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Old PAGE Cemetery

(aka St. Paul A.M.E. Church Cemetery)
(African-American)

Dillon County, S.C.


Contributed by Jo Church Dickerson, April 2000.

OLD PAGE CEMETERY (African-American) 1st part
or
ST. PAUL A.M.E. CHURCH CEMETERY

Floydale Community, Dillon County, South Carolina


Surveyed and transcribed Jan/Feb 2000 by
Jo Church Dickerson and grandson, John Mahaffey
Additional information by Sandra Roberts-Bigham


Location: Buck Swamp Road near Floydale Community, on the north edge of Buck 
Swamp


Directions: From Hwy 41, going from Lake View toward Marion, turn right, just 
past Fork, onto Buck Swamp Road (formerly SR 72). Cemetery is 3.5 miles from 
Hwy 41, immediately past RR tracks, on the right. Or from Hwy 917, going from 
Smithboro toward Latta, turn right onto Burke Road (SR 46); go 6/10 mile and 
turn right at first road just past bridge across Buck Swamp; go 3/10's mile. 
Cemetery is on left, just before RR tracks. 


History/Condition: This old African-American cemetery is located on a 
beautiful wooded hillside, the graves scattered all over the hill, nestled 
among the many trees. As with many local black cemeteries, it seems to have 
had it's origins as a slave burying ground. There are certainly burials here 
of people who were born into slavery. It is on land that adjoins the old 
Captain William Page lands, less than a mile up the road from the William 
Page family cemetery. I do not know if it was originally part of Page's 
lands, or lands of some other family. I was told by locals that most recently 
it was part of the Reaves estate lands; that it was donated to St. Paul 
A.M.E. Church of Floydale by the Reaves family. It is still in use as the 
cemetery for St. Paul Church.


I was told by the present occupants that the large old house up the hill from 
the cemetery was the old Reaves home, but I have no further information 
regarding that. There is a white cemetery, 3/10's mile up Buck Swamp Road 
from this one, and on the same hillside, where members of the Reaves family 
are buried. It is stated in the Dillon Cemetery book that this was the site 
of Dunbarton Presbyterian Church. I have no information about Dunbarton 
Church, but that cemetery is clearly on part of the same lands that the black 
cemetery is located on.


I'm not at all sure that my suppositions belong in a document such as this, 
but I am going to supply them anyway, in an effort to try to understand and 
explain the nature and history of this old cemetery.


The dirt drive that winds through the cemetery, and cuts it into two distinct 
sections, has all the appearances of an old road. While copying the stones at 
the back of the cemetery, far up the hillside it's located on, I observed 
that the road appeared to continue through the field that lies at the back of 
the cemetery. Following the faint signs of the road with my eye, it appears 
to bear to the right beyond the cemetery, and take a course along a line of 
trees at the edge of the field. Proceeding on up the hill, it seems to turn 
sharply to the left, and runs in front of a small, cement block building at 
the top of the hill that looks like it might have once been a tenant house. 
The little house is directly behind the cemetery, at the crest of the same 
hill the cemetery is on, several hundred yards away. The old road seems to 
continue on a line beyond the little house, to the back side of the large, 
old, two storey frame house that faces on Burke Road, on the crest of the 
same hill. Taken altogether, the inescapable conclusion is that this all 
looks exactly like something out of "Gone With the Wind." The large house 
looking for all the world like a plantation house; the little house directly 
in back of the big house must be located where the slave quarters once were, 
with a road winding down the hill to a little cemetery where people who were 
born into slavery are buried. I could almost see and hear the mournful 
procession of enslaved people bringing one of their own down the hill to the 
little cemetery - finally "At Rest."


