877-1969; age 92 David Roberts (no dates) Lemon Roberts (no dates) Pearlie Roberts (no dates) Sam Miles; 1915-1996 Mabel Miles; 1915 - 1991 Flossie Leach; 19 Jun 1910 - 14 Jul 1956 Vernie C. Brown; 25 Apr 1900 - 16 Jan 1980 Willie Louise Roberts 30 Mar 1927 - 17 Sep 1966 (FHM) Anddie Mae Campbell; 2 Aug 1908 - 7 Jul 1959 Walters Campbell; 8 Jun 1907 - (stone broken, death date missing) Masonic Emblem Riley Campbell; 21 May 1870 - 5 Apr 1933; Here I lay my burden down / Change the cross into a crown Lula Campbell; 14 Apr 1873 - 17 Jul 1929 Arnetha McClellan; 1917 - 1990 Frank McClellan; 1919-1979 (FHM) William. McClellan; 6 Mar 1918 - 4 Aug 1957; MM3 USNR, WWII Jessie B. McClellan: 25 Aug 1922 - 21 Dec 1972; SC Tec 4, U.S. Army, WWII David McClellan; 1916 - 1981 Lebenten, wife of Ed Waters; died 15 Oct 1917, age 37 Ernest, son of Edmond & Sarah Smith; 1896 - (broken, death date unavailable) Gladys Elizabeth (sic); b. 11-11-1911, d. 11-13-1956 (Concrete slab with hand drawn inscription) Concrete slab, no inscription BETHEA (One stone) Sarah Alice; 10 May 1925 - 29 Sep 1934 Shaw; 7 Sep 1894 - 1 Nov 1943 Viola; 29 May 1897 - 12 Aug 1988 Brick slab with no inscription 3 slabs, concrete over brick, no inscription Corine M. Johnson; 7 Jan 1923 - 24 Dec 1976 Jack Grey McClellan; 17 Feb 1952 - 3 Jun 1963 Alfonso Elleby; 1966 - 1995 James L., son of James & Lula (remainder below ground level); footstone: J.L.M. Tiny baby stone with a lamb One stone - two inscriptions: Leonard Burden; 1893 - Jan 1918 Jacob Burden; 1900 - Oct 1917 Willie J. Bonner, Jr.; 1914 - 1992 ((FHM) Broken stone, deeply imbedded in dirt, writing face down. Broken stone, base only, no sign of remainder of stone Foster Page; 26 Mar 1888 - 29 Oct 1945; Our Father Marvin Page; 12 Oct 1917 - 10 Jun 1984, Tec 4, US Army, WWII Hector Page; 11 Nov 1861 - 8 Jan 1919 Two brick and concrete slabs with funeral home markers: Mr. ______ (completely faded and illegible); died Nov ____ (faded/illegible) aged 95 (This marker is stamped Henry L. Jackson, possibly name of funeral home? Two dates imprinted on back of marker: 1925 and 1927, doubt they are date of death.) Lenzy McClellan; 1901 - 1976 (FHM, Jackson McGill) Sarah Harris; 19 Feb 1912 - 30 Oct 1954 Sarah Page; 12 May 1881 - 8 Jan 1927 Broken stone, base only, stone not found. 2 funeral home markers, no writing, no imprint Charles B. Campbell; 30 Sep 1922 - 18 Dec 1987 Pvt U.S. Army, WWII 7 concrete slabs in a row, 5 have no inscriptions or markers: Louise Campbell; 1910 - 1992 Charles Cole; 1924 - 1990 Annie Bethea; 24 Dec 1910 - 30 Jan 1917 (small broken stone) Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven Large space under trees with no stones, but signs of several sunken graves. Hattie, dau of Stephen & Hannah Campbell; 29 Aug 1890 - 15 Sep 1910 (broken stone) Gone to a brighter home/Where grief cannot come George, son of Stephen & Hannah Campbell; 18 Apr (year is missing) - 20 Jun 1911 We can safely / Leave our boy / Our darling in / Thy trust (stone is broken into little bits) [I found broken, beautiful old purple glass embedded in the ground beside this grave. This was the only broken glass I saw in this cemetery. For explanation, see below.] Rev. Amos Campbell; died 10 Jun 1880, age 45 Yrs. (stone broken into little bits) He followed virtue / as his Trust Guide / Lived as a Ch(ristian) / As a Christian died. Sarah, wife of E.D. Smith; died 19 Jan 1890, age 38 Yrs. At Rest. (Broken stone) ***Earliest recorded death date???