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SAINT PETERS CHURCH CEMETERY

Earle, Crittenden County, Arkansas

(Tyronza Township)



Surveyed December 30, 2000 by Deborah Lunsford Yates and Wayne Yates


Saint Peters Church Cemetery is located approximately 4 1/8 miles north of Earle, Arkansas on Highway 149, adjacent to Greer Road. The cemetery is south of Layton Cemetery. It is an estimated 1/8 mile west of the highway in a wooded thicket, heavily overgrown. The cemetery is inaccessible by vehicle. The entire cemetery is in total disarray and has been unmaintained for several years. There appears to be approximately thirty graves, possibly more, most of which have sunken. The remains of a one room building are still visible, completely fallen, believed to once be the church. Only four stones were located in the heavy undergrowth.

 

Update March 1, 2006

This cemetery was plowed over within the last year

and is no longer in existence


HENSLEY, Henry - born 1867, died 1921, Beloved Husband of Maranda Hensley.

Inscription: Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace. Psalms 37:37 (Henry Hensley died Sep 10, 1921, Maranda Hensley died Nov 29, 1941)


PARKS, J. O. - died April 14, 1918, age 22.

Inscription: In Triumph of Faith


SIMMS, Sarah - born 1882, died July 20, 1918.

Inscription: International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor. St. Peter Tab No. 311


WASHINGTON, Robert - born November 6, 1900, died November 10, 1972.

 

Note: On May 7, 2003, Danny Lunsford mowed the lot belonging to the old Richards homeplace and which is also the site of Richards Cemetery. In doing so, what appeared to be a military dog tag was discovered. Recent thunderstorms and tornadoes in the area, with torrential rains, had unearthed several items in the yard of the house. The dog tag was in excellent condition, although bent, inscribed with the following information:

 

Washington, Robert

Route 2

In care of Cloar Store

Earle

November 6, 1898 – B

 

Robert Washington apparently lived in the Old Richards Homeplace at some point.

 


 

Brief History of the Knights of Liberty (Knights of Tabor)

The Knights of Liberty was a secret African American organization, reportedly organized by twelve black men meeting privately in St. Louis, Missouri in August 1846. They were also known as the Knights of Tabor or the International Order of Twelve. Their goal was nothing less than the destruction of slavery. Their plans are unverified, but it is likely they were planning to undertake some kind of military action. The Knights took the name Tabor from the Bible. Tabor is a mountain in northern Israel where an army of God's people, the Israelites, won a decisive victory over their enemies, the Canaanites.

The Knights claimed a peak membership of nearly 50,000, and they estimated that over ten years they helped some 70,000 slaves escape from slavery over the clandestine Underground Railroad. Apparently the Knights abandoned their plans in 1856 because they believed that tensions between the free North and the slave South were leading to a national civil war that would bring slavery to an end. Following the Civil War, the leaders founded a benevolent fraternal society called the International Order of the Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor.

Moses Dickson was the power behind the Knights and may have been its actual founder. Born free in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1824, he saw at first hand the horrors of the slave system when he worked on a steamboat that traveled South. He was a soldier in the Civil War and devoted himself afterwards to racial causes. He became an active Republican and a member of the Equal Rights League, organizations committed to the freedpeople. He also became an AME minister, a founder of Lincoln University in Missouri, and president of the Refugee Relief Board in St. Louis, which aided African Americans on their way seeking greater freedom in Kansas and the West.

Although little is known about the Knights when they were a secret society, their very existence shows the involvement of African Americans themselves in the struggle for black freedom.


 

Mr. Titus Arnold requested that the following information be posted, March 1, 2006

Good Morning. My name is Titus Arnold.

 

I became interested in the Knights Of Tabor a few years ago. I looked for any and all references on them. I was raised in a place called Keo, Arkansas. There is a church by the name of Morris Chapel Baptist Church. It is located about three miles South of Keo. There are many headstones that have the inscription that the remains in the grave were members of the Knights of Tabor. I know also of a small cemetery about a mile from Keo, that might be members of the Knights Of Tabor.

 

If you know of anyone that might be interested in this information please feel free to share this with them. I would consider it an honor to take anyone to the sites and learn all I can of these brave men and women that risked all in their pursuit of freedom and equality.

 

I am trying to find out if there still exists a functioning group of this organization.

 


 

You can contact Mr. Arnold through the following address and phone numbers

Titus Arnold

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program
P. O. Box 2081
El Dorado, AR 71730

870-862-6456
Fax 870-862-6962

 

You can also email Titus Arnold by clicking this link


 

 

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Deborah Lunsford Yates, 2000 - 2006

Last Updated Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 9:34:47 PM CST