Due to the nature of the hillside, there are few rows, as you find in most 
cemeteries. Some markers are isolated, some are located in what are clearly 
family clusters. I have tried to organize the transcript so it gives an idea 
of the stones in relation to each other. I do not mean to imply relationship 
where none is stated on the stones, but it may be helpful to see what stones 
are near each other. We transcribed the stones beginning just to the left of 
the entry drive, then it was uphill and down hill and around trees, in a 
rough circle back to beginning, trying to keep grave groupings together on 
paper, but unable to follow a straight line due to nature of the setting. 
This cemetery is much larger than it looks. As with many local 
African-American cemeteries, due to historical and economic factors, there 
are numerous graves with only funeral home markers, many home-made brick 
and/or concrete slabs, and clearly countless unmarked graves.



FHM = funeral home marker
Jackson and/or Jackson McGill Funeral Home is still in business in Marion.
Davis Funeral Service is still in business in Marion. 
Shipmen's or Shipman's Funeral Home was in Sellers, and is still in business 
in Latta. 
Troy Funeral Home is still in business in Mullins.
Larry Smith Cooper Funeral Home is still in business in Mullins.


Please see additional notes at end of file.



CEMETERY


Joseph Campbell; 10 Apr 1922 - 1 Apr 1990; ST MZ U.S. Navy
James N. Roberts, Jr.; 7 Jun 1920 - 2 Sep 1978; U.S. Army, WWII
"Sissie" Eloise Roberts; 1914 - 1973


Four Funeral Home markers in a row:
Henry K. Bethea; 1877-1969; age 92
David Roberts (no dates)
Lemon Roberts (no dates)
Pearlie Roberts (no dates)


Sam Miles; 1915-1996
Mabel Miles; 1915 - 1991


Flossie Leach; 19 Jun 1910 - 14 Jul 1956


Vernie C. Brown; 25 Apr 1900 - 16 Jan 1980
Willie Louise Roberts 30 Mar 1927 - 17 Sep 1966 (FHM) 
Anddie Mae Campbell; 2 Aug 1908 - 7 Jul 1959
Walters Campbell; 8 Jun 1907 - (stone broken, death date missing) Masonic 
Emblem
Riley Campbell; 21 May 1870 - 5 Apr 1933; 
   Here I lay my burden down / Change the cross into a crown
Lula Campbell; 14 Apr 1873 - 17 Jul 1929


Arnetha McClellan; 1917 - 1990
Frank McClellan; 1919-1979  (FHM)
William. McClellan; 6 Mar 1918 - 4 Aug 1957; MM3 USNR, WWII


Jessie B. McClellan: 25 Aug 1922 - 21 Dec 1972; SC Tec 4, U.S. Army, WWII
David McClellan; 1916 - 1981


Lebenten, wife of Ed Waters; died 15 Oct 1917, age 37


Ernest, son of Edmond & Sarah Smith; 1896 - (broken, death date unavailable)


Gladys Elizabeth (sic); b. 11-11-1911, d. 11-13-1956
   (Concrete slab with hand drawn inscription)
Concrete slab, no inscription


BETHEA  (One stone)
Sarah Alice; 10 May 1925 - 29 Sep 1934
Shaw; 7 Sep 1894 - 1 Nov 1943
Viola; 29 May 1897 - 12 Aug 1988


Brick slab with no inscription
3 slabs, concrete over brick, no inscription


Corine M. Johnson; 7 Jan 1923 - 24 Dec 1976


Jack Grey McClellan; 17 Feb 1952 - 3 Jun 1963
Alfonso Elleby; 1966 - 1995


James L., son of James & Lula (remainder below ground level); footstone: 
J.L.M.
   Tiny baby stone with a lamb


One stone - two inscriptions:
Leonard Burden; 1893 - Jan 1918
Jacob Burden; 1900 - Oct 1917


Willie J. Bonner, Jr.; 1914 - 1992 ((FHM)
Broken stone, deeply imbedded in dirt, writing face down.


