McCLAIN CEMETERY, LEWIS COUNTY near the MAURY/LEWIS COUNTY LINE

Photo 31 Jul 2007 by Rick Gray. 

A Complete listing and background of the cemetery by Mary Bob Richardson, some Genealogy & photos by Rick Gray

Maps of the Cemetery Location

The following was written by Mary Bob McClain Richardson and is dedicated to the memory of her father ROBERT MATTHEW McCLAIN (1926 - 2003). 

McClain Cemetery is located approximately 1/4 mile across the Maury County into Lewis County, Tennessee. The land for McClain Cemetery was donated by W.T. McClain the son of John and Elizabeth McMillan McClain; and an early founder of the Mt. Joy Church. This family was the first to be buried at McClain's. Nearby is the Macedonia Church of Christ, in the middle of a fork in the road, right side being Mt. Joy Rd. This church used to be the Old Macedonia School house, the first school I ever attended. Miss Ava Stockard was my 1st grade teacher and her sister Miss Annie Stockard was the substitute teacher. My sister Elizabeth "Liz", 2 years my junior was in the first grade with me at age 4. Now how can that be? You might be thinking. Well, this was a very small community and the only school for miles. My mother told me that, she was asked to put my sister in school because if the school didn't have a certain number of children, then there would be no school. 
I can't remember all of the students I went to school with, I was only 6 in the first grade. The school was 1st thru 12th grades, one room, out-house and a creek for our playground, there might have been two in the first grade, 1 in the twelfth grade, nevertheless, 17 students were the total number during the year that comes to mind.  I went to the first grade in 1953. There were McKIGHTS, FLIPPOS, BASSHAMS, RUNIONS just to name a few of the seventeen. Macedonia School is where our Daddy and our Granddaddy attended school. My sister Lizzie and I would walk from our house to the school and return home every day. We passed the McClain cemetery every day on that walk. To me, there was no lovelier place in the world. The old Mt. Joy Road and the people that lived there linger pleasantly in my memory. We had so much fun playing as little girls in Mt. Joy, in this house or that house and carrying water and being afraid of blue lizards. 
I remember going to the "Old Williams Funeral Home" in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee at times when a relative or special friend of the family would die. My recollection covers many rides back up the rutty road on the hill to McClain's Cemetery where they were laid to rest. As the years came and went, I traveled that road many times. It has now been layered with chirt and is in much better condition. We lovingly laid to rest my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my grandparents, my daughter and my Daddy. When the Lord calls me home, I too, desire to be put to rest there among my ancestors and family. Many times my Dad and I traveled that old road to tend to the various graves and he would tell me, "this stone or place is for your ggg-grandfather, or you were named after this person, or; this man was exhumed for such and such a reason, and as a little boy I saw it all". At any given time he would point down to a tombstone weathered and worn or a sunken spot relating information that might now be lost in time. His hope was that we would somehow retain all the details of his memory for I know he did this with all of his children. I believe at one time he knew everyone up there on the beautiful hill, and he would walk around and read the headstones and check the sunken places and know if it was a child or an adult buried there. It did not matter to him if there was a beautiful memorial at the head of the grave or just a sunken spot to mark the place. Other than my Dad, there is one other man that I know of in that area that would probably know more about the who is buried where in the McClain Cemetery. That would be Mr. Orin Short of Lewis County. He is living next to the Cemetery. I suppose Jimmy McClain would be knowledgeably also. I think Jimmy was a pall-bearer to almost everyone around in that part of Lewis & Maury Co., a very respectable citizen of Mt. Joy and our cousin. Having said this, it is my desire to transcribe the McClain Cemetery and perhaps reveal some of the people buried there. 
Though it is customary for only the inscriptions on the tomb stones to be typed after the date, I have put the entire name as known by myself, my family, or found in reference materials that we have read. Biographies are enclosed by parenthesis are information I have either read or been told, and would like to share.

The effort to list this cemetery is for my children James Tyson, and Tara Amanda Richardson; grandson Alvaro Ruben' Aguilar; my mother Helen C. McClain; my beloved sister Margaret Elizabeth "Lizzie" McClain Bradburn; my brothers Edwin Knox McClain, and Michael Ephraim McClain, and their children. Knowing how much our Daddy loved us all, I think we would like to have him listed at the beginning of the transcription along with my daughter:
 

Our Loving Father:
McCLAIN,  Robert Matthew, 10 Feb. 1926 - 23 Feb. 2003.  Large marble headstone with "Helen Cook; 10 May 1927" on one side, and a porcelain picture of our parents on their 50th Wedding Anniversary nestled between two doves.  On the back of the headstone reads:  "Our Children - Mary Bob, Edwin, Elizabeth, Ephraim;  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  Prov. 3:5-6; Military Footstone. U.S. Navy WWII."

Memorial Obituary and Tribute

Robert Matthew McClain

Born in Maury County on Feb. 10, 1926

Departed on February 23, 2003 and resided  in Hampshire, Lewis Co., Tennessee

Mr. Robert Matthew "Bob" McClain, 77, died Sunday, February 26, 2003 at his residence in the Mt. Joy Community.

Funeral services for Mr. McClain will be conducted Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. at the Williams Mt. Pleasant Funeral Home with Reverend Elmer Crosby and John Davis, Jr. officiating.  Burial will be in the McClain Cemetery with military honors being provided by the Mt. Pleasant American Legion Post #10.  The family will visit with friends Monday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. concluding with a Masonic service at 7:00 p.m.

