Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Harvey Haynes: a forgotten member in a forgotten grave

In the front yard of a house just south of Ripley, in Lauderdale County, Tennessee is a small nearly forgotten cemetery. Only seven gravestones remain, the other stones were removed by a previous owner to make the property more sellable. One of the surviving markers, however, belongs to Harvey Jackson Haynes.
Harvey was born on March 12th, 1819 in Tennessee to Abraham and Sarah Haynes. Abraham had moved his family to Tennessee immediately following the war of 1812, and may have fought in the war. He could have received land in Tennessee as payment for his service or perhaps he moved there to take advantage of the new opportunities created by the land grants.

Harvey was a young man of 24 or 25 in Rutherford County, Tennessee when he met the Mormon missionaries. It was in 1844 that he was baptized, and most likely before Joseph Smith was killed in June of that year. He went to Nauvoo with the intent of joining the saints, but when they evacuated the city in 1846, Harvey did not follow. Instead he returned to Tennessee.

In the 1850 Federal Census, Harvey shows up back in Rutherford County (poorly transcribed as Harry J Haynes) living with his mother Sarah Haynes and his future wife Julia Posey. Harvey’s father had passed away 12 years earlier in 1838. A few years later Harvey and Julia are married, according the state records, on November 8, 1856. The Haynes family records show it was December 9, 1856, but do not have a source for the alternate date. It may be that the marriage license was obtained in November, but the wedding itself was not until December. At the time the state did not require couples to report back the actual marriage date.

On November 5th, 1858, Harvey’s mother passed away. And by 1860, the couple had moved to Lauderdale County in the far west end of Tennessee. They owned some land and there were some other Haynes family members in the area. It is likely he moved west with a few of his siblings. Harvey’s name is again poorly transcribed as Henry Haynes in the Federal Census.

In 1860 Harvey’s brother Mack William Haynes Sr., “...donated two acres of land to be a public burial ground.” The first to be buried there are three of Mack’s children: Emily, Susanna, and Robert, who all died at the same time.

Harvey and his wife had four children. In 1861 Julia had a daughter that they named Sarah J Haynes, after Harvey’s mother. On September 24, 1864 they had another daughter they named Virginia Barbara Haynes. In 1867 they had a son which they named John Joseph Haynes. John did not live long . He died on October 24, of the same year. He was buried in the cemetery his brother created. Family records show a fourth child, Robert Haynes, but Robert never shows up in the federal Census. It is likely he did not live very long either.

In 1870, Harvey is listed (mistranscribed as Harvey Hames) with his wife and two daughters ages 9 and 6. Sarah moved out at age 17 when she married Egbert G. Brogdon in 1878. The 1880 Census shows them with just Virginia and some boarders. On December 12th, 1882, Virginia married J. W. Glimp.

In 1896, Julia passed away leaving Harvey a widower at the age of 77. They buried her in the same cemetery with her son John. Harvey moved in with his daughter Virginia where he shows up in the 1900 Census.

Harvey remained faithful to the LDS Church, although there wasn’t always a church to attend. When missionaries came around again he remembered his baptismal covenants. “He never denied his testimony to the divinity of the mission of Joseph Smith.” In 1908, Harvey’s health took a turn for the worse. On October 6th, 1908 “...he died a member of the Church. Funeral services were conducted by the elders” Harvey was buried in the same cemetery with his departed wife. It reads...

H.J. Haynes born Mar 12, 1819
Died Oct 6, 1908
our father & grandfather

Over the years the graves were forgotten. The rest of the Haynes family moved on to Texas and Arkansas. Wthout constnat care, bushes and weeds covered some of the stones. And others were quietly removed to prepare the land for sale. Eventually the property was sold, in 1965, to the Mills family without their knowing it had a cemetery on it. They built a house on the property in 1968. But while clearing some brush near the road, they found some old stone markers. Realizing what they meant, Leonard Mills cleared away the underbrush and planted flowers and shrubs. He located the remaining stones which included Harvey, his wife Julia, and one of their children, John. Other markers were for their son-in-law J. W. Glimp and two grandchildren. All the other stones had long since been lost.

Today the Mills family takes care of grave makers in their front yard, and in tribute to the love and care for this nearly forgotten cemetery, when one of their own grandchildren passed away in 1990, they buried him alongside the others.

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