Broken stone, base only, no sign of remainder of stone
Foster Page; 26 Mar 1888 - 29 Oct 1945; Our Father
Marvin Page; 12 Oct 1917 - 10 Jun 1984, Tec 4, US Army, WWII
Hector Page; 11 Nov 1861 - 8 Jan 1919


Two brick and concrete slabs with funeral home markers:
Mr. ______ (completely faded and illegible); died Nov ____ (faded/illegible) 
aged 95
   (This marker is stamped Henry L. Jackson, possibly name of funeral home?
   Two dates imprinted on back of marker: 1925 and 1927, doubt they are date 
of death.)
Lenzy McClellan; 1901 - 1976 (FHM, Jackson McGill)


Sarah Harris; 19 Feb 1912 - 30 Oct 1954
Sarah Page; 12 May 1881 - 8 Jan 1927
Broken stone, base only, stone not found.


2 funeral home markers, no writing, no imprint


Charles B. Campbell; 30 Sep 1922 - 18 Dec 1987
   Pvt U.S. Army, WWII


7 concrete slabs in a row, 5 have no inscriptions or markers:
Louise Campbell; 1910 - 1992
Charles Cole; 1924 - 1990


Annie Bethea; 24 Dec 1910 - 30 Jan 1917 (small broken stone)
   Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven


Large space under trees with no stones, but signs of several sunken graves.


Hattie, dau of Stephen & Hannah Campbell; 29 Aug 1890 - 15 Sep 1910 (broken 
stone)
   Gone to a brighter home/Where grief cannot come
George, son of Stephen & Hannah Campbell; 18 Apr (year is missing) - 20 Jun 
1911
      We can safely / Leave our boy / Our darling in / Thy trust  (stone is 
broken into little bits)
[I found broken, beautiful old purple glass embedded in the ground beside 
this grave. 
This was the only broken glass I saw in this cemetery. For explanation, see 
below.]


Rev. Amos Campbell; died 10 Jun 1880, age 45 Yrs. (stone broken into little 
bits)
   He followed virtue / as his Trust Guide / Lived as a Ch(ristian) / As a 
Christian died.


Sarah, wife of E.D. Smith; died 19 Jan 1890, age 38 Yrs.   At Rest. (Broken 
stone)
***Earliest recorded death date???***
Broken stone; top with name is missing:
   born & died 6 Apr 1919;  Asleep in Jesus


Nero Page; aged 62 Yrs  (no dates given)
Roda Page; 3 Feb 1839 - 18 Sep 1910


Lelia Ola; dau of E.D. & Sarah Smith; 17 Feb 1879 - 19 Jan 1891
   Those whom God loves die young


James Bethea; 16 Apr 1913 - 25 Apr 1914 (broken stone)


Very old stone, broken in bits with fire ants; inscription face down


Hazell Daniels; 1942 - 1986 (FHM)


Dora, dau of J.M.S. & F.L. Bethea; 7 Sep 1902 - 23 Apr 1904 (broken stone)
(Name missing) 1937 - 1978 (FHM - Troy Funeral Home)


In a row:
1/ Grave Mound
2/ Jefferson Braddy; 28 Jul 1945 - 18 Feb 1972
3/ Hazel Jean Braddy; 17 Oct 1955 - 18 Jul 1970
4/ Baby Braddy; 1982 - (no other date) 
      (FHM - Shipmen's Funeral Home, Sellers, SC)
5/ Henry Braddy; 12 Aug 1895 - 19 Nov 1954
       SC Pvt, 28 Cons Co AS WWI
6/ Broken stone; face down, imbedded in dirt with fire ants


Walter M. Campbell; 19 Dec 1880 - 12 Jan 1908, Gone to Rest
Caroline Arline (no other name given); 14 Dec 1838 - 28 Feb 1906 (broken)
   If you live right you will / die right / I am going to live with / Jesus
   (This stone is right beside Walter M. Campbell, of same material.)


Small Broken Stone; Our darling Baby at Rest 
   (Inbedded in dirt - may be more inscription on down side of marker.)