The Maury County native was the son of the late John Turley and Allie Mai Kennedy McClain and was the husband of Helen Elizabeth Cook McClain of the Mt. Joy Community.  He was retired from Hooker Chemical Company and was a former employee of TVA.  He was a member of the Mt. Pleasant Lodge #610 of F&A.M., the Mt. Pleasant American Legion Post #10 , 32nd Degree Mason and Ali Mena Shriners Temple in Nashville, and member of the First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant.  Maury County Scottish Rite President 1963, Master of Mt. Pleasant Lodge #610 F&AM 1963, Ambassador to the Shriners in Mt. Pleasant, Member of the National Society of the  Sons of the American Revolution, Member of VFW, Served in U.S. Navy on the USS Pennsylvania BB38 in World War II, Rank MM2C from July 18, 1942 - Dec 9, 1945. (Daddy served 4 years or on the "Pennsy" the whole time he was in the Navy.  He was on the Battleship when it was torpedoed in Okinawa Bay, barely escaping with his life, as some of his "battle buddies" were dead floating in the hole.

He didn't talk to me a lot about his Navy service but he did talk to my brothers about it.)   

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Mary Bob (James) Richardson of Birmingham, Alabama and Elizabeth (James) Bradburn of Columbia; two sons, Edwin Knox (Angela) McClain of Franklin, Tennessee and Michael Ephraim (Donna) McClain of the Mt. Joy Community, Lewis Co., Tennessee; a sister, Helen Jane (Kenneth) Pinkley of Horn Lake, Mississippi; three brothers, James Ward "Sonny" (Miki) McClain of Pensacola, Florida, Ara Alton (Mary) McClain of Florence, Alabama and Jerry (Margaret) McClain of Cartersville, Georgia;  seven grandchildren, Jason Bradburn and Jamie Bradburn both of Columbia, Chris (Michelle) McClain of Franklin, Tn, James Tyson Richardson who is currently serving our country in the U.S. Army in Iraq, Tara Amanda Richardson of Birmingham, Al.,  Auston Matthew McClain of McClain of Knoxville, Tn, and Allie Elizabeth McClain (16days old) of the Mt. Joy Community; three great grandchildren, Jordan McClain, Brittany McClain, Alvaro Ruben Aguilar II; several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by three sister, Ruth Blair, Edna Earl Brooks, and Mildred Weatherly; one brother, David Leo McClain. (Note:  July 11, 2003 -  Ara Alton died 4 months after his brother Bob). [Mary Bob McClain Richardson]

Pallbearers will be James Bradburn, Ricky Duberry, Zeke Sharp, Orin Short, Neal England, and Jimmy McClain.  Honorary pallbearers will be John Davis, Jr., Jack Crews, Carlton Whitwell, Bobby Beckum, Bobby Riddle, Bobby Floyd, Dwayne Kilpatrick, Kenneth Turnbow, Douglas Wayne "Hoot" Thompson, David Edwards, Dr. John Salmon, Dr. Cummins Couch, and the men of the First Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant.

Our Darling Daughter:
RICHARDSON,  Tiffany Helen,  18 June 1978 - 19 June 1980.  "Loves Jesus in the sky."  Pink marble child's tombstone.  Footstone; "9:03"  (represents the time of death)  (Cause of death  Neuroblastoma Cancer; age 2 yrs.1 day;  born & died in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; Baptist Montclair Hospital; d. Children's Hospital, Birmingham, Ala.;  daughter of James Carroll (son of Sidney Lee and Maxine Hester Richardson ) & Mary Robert McClain Richardson (daughter of Robert Matthew & Helen Elizabeth Cook McClain);  sister of James Tyson and Tara Amanda Richardson.)
Tiffany Helen Richardson was the maternal granddaughter of Robert Matthew and Helen Elizabeth Cook McClain; paternal granddaughter of Sidney Lee Richardson and Maxine Hester Richardson Osborne.

To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead,
Breathing life into all who have gone before. To tell the family story and to 
feel that somehow they know and approve.
We are the story tellers of the tribe.
We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story.
So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count.
How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family, you 
would 
be proud of us?
How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love 
there 
for me?
I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do 
the 
things I do?
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and 
indifference
And saying I can't let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
It goes to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or 
giving up,
Their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence,
Because we are them and they are us.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.
It is up to that one called in the next generation,
To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family 
storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy,
And that is what calls those young and old to step up
And put flesh on the bones.
[Author Unknown]
(note:  This poem was sent to me in an e-mail some years ago.  The senders name was Ann Greer.
Ann Greer has a ancestor at McClain's Cemetery.  Her ancestor's name is Elizabeth Clenendin the
 lst wife of Martin McClain.  Elizabeth Clenendin McClain's sister was Telia Ann Clenendin McClain,
the wife of Dr. Ephraim McClain (Martin's brother), and the ggg-grandmother of Ann Greer, and 
her namesake.  
Ann writes to me:
"Went to Lawrenceburg yesterday on husband's "business" and as we passed the cemetery, I saw 
"Mimosa" and a bell went off. I went back just before dark to look for the McClain grave markers, 
and found them in about three minutes. Of course, I had no camera with me, so that meant another 
trip back. Since her name was on there as Ann Clendenin, same as mine, it was a little eerie to 
look at. Such an unexpected find-------made my day."
I really do appreciate all the help Ann Greer has contributed to the information I share and wish
 to thank her very much. [Mary Bob McClain Richardson]
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