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McCONNELL (William) CEMETERY (lost), Southport, MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE

To find this cemetery from Columbia go south out of Columbia on Highway 245 (Campbellsville Pike) about 9 or 10 miles miles. Just past he Southport Road on your left turn west on Bethel Church Rd known as Miller Lake Road on many maps today. Cross over Little Bigbyville Creek and look on your right for a place to park and examine this area closely between these two creeks for signs of a lost cemetery. WA 25 Aug 2009.


McConnell Family History

William Wallace Dugger was, a preacher in the Christian Church (Church of Christ.)
He was born near Culleoka and was active in politics locally at one time serving as a magistrate. His first wife died after having a whole bunch of children and he married a second wife. He then led a wagon train to Graves County, Kentucky, in which there were a number of wagons among whom was his son. This son married into the McConnell family. This McConnell's daughter's father was William McConnell who at one time preached at Bethel Church of Christ here in Southport, Maury County Tn. He was a cabinet maker and a tanner as well as a preacher. He owned a farm adjoining the Bethel Church of Christ property at Southport. He and a number of his children and wives were buried in this McConnell's Graveyard. It was said to be located at the junction of McKnight's Branch and Little Bigby Creek. I had assumed that this branch was nearby or on his farm property since the farm was located on Little Bigby Creek. I cannot find a map that mentions that McKnight's Branch and I never heard of it when I was growing up. I then thought that perhaps the branch that joins Little Bigby just North of Bethel Church Road might have been called McKnight's Branch at some time. [written by Jack Dugger 4 Oct 2009.]

I along with previous researchers have visited this place and never seen any evidence there is a cemetery there. That does not mean it is not, but that we cannot find it. Maybe it is destroyed but maybe it is just lost in the thicket somewhere or the stones fallen over and sunken into the ground from neglect.

Location of McConnell Cemetery and Perry Hill Church & Cemetery (black) 

Sue Allen of Immolokee, FL, has "hounded" me for several years to find the McConnell Graveyard named after her her great grandfather William McConnell, who was a tanner, cabinet maker and farmer who also preached some at Bethel Church of Christ. In fact his property adjoined the Bethel Church property on the South. 
The graveyard was said to be located where McKnight's Branch runs into Little Bigby Creek. Locator Map I was just wondering if the branch that runs into Little Bigby Creek between Bethel Creek Road and the Mt. Pleasant Road, (Southport Road on the map), could one time have been called McKnights Branch and just maybe the McConnell graveyard is located there. 

I can't remember that I ever paid any attention to that little (triangle shaped) bit of land
on the right side of Bethel Church Rd, (traveling South). Seems to me that it was always somewhat of a "no-man's land." Mr. Mangrum always set up his wheat thresher there to take care of the wheat crop of the whole community. 

My brother, Leland, and I fished in every nook and cranny of Little Bigby Creek, but never in that branch because it was full of snakes. You'll probably be in that neighborhood before I have a chance to check this out so if you are there look where the branch runs into Little Bigby and maybe there could be a graveyard there in the high area.

Perry Hill Church & Graveyard. (black)

The farm on which I was born located at Broadview was inherited by a distant cousin of mine who lives in Georgetown, KY. If I ever saw her it was some 60 years ago but she and her husband came by to visit with us last week. They wanted to know something about the history of the area. He told me that there was an old graveyard on the property and asked if I knew anything about it. I was four years old (about 1922) when we moved to Southport and if I was ever on the back of the property I do not remember it. The road that used to pass by the house on that farm was called Perry Hill School House Road or Perry Hill Church Road and was a public road. It was not the most used road in the County and it has grown up and become impassible today. You can also reach Perry Hill Church which still meets by going up the road that passes Hopewell Presbyterian Church off of the Pulaski Highway. I believe that is Hopewell Road. This will also reach the back of the 178 acre farm that I'm speaking about as the place I was born. Austin French is the fellow's name and I think he told me that he had read "Perry" on one of the tombstones in that graveyard. I suspect that this is a black graveyard because Perry Hill Church is or was black. I thought you might be interested in this graveyard. It will have to be reached by going in the gate marked "Broadview Farm" and using their road to get to the back of the farm. I do remember that one of the farm hands who
was black lived in a cabin back towards the Perry Hill Church. I would guess that that log cabin no longer exists.

Many times in this olden days the deceased was interred on their farm somewhere. In some cases there was not a inscribed marker placed over the grave. Cemeteries in that condition are easily lost after the generations past and the memories fade and the growth takes back the grave sites.  In other cases the two or three stones fell and sunk below the ground leaving little signs that denote a cemetery. [WA 25 Aug 2009.]

I have examined the plot of land in question mentioned above by Jack and it is a part of someone's mowed yard today and thus has no sign of ever having a graveyard. After turning on the Bethel Church road and passing over the first creek I looked right and at the place you mentioned. It is all clear and being mowed today. That is where the two spring branches merge together in that little triangular shaped spot of land. I believe that cemetery will be found on that hill on the left of the road from this spot as I have heard others say there was supposed to be a cemetery there that is lost probably due to mining phosphate. [WA 4 Oct 2009] 
Based on a
Letter from Jack Dugger (b. 1918) who was born near here. Dated 24 Aug 2009. A compilation of conversations of memories by Jack Dugger as added here by Wayne Austin 25 Aug 2009.