One Stone:
Martha Campbell; born about 1840 - 11 Jan 1918
Barney Campbell; 1813 - 13 Oct 1917
   (This is the earliest recorded birthdate found in cemetery. -jcd)


Joe, son of Dave & Fannie McLellan; 21 Jun 1871 - May 1911 (no day of death 
given)
   Thy memory shall / ever be / a (_?_) star / to ..... (broken)


Annie Maria, wife of Andrew Campbell; age 80 years (no dates given)
   She was a kind and / affectionate wife / and a friend to all.


3 little stones in a row:
1/ Johnie E., son of J.J. & J.O. Page; 8 Aug 1902 - 13 Dec 1902
2/ Broken stone, no inscription on stone
3/ Broken stone, no inscription on stone


Fallen stone, base and all; stone is intact, but inscription is face down.


Missouri, wife of Mark Bethea; 8 Jun 1874 - 18 May 1907 (Broken stone)
   Gone to a brighter home / where grief cannot come. 
Asa Campbell; 29 Jul 1842 - 24 Dec 1905
   Asleep in Jesus, blessed thought
Dorcas Campbell; 1844 - 20 Jun 1894,
   Asleep in Jesus


Henry, son of H.C. & Lula Campbell; 5 Jul 1898 - 9 Oct 1899
   Gone so soon.


One row, with several spaces:
Peter Page; died Nov 1984 - age 70 yrs. (broken stone)
   May the resurection find thee / On the bosom of thy God (sic)
Luke, son of Dave & Fannie McLellon; Aug 1879 - 10 Jun 1880
   Gone but not forgotten.   
Lattie, son of H. & S.J. Page; 9 Sep 1888 - 27 Oct 1897 (broken stone)
   A little time on earth he spent / Till God for him his angel sent.
Harvey, son of Colon & Nellie McClellan; 20 Oct 1915 - 17 May 1916 (broken 
stone)
   At Rest
Henry (K.?), son of Dave & Fannie McClellan; 7 Feb 1870 - Mar 1908


One row:
Felton Page; 21 Dec 1905 - 18 Sep 1944, NC Tec5 Engineers WWII
Spaces
Small broken stone, inscription imbedded in ground
Footstone: I.B. (See Isaac Bethea, in next row.)


Isaac Bethea; 1831 - 2 Apr 1901, aged 70 yrs.


Bessie Mae Cribb; 1925 - 1996, (FHM, Larry Smith Cooper FH)
Cornelius Cribb; 7 Aug 1925 - 24 Dec 1982, PFC, US Army  WWII
[ ESSIE MAE CRIBB - not Bessie - per her niece Shirley Cribb-Matlock.
Born 5 April 1925, died 27 November 1996 per Social Security record.] 

Four concrete slabs in a row:
1/ handwritten in wet concrete: Romie Townsand (no dates)
2/ Shep (last name illegible); no dates, (home made plaque)
3/ Similar to Shep, totally illegible. (FHM imbedded in ground)
4/ Similar to Shep, illegible plaque with a raised cross on slab


Rev. James C. Leach Sr.; 1905 - 1991 (slab with raised crucifix)


Slab, broken, no inscription found.


Broken stone, inscription face down, imbedded in ground
END, left side of drive at back of cemetery


BEGIN right side of drive, at back of cemetery:


Two slabs:
1/ Sarah L. Campbell; 26 Jan 1921 - 21 Aug 1976
2/ no inscription


Three in a row:
1/ Concrete slab, no marker
2/ Annie Ruth Campbell Gilchrist; 2 Mar 1940 - 2 Jul 1998 (FHM)
    (Davis Funeral Service)
3/Concrete slab, no inscription


Carpenter Campbell; 1920 - 1995, PFC, US Army  WWII
   (Concrete slab with raised crucifix)


Maxie Wheeler; 1914 - 1979


Four in a row:
1/ FHM, no inscription remaining, no imprint
2/ Rena Moody Campbell; 1886 - 1981
3/ Ethel Mae Campbell; 1909 - 1973
4/ Willie J. Campbell; 1905 - 1992, (Shipman Funeral Home)


Mary M., wife of W. M. Belins; 26 Sep 1875 - 19 Jan 1914
   Sleep on and take thy Rest.