*** Broken stone; top with name is missing: born & died 6 Apr 1919; Asleep in Jesus Nero Page; aged 62 Yrs (no dates given) Roda Page; 3 Feb 1839 - 18 Sep 1910 Lelia Ola; dau of E.D. & Sarah Smith; 17 Feb 1879 - 19 Jan 1891 Those whom God loves die young James Bethea; 16 Apr 1913 - 25 Apr 1914 (broken stone) Very old stone, broken in bits with fire ants; inscription face down Hazell Daniels; 1942 - 1986 (FHM) Dora, dau of J.M.S. & F.L. Bethea; 7 Sep 1902 - 23 Apr 1904 (broken stone) (Name missing) 1937 - 1978 (FHM - Troy Funeral Home) In a row: 1/ Grave Mound 2/ Jefferson Braddy; 28 Jul 1945 - 18 Feb 1972 3/ Hazel Jean Braddy; 17 Oct 1955 - 18 Jul 1970 4/ Baby Braddy; 1982 - (no other date) (FHM - Shipmen's Funeral Home, Sellers, SC) 5/ Henry Braddy; 12 Aug 1895 - 19 Nov 1954 SC Pvt, 28 Cons Co AS WWI 6/ Broken stone; face down, imbedded in dirt with fire ants Walter M. Campbell; 19 Dec 1880 - 12 Jan 1908, Gone to Rest Caroline Arline (no other name given); 14 Dec 1838 - 28 Feb 1906 (broken) If you live right you will / die right / I am going to live with / Jesus (This stone is right beside Walter M. Campbell, of same material.) Small Broken Stone; Our darling Baby at Rest (Inbedded in dirt - may be more inscription on down side of marker.) One Stone: Martha Campbell; born about 1840 - 11 Jan 1918 Barney Campbell; 1813 - 13 Oct 1917 (This is the earliest recorded birthdate found in cemetery. -jcd) Joe, son of Dave & Fannie McLellan; 21 Jun 1871 - May 1911 (no day of death given) Thy memory shall / ever be / a (_?_) star / to ..... (broken) Annie Maria, wife of Andrew Campbell; age 80 years (no dates given) She was a kind and / affectionate wife / and a friend to all. 3 little stones in a row: 1/ Johnie E., son of J.J. & J.O. Page; 8 Aug 1902 - 13 Dec 1902 2/ Broken stone, no inscription on stone 3/ Broken stone, no inscription on stone Fallen stone, base and all; stone is intact, but inscription is face down. Missouri, wife of Mark Bethea; 8 Jun 1874 - 18 May 1907 (Broken stone) Gone to a brighter home / where grief cannot come. Asa Campbell; 29 Jul 1842 - 24 Dec 1905 Asleep in Jesus, blessed thought Dorcas Campbell; 1844 - 20 Jun 1894, Asleep in Jesus Henry, son of H.C. & Lula Campbell; 5 Jul 1898 - 9 Oct 1899 Gone so soon. One row, with several spaces: Peter Page; died Nov 1984 - age 70 yrs. (broken stone) May the resurection find thee / On the bosom of thy God (sic) Luke, son of Dave & Fannie McLellon; Aug 1879 - 10 Jun 1880 Gone but not forgotten. Lattie, son of H. & S.J. Page; 9 Sep 1888 - 27 Oct 1897 (broken stone) A little time on earth he spent / Till God for him his angel sent. Harvey, son of Colon & Nellie McClellan; 20 Oct 1915 - 17 May 1916 (broken stone) At Rest Henry (K.?), son of Dave & Fannie McClellan; 7 Feb 1870 - Mar 1908 One row: Felton Page; 21 Dec 1905 - 18 Sep 1944, NC Tec5 Engineers WWII Spaces Small broken stone, inscription imbedded in ground Footstone: I.B. (See Isaac Bethea, in next row.) Isaac Bethea; 1831 - 2 Apr 1901, aged 70 yrs. Bessie Mae Cribb; 1925 - 1996, (FHM, Larry Smith Cooper FH) Cornelius Cribb; 7 Aug 1925 - 24 Dec 1982, PFC, US Army WWII [ ESSIE MAE CRIBB - not Bessie - per her niece Shirley Cribb-Matlock. Born 5 April 1925, died 27 November 1996 per Social Security record.] Four concrete slabs in a row: 1/ handwritten in wet concrete: Romie Townsand (no dates) 2/ Shep (last name illegible); no dates, (home made plaque) 3/ Similar to Shep, totally illegible. (FHM imbedded in ground) 4/ Similar to Shep, illegible plaque with a raised cross on slab Rev. James C. Leach Sr.; 1905 - 1991 (slab with raised crucifix) Slab, broken, no inscription found. Broken