The REAL Children’s Cemetery

9 thoughts on “The REAL Children’s Cemetery”

  1. I find what they have done at Duncan Chapel very disturbing. Most of the headstones are gone/broke now. Graves marked with field stones are gone along with the ground that held them. They went all the way to the old road that was there. Been visiting that cemetery for many years and have pictures. Where the fence is close to Walmart is not the end of that graveyard. The parking lot is. I have pictures of their grading stakes inside of the field stone area. Such a sad situation. Just wiped out as if it didn’t matter. Well it does.

    1. 100% agree with you. I live near there and while I have no problem with new housing or industry, I do have problems with wiping out our past, as you say, as if it didn’t matter. You are right…. it does matter to those of us still living and our descendants to come. Such a shame.

  2. FWIW, I have never seen a death certificate belonging to a child that listed pellagra as a cause for death – lots of people 20+, certainly, but never anyone younger.

    I looked up a dozen or so of the death certificates for the children under 5 buried at Monaghan and they had a variety of causes of death – many of pneumonia, one case of diabetes, whooping cough, and a heart defect (listed as “poor circulation, not normal”).

    The death rate for children for those cemeteries, however, doesn’t seem to be exceptionally high. Part of the issue is that those who had a steady job at the mill could afford a marker for their child. If you were a poor farmer who could barely scrape up enough to keep your family fed all winter, a marker for that infant that died and was buried in your local church cemetery just wasn’t going to be at the top of the priority list, especially when child mortality was high and you may have had more than one die in a short period of time. A whole huge number of rural church cemeteries I’ve seen in Anderson County have a large number of obvious spots where there was a burial but no stone exists (confirmed in a lot of cases by death certificates). The mill cemeteries, on the other hand, seemed to always have an overall higher percentage of marked graves.

    1. Excellent points. I think my main issue was with calling a place “Children’s Cemetery” simply on the size of the stones.

    2. My family was Mill families. I was told that some of the mills would furnish a marker for infants and children of mill workers.

  3. My mother had me carry her to the cemetery on Cedar Lane Road just a few years back. My mother is 91 years old.
    I had never been there, and I am not sure she had.
    Her Paternal Grandmother is buried there. Isabell McCoy Hopkins wife of John Parker Hopkins. We are estimating she passed mid to late-30’s. According to my mother, this cemetery was use by Monaghan. Riverside, at that time, was not as populated. John Parker Hopkins was a Carpenter and worked for Monaghan Mill. He was utilized for the homes and any work the mill needed. I have his tool chest, he made himself. It’s too heavy to even carry. About the size of a small coffee table. I assume from the weight, it must have set on the back of a wagon.

  4. Addendum: I would really like to see this Cemetery on Cedar Lane Road preserved with a more outward landscape appeal on this State Highway 183.

  5. We live near by. My son is not able to sleep with the lights off; he just turned one. People have said; they’ve seen a young girl, around 5 years old. And just today we had trouble sleeping our son, he wouldn’t stop crying. He eventually he stopped, my husband had a 30 minute sleep before work. He had a dream; that a little girl laid next to our son as they slept and he saw a lot of infants hanging in infant carriers, they too were all asleep. That is what lead me here to this page.

  6. Cemeteries should be protected and remembered . my husband and I are trying to research for a book on some that have been forgotten by the world. We have found 2 “the children who helped build Kansas City” and “the children who helped build Chicago” cemeteries. They came about because of the orphan trains another forgotten piece of history.

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