David Singletary; 21 Mar 1931 (no other date), SC Pvt 348 LABOR BN


Four in a row, three with recent flowers (one bunch each)
1/ Grave mound, no marker
2/ Sunken grave, no marker
3/ (Lecie McK??? or McR??? - date, but illegible) (Hand drawn in concrete 
slab.)
4/ FHM, no inscription remaining  (no flowers on this one)


T. J. Johhnson; 9 Aug 1916 - 5 May 1946,  Father
Islee Johnson; 1915 - 1990 (Shipman Funeral Home)


Rosa (_?_), daughter of  (stone fallen, fire ants, only left side accessible)


Annie, wife of Issac Bethea; died 11 Oct 1919, age 80 yrs (Fallen stone, fire 
ants)
   Nearer my God to Thee.  
   (Note that Annie Bethea is buried across the drive from her husband. -jcd)
Daniel, son of M.S. & L.B. Bethea; 25 Mar 1897 - 7 Aug 1918 (Falling stone)
   May the Resurection find Thee / on the Bosom of God. (sic)


Mark Bethea; died 10 May 1926 age 57 Yr.
   Though thou art gone / Fond memory clings to Thee.
(Mark Bethea is also buried across the drive from his wife.)


Four in a row:
1/ La Fonia Campbell; 1914 - 1981
2/ FHM, no inscription remaining, no imprint
3/ Space
4/ Lavern Campbell; 1930 - 1990
   (Mr. Levern Campbell Vermen on FHM, Larry Smith Cooper FH)


Five in a row:
1/ T.J., son of M.K. & Kat(ie) Ca(mpbell???) 
   (Small broken stone, no sign of pieces with dates.)
2/ Space
3/ Concrete slab - no inscription
4/ Concrete slab - no inscription
5/ Loften Campbell; 20 Feb 1893 - 23 Jun 1959 , SC Pvt. COM, 51 pioneer Inf  
WWI


Four concrete slabs in a row:
1/ (A.M.?) Henrietta Leslie; 1905 - 1988
2/ Willie Leslie; 1906 - 1983
3/ Herbert B. Leslie; 20 Nov 1935 - 10 Oct 1959, SC PFC  US Army
4/ Ilene Leslie Ellis; 28 Mar 1933 - 14 Aug 1964


Katie Belle McRae; 1 Aug 1911 - 7 Dec 1939
   She was the sunshine of our home / In heaven there is no sin.
Lummie J. McCrae; 1892 - 1965


(Sam?) Jones; 1937 - 1987 (FHM)


Dor(---a? or Dor---l?) Burden; one date: 1985? or 1885?
   (Concrete slab with handwritten inscription)


Anderson Campbell; 8 Dec1943 - 25 Oct 1977


Sunken concrete slab; no inscription


Sharon Bethea; 1 Mar 1952 - 15 Apr 1976


Seven in a row:
1/ Mounded grave, no marker
2/ Mounded grave, no marker
3/ FHM, no inscription remaining
4/ Addie M. Campbell; 30 Mar 1921 - 17 Feb 1976
5/ Space with recent flowers and cross with no inscription
6/ Betty Phillips; 1937 - 1984 (Jackson & McGill, Marion SC)
7/ Sarah M. Campbell; 25 Aug 1950 - 13 Nov 1986
   (FHM: Sallie Campbell)


Four in a row, adjoining seven above:
1/ Willie Campbell; 1935 - 1969
2, 3, & 4, grave mounds, no markers


Massie McRae; 1892 - 1958
Alberta Townsend; 1918 - 1987
William McCrae; ???? - 1987


Leon Eddie German; 22 Mar 1981 - 10 Apr 1981
Space
J.J. Jones; 25 Mar 1880 - 15 Dec 1946


INMAN (one stone)
Bass; 15 Dec 1881 - 25 May 1939
Mary; 26 May 1885 - 6 Nov 1938


Three in a row:
1/ Major Campbell; 1911 - 1983
2/ Jake T. Campbell (FHM, no dates - dates drawn in concrete - illegible)
3/ Leroy Campbell; 1946 - 1977 (hand written on concrete slab)
   (FHM dates: 1940 - 1974 !!!)