stone, inscription face down, imbedded in ground END, left side of drive at back of cemetery BEGIN right side of drive, at back of cemetery: Two slabs: 1/ Sarah L. Campbell; 26 Jan 1921 - 21 Aug 1976 2/ no inscription Three in a row: 1/ Concrete slab, no marker 2/ Annie Ruth Campbell Gilchrist; 2 Mar 1940 - 2 Jul 1998 (FHM) (Davis Funeral Service) 3/Concrete slab, no inscription Carpenter Campbell; 1920 - 1995, PFC, US Army WWII (Concrete slab with raised crucifix) Maxie Wheeler; 1914 - 1979 Four in a row: 1/ FHM, no inscription remaining, no imprint 2/ Rena Moody Campbell; 1886 - 1981 3/ Ethel Mae Campbell; 1909 - 1973 4/ Willie J. Campbell; 1905 - 1992, (Shipman Funeral Home) Mary M., wife of W. M. Belins; 26 Sep 1875 - 19 Jan 1914 Sleep on and take thy Rest. David Singletary; 21 Mar 1931 (no other date), SC Pvt 348 LABOR BN Four in a row, three with recent flowers (one bunch each) 1/ Grave mound, no marker 2/ Sunken grave, no marker 3/ (Lecie McK??? or McR??? - date, but illegible) (Hand drawn in concrete slab.) 4/ FHM, no inscription remaining (no flowers on this one) T. J. Johhnson; 9 Aug 1916 - 5 May 1946, Father Islee Johnson; 1915 - 1990 (Shipman Funeral Home) Rosa (_?_), daughter of (stone fallen, fire ants, only left side accessible) Annie, wife of Issac Bethea; died 11 Oct 1919, age 80 yrs (Fallen stone, fire ants) Nearer my God to Thee. (Note that Annie Bethea is buried across the drive from her husband. -jcd) Daniel, son of M.S. & L.B. Bethea; 25 Mar 1897 - 7 Aug 1918 (Falling stone) May the Resurection find Thee / on the Bosom of God. (sic) Mark Bethea; died 10 May 1926 age 57 Yr. Though thou art gone / Fond memory clings to Thee. (Mark Bethea is also buried across the drive from his wife.) Four in a row: 1/ La Fonia Campbell; 1914 - 1981 2/ FHM, no inscription remaining, no imprint 3/ Space 4/ Lavern Campbell; 1930 - 1990 (Mr. Levern Campbell Vermen on FHM, Larry Smith Cooper FH) Five in a row: 1/ T.J., son of M.K. & Kat(ie) Ca(mpbell???) (Small broken stone, no sign of pieces with dates.) 2/ Space 3/ Concrete slab - no inscription 4/ Concrete slab - no inscription 5/ Loften Campbell; 20 Feb 1893 - 23 Jun 1959 , SC Pvt. COM, 51 pioneer Inf WWI Four concrete slabs in a row: 1/ (A.M.?) Henrietta Leslie; 1905 - 1988 2/ Willie Leslie; 1906 - 1983 3/ Herbert B. Leslie; 20 Nov 1935 - 10 Oct 1959, SC PFC US Army 4/ Ilene Leslie Ellis; 28 Mar 1933 - 14 Aug 1964 Katie Belle McRae; 1 Aug 1911 - 7 Dec 1939 She was the sunshine of our home / In heaven there is no sin. Lummie J. McCrae; 1892 - 1965 (Sam?) Jones; 1937 - 1987 (FHM) Dor(---a? or Dor---l?) Burden; one date: 1985? or 1885? (Concrete slab with handwritten inscription) Anderson Campbell; 8 Dec1943 - 25 Oct 1977 Sunken concrete slab; no inscription Sharon Bethea; 1 Mar 1952 - 15 Apr 1976 Seven in a row: 1/ Mounded grave, no marker 2/ Mounded grave, no marker 3/ FHM, no inscription remaining 4/ Addie M. Campbell; 30 Mar 1921 - 17 Feb 1976 5/ Space with recent flowers and cross with no inscription 6/ Betty Phillips; 1937 - 1984 (Jackson & McGill, Marion SC) 7/ Sarah M. Campbell; 25 Aug 1950 - 13 Nov 1986 (FHM: Sallie Campbell) Four in a row, adjoining seven above: 1/ Willie Campbell; 1935 - 1969 2, 3, & 4, grave mounds, no markers Massie McRae; 1892 - 1958 Alberta Townsend; 1918 - 1987 William McCrae; ???? - 1987 Leon Eddie German; 22 Mar 1981 - 10 Apr 1981 Space J.J. Jones; 25 Mar 1880 - 15 Dec 1946 INMAN (one stone) Bass; 15 Dec 1881 - 25 May 1939 Mary; 26 May 1885 - 6 Nov 1938 Three in a row: 1/ Major Campbell; 1911 - 1983 2/ Jake T. Campbell (FHM, no dates - dates