ANDREWS CEMETERY (French's Mill) LIMESTONE COUNTY, ALABAMA
Cemetery Spotter photo: 5084C/5084
Cemetery Spotter photo after the 27 Apr 2011 EF5 Tornado: 9704C/9704
27 Apr 2011 EF5 Tornado damage to one of many nearby neighborhoods this one less than a mile downwind: 9707
Area views: 5051/5052/5053/5067/5068/5069/5070/5071/5072/5073/5078/5079/5080/5081/5082/5083/5085
ANDREWS, DAVID, 3 Jul 1793 - 16 Mar 1840. 5066/5065/5064/5063/9694
COSBY, Ida, 1877 - 1908. "I know that my Redeemer Liveth" 5062/5076/9690
PEPPER, Edwin born 18 Feb 1806, Brunswick Co. Va. - 5 Jun 1899, Came to Limestone Co. Al. 1858 and died here. 5059/5061/9686
PEPPER, Nancy Cary Mitchell, 6 Sep 1817 - 10 Feb 1894. 5058/5056/5060/5061/9686
THOMAS, J. (John) D. (David), 24 Feb 1874 - 27 Sep 1936. 5073/9672 *
THOMAS J. (John) D. (Dandridge), 1819 - 1886. "Father, May he rest in peace" 5074/9692
THOMAS, Susan (Pepper), 1845 - 1927, "Mother, wife of J. D. Thomas. She was the sunshine of our home" 5074/9692
THOMAS, W. D., 27 Dec 1882 - 28 Feb 1904, son of J. D. & Susan Thomas. 5075/9691
SLOAN, Margaret J., 18 Sep 1820 - 20 Jun 1890. 5054/9684
Unknown stone base - top missing. Believe it is a footstone or small child's stone: 5055/5056/5057/5077/5078
Photos of the damage from the EF5 Tornado of 27 Apr 2011 which caused extensive damage to
this cemetery including plunging the John David Thomas monument into a deep pit
where it will be difficult to salvage:
No doubt some of the settlers of early French's Mill Community are interred here. This is one of three cemeteries near the French's Mill at the junction of Highway 72 & Mooresville Road. These two roads are among the earliest roads built in Alabama. Bethel Cemetery is another cemetery that served the settlers of French's Mill which resides along the creek banks of French's Creek named after Benjamin French (1764-1847) who lived here for a time but, but died in Lauderdale County somewhere between Lexington and Rogersville where he last lived. Benjamin and his son Amos and their families came here as early as 1808 when the Chickasaw Indians burned their cabin and drove them back toward Huntsville. A son Amos and his family came back in 1816 and finished his life here. Sources: Cemetery compilations & mappings of this site by C. Wayne Austin 7 Sep 2011, and from an article in the Huntsville Times Wednesday, 7 Sep 2011, by John Rankin, Vintage writer.
* This snapshot was taken after
the EF5 Tornado of 27 Apr 2011 at about 4:30 PM came through here. Among other
trees the storm uprooted a large Red Oak
tree just east of this (J.D. Thomas) stone. The tree is shown intact in the above first photo
#5073. This event created a large pit which caused the memorial stone to plunge into
the hole some 4+ feet down.
This stone is now in severe danger of disappearing underground as this giant
root ball dissolves (from the weather) back into the pit. It will gradually
cover the stone (forever) as the dirt melts away from the root ball and falls back
in the hole.
It will take a major effort to salvage this stone because of the depth of the
pit. Any effort will create danger to the salvage effort because the root ball is
capable of caving off and pinning anyone attempting to salvage the stone. Due
care must be taken.
Now we are made aware of another reason why some of our old tombstones are
disappearing. It is called storms.
This above mentioned storm is the same one that destroyed Hackleburg/Phil
Campbell/French's Mill & Harvest, Alabama (and many other places) across a span of 90+ Miles.
That storm killed
50+ people and the hospitals were filled with injured people.
This cemetery is so devastated now that it likely will be abandoned and grow up in brush over time because of the inability now to mow it. I am not trying to be negative, but that is what I have seen happen too many times in the past. If you can help prevent this please do so. I did go there a few days later with a lift tripod & Hoist and pull the John David Thomas monument from the pit. I left it standing on the ground 5 feet southwest of the original place, The gravestone base was left in the pit because it was deeper down and face down with only a small part showing. I declared it unsalvageable due to the danger of dirt caving in and also I did not want to disturb anymore the raw remains of the grave exposed in the pit when the tree uprooted in the storm. All that pit will fill back mostly when the dirt from the rootball washes back into the hole over time. It can be leveled back up in time.
This Cemetery presentation is based on the photography of Wayne Austin on 27 Sep 2010(5XXX) & again on 17 May 2011 (9XXX), Original typing by Faye Bradford 15 Apr 2010, and site linkage & programming occurring on 15 Jan 2011 by Mary Bob McClain Richardson of Birmingham Alabama. Final editing and uploaded here by C. Wayne Austin of Madison Alabama on 17 May 2011. It was also presented in the book Limestone County Alabama Cemeteries by Linda Smith on page 4.