Master John R. Leslie; 18 Mar 1963 - 25 Jul 1976


Nancy (----ae?); 1902 - 194?  (small stone, homemade inscription)


Nine in a row:
1/ Lonnie Bethea; 1913 - 1993 (FHM, Shipman's)
2/ James E. Bethea; 1941 - 1981 (FHM, Shipman's)
3/ Willie Crawford; 1921 - 1993
4/ Lila Mae Crawford; 1897 - 1979
5/ Space
6/ (Name gone) 1936 - 1988 (FHM, Shipman's)
7/ Space
8/ Johnnie Page; 1944 - 1996 (Shipman's)
9/ Thelma Page Mack; 12 Apr 1948 - 28 Jun 1999 (Shipman's) 
     (Several wreaths still on grave)


Gaston Page; 1932 - 1992 (FHM, Shipman's)


Funeral Home Marker, no inscription, no imprint


Freddie McEachern; 6 Jun 1930 - 27 May 1986


Four in a row:
1/ Concrete slab, no inscription
2/ Cecil Brown; 1923 - 1986 (FHM)
3 & 4: One stone: HAYES - BETHEA
Odessa B.; 1919 - 1981  footstone: Daughter
Jessie B.; 1899 - 1981 (FHM: Jessie B. Hayes; 1899 - 1981, Shipman's)


Leman Page; 1973 - 1991 (FHM, Shipman's)
Heron Page; 1971 - 1991 (FHM)


James F. Willis; 9 Aug 1938 - 12 Jun 1982


THREE graves nearest Buck Swamp Road, on right at entry:
Concrete slab, no inscription
Harnetha, daughter of William & Sarah Page; departed 10 Mar 1947 (no other 
date)
   (Fallen stone. This stone may belong to concrete slab above)


Drucilla C.T. Jacobs; 4 Jul 1885 - 30 Sep 1957
   Rest in Peace. 
(This relatively new stone has been overturned, not fallen. It is a modern, 
low stone, 
about 18 inches in height, and about 18 inches wide at the base. It is the 
stone nearest the road.)



NOTES:
Regarding broken pieces of colored glass found in old African-American 
cemeteries: 
This is a phenomena that is often found in isolated, old rural cemeteries in 
this area, perhaps others. I have read that this old custom may go back to 
Africa. The brightly colored, sparkly material was believed to keep the bad 
spirits (or haints, as my grandfather would have said) away.  And this, from 
an African-American friend, "The Africans did bring that tradition with them 
from Africa. Here's more on the glass -- I was told that the breaking of 
dishes was to release their spirit from the earth. Also that the breaking of 
personal items, was to break the chain of death, or to save other family 
members from death."  I have seen very isolated African-American cemeteries, 
especially along Little Pee Dee River in the islands, literally covered with 
pieces of  broken glass, some sprinkled around, some partially imbedded on 
and around the graves. A truly unique old custom, probably dying off rapidly. 
If anyone knows more about it, I'd love to learn more.


I have been told that there is an older survey of this cemetery in the Latta 
Library. I've not had a chance to look at it, but anyone interested in this 
cemetery would probably find it a valuable resource.
                  
Finally, I would like to add a note about the deterioration, vandalism, and 
destruction of so many islolated, rural cemeteries. It is happening all over, 
to both black and white graveyards. In this, there is no apparent prejudice 
among us. 


Jo Church Dickerson
25 March 2000


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