drawn in concrete - illegible) 3/ Leroy Campbell; 1946 - 1977 (hand written on concrete slab) (FHM dates: 1940 - 1974 !!!) Master John R. Leslie; 18 Mar 1963 - 25 Jul 1976 Nancy (----ae?); 1902 - 194? (small stone, homemade inscription) Nine in a row: 1/ Lonnie Bethea; 1913 - 1993 (FHM, Shipman's) 2/ James E. Bethea; 1941 - 1981 (FHM, Shipman's) 3/ Willie Crawford; 1921 - 1993 4/ Lila Mae Crawford; 1897 - 1979 5/ Space 6/ (Name gone) 1936 - 1988 (FHM, Shipman's) 7/ Space 8/ Johnnie Page; 1944 - 1996 (Shipman's) 9/ Thelma Page Mack; 12 Apr 1948 - 28 Jun 1999 (Shipman's) (Several wreaths still on grave) Gaston Page; 1932 - 1992 (FHM, Shipman's) Funeral Home Marker, no inscription, no imprint Freddie McEachern; 6 Jun 1930 - 27 May 1986 Four in a row: 1/ Concrete slab, no inscription 2/ Cecil Brown; 1923 - 1986 (FHM) 3 & 4: One stone: HAYES - BETHEA Odessa B.; 1919 - 1981 footstone: Daughter Jessie B.; 1899 - 1981 (FHM: Jessie B. Hayes; 1899 - 1981, Shipman's) Leman Page; 1973 - 1991 (FHM, Shipman's) Heron Page; 1971 - 1991 (FHM) James F. Willis; 9 Aug 1938 - 12 Jun 1982 THREE graves nearest Buck Swamp Road, on right at entry: Concrete slab, no inscription Harnetha, daughter of William & Sarah Page; departed 10 Mar 1947 (no other date) (Fallen stone. This stone may belong to concrete slab above) Drucilla C.T. Jacobs; 4 Jul 1885 - 30 Sep 1957 Rest in Peace. (This relatively new stone has been overturned, not fallen. It is a modern, low stone, about 18 inches in height, and about 18 inches wide at the base. It is the stone nearest the road.) NOTES: Regarding broken pieces of colored glass found in old African-American cemeteries: This is a phenomena that is often found in isolated, old rural cemeteries in this area, perhaps others. I have read that this old custom may go back to Africa. The brightly colored, sparkly material was believed to keep the bad spirits (or haints, as my grandfather would have said) away. And this, from an African-American friend, "The Africans did bring that tradition with them from Africa. Here's more on the glass -- I was told that the breaking of dishes was to release their spirit from the earth. Also that the breaking of personal items, was to break the chain of death, or to save other family members from death." I have seen very isolated African-American cemeteries, especially along Little Pee Dee River in the islands, literally covered with pieces of broken glass, some sprinkled around, some partially imbedded on and around the graves. A truly unique old custom, probably dying off rapidly. If anyone knows more about it, I'd love to learn more. I have been told that there is an older survey of this cemetery in the Latta Library. I've not had a chance to look at it, but anyone interested in this cemetery would probably find it a valuable resource. Finally, I would like to add a note about the deterioration, vandalism, and destruction of so many islolated, rural cemeteries. It is happening all over, to both black and white graveyards. In this, there is no apparent prejudice among us. Jo Church Dickerson 25 March 2000
Back to Dillon County Cemetery List
Dillon County Main Page
Published by Victoria Proctor, Copyright © 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2014. All rights reserved.
All material contributed to this site remains the property of the contributor. These electronic pages, however, may NOT be copied, altered, converted or uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, message board, mailing list or web site, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author.