|CHEEK FAMILY CEMETERY|
Submitted By Ralph C. and Debra R. Allen
Cheek Family Cemetery
Gray Court, Laurens County, South Carolina
Ralph C. and Debra R. Allen
23 November, 2002
Directions from Greenville, SC:
Exit off of I85, head southbound onto 385 towards Columbia. Exit Greenville County into Laurens County, in approximately twelve miles. Once in Laurens County, watch for a small quarry located on the right side of the highway, (partially obscured by trees) just before Road # 101, approximately eight miles into Laurens. Exit from right lane to the Road #101 exit, turning left back over the interstate at the stop sign. Once across 385, watch for a small paved road, Cheek Road, on the left at the top of the hill, after passing only one small driveway between the highway and Cheek Road. As soon as you turn onto Cheek Road, you will note the road turning towards the right directly ahead. The cemetery is located on the left side of the road, at the curve. It is enclosed by an old wire fence, with an opening on the east side.
Summary of Findings and Related Notes Pertaining to Previous Synopsis of Gravesites:
Twenty-two gravesites were found within the confines of the cemetery fence, consisting of three distinct rows of headstones, situated west to east across the plot. Vegetation was cut with loppers and a weedeater, and stones were all cleaned and recorded. A large tree had previously fallen and broken through the fence on the southeast corner, which was not removed since a chainsaw and necessary manpower was not available. Located in the area closest to the road, space would actually allow for an additional row there at the front (east side) of the cemetery, although it is not believed that any additional graves were thus situated and consequently obscured in the area of the fallen tree.
A previous listing of this family plot was conducted 4 June, 1963, and was found in a book by Boat?. An effort to note discrepancies between the two listings will also be included.
Three rows were designated, starting in the back left (southwest) corner, where the oldest stones were located, herein referred to as “Row 1”. It is also believed that this is the same corner where the 1963 summary began, based on the information summarized in the previously listing. Gravesites were numbered sequentially in this current listing, all running from left to right, which does appear to vary somewhat with the previous path followed years earlier. Attempts will be made to provide explanations in what follows.
Marker 1—Situated in the southwest corner, this is the largest old stone in what appears to have been the original row of graves. It does appear to have once been engraved, although repeated cleanings did not allow for sufficient markings to be read with enough certainty to allow for identification. There did appear to be a “C” or an “O” visible near the top right corner of the stone, where a final initial might have been placed. Also, a footmarker was present at the far end of the grave. I am theorizing that this is the stone previously identified by the markings “HAC”.
Marker 2—This is situated to the right of marker 1, and is the second largest old stone in row 1. The markings are nearly all deteriorated in the soft stone, although when wet some faint numbering did appear slightly visible. It looked as though a “2” might have been engraved near the bottom right side of the stone, with possibly a “17” engraved above it. A footmarker was apparent at the far end of the grave. I am theorizing that this is the stone previously identified as “EC”.
Marker 3—Situated to the right of marker 2, this stone was highly eroded and appeared to have been broken off, thus making the footmarker actually larger than the headstone itself. It was not possible to attempt any reading of the stone itself. It is theorized that this is probably the stone previously identified as “F 1850”.
Marker 4—Situated to the right of marker 3, the stone appeared to be made of sandstone and was too worn to read. A footmarker was also present. It is theorized that this was one of the unmarked stones previously noted.
Marker 5—Situated to the right of marker 4, this stone was also badly deteriorated, although an “N” did appear to be slightly visible near the top right side of the marker. Based on placement of the footstone, this gravesite appears to denote a smaller, shorter plot than the first four in this row. It is believed that this was also an unidentifiable grave during the previous synopsis.
Marker 6—This new stone was situated to the right of marker 5, and was probably not constructed at the time of the previously listing in 1963. It reads: “Infant son of AS & EL Riddle, b. April 13, 1898, d. Aug. 8, 1898”. There was also a footmarker on this plot. If there was an original stone, it was not apparent, and was probably removed. There is no way to determine if this was originally unreadable or missed in the previous synopsis.
(Note: In the numbering system used for this update, marker 7 was designated at the foot of marker 1, starting a new row again on the south side of the cemetery. Because the headstones in this row are mostly in good condition, it can be determined that the previous listing started at the other end of this middle row, below the grave of the Riddle infant, current “marker 6”.)
Marker 7—This was one of only gravesites where a footmarker could not be found. Markings were highly eroded, although an “O” may have been read. It is believed to be one of the unreadable stones previously recorded.
Marker 8—Situated to the right of marker 7, this stone reads: “Infant son, Sue & Horace Owings, born and died July 7, 1941.” There was a footstone present. A record of this stone was not noted in the previous listing.
Marker 9—Situated to the right of marker 8, the stone reads: “Infant son of WR & MJ Cheek, April 22, 1883, April 23, 1883, A bundle of love to bloom –sith (?) God above”. A footstone for this grave was apparent. This stone cleaned up quite well and is believed to have previously been noted as unreadable.
Marker 10—Situated to the right of marker 9, there is a newer stone place directly in front of the original broken headstone. There is also a discrepancy on the death dates between the current listing and the 1963 listing. The new stone reads: PVT JD Cheek, Co. E, 14 Regt. SCV, CSA, 1840-1863”. Previously, the death date was shown to be 1866. An engraved footstone was apparent.
Marker 11—This is the largest stone within the cemetery, marking a gravesite for “father and mother” on the west side of the four-sided monument. The north side reads: “Ann, wife of Ellis Cheek, May 4, 1836, May 26, 1903”. The south side reads: “Ellis Cheek, Nov. 28, 1836, Apr. 27, 1863”. Both graves contain engraved footmarkers. This marker also appears to be the start of the second row previously noted, (although engraved footstones indicate Ann lies to the north of James and not vice versa), with the old recorder working in a north to south trail.
Markers 12, 13, 14---These are apparently much newer markers, enclosed within a stone border along the northerly edge of the second row. Inside the confines of these plots, it reads: “Infants of Nette C. and Allen Bobo”. On the stone closest to marker 11, it reads: “Son, Sept. 12, 1913”. To the right of marker 12, it reads, “Son, Oct. 8, 1914”. To the right of marker 13, it reads, “Dau, Nov. 17, 1925”. It is theorized that this triple gravesite did not exist when the previously listing was conducted in 1963.
Marker 15—This stone is situated on the south side of the first row, at the foot of marker 7. Part of it had to be unearthed to be read, but it cleaned up well enough to be distinct. It reads: “Infant son of LE & EA Burns, b. 1896, lived 21 days”. A footmarker was apparent. It was believed to have been designated as unidentifiable previously.
Marker 16—This stone is situated to the right of marker 15, and cleaned well enough to read the following: “Infant son of LE & EA Burns, b. April 21, 1895, d. April 21, 1895”. A footstone was noted. It is thought to have been noted as previously unreadable.
Marker 17—Situated to the right of marker 16, this broken but well preserved stone reads: “Austin Cheek, b. Apr 21, 1826, d. Nov 19, 1897, Amiable and beloved brother farewell, Not on this perishing stone but in this book of life and in the hearts of thy afflicted friends is thy worth, recorded “. An engraved footstone was noted. This stone also appears to have been the first readable stone previously noted and recorded in this row closest to the road, generally in a south to north fashion. However, placement with wife Nancy’s grave appears to have been transposed.
Marker 18—Situated to the right of marker 17, this broken, but clearly cut white stone reads: “Nancy M., wife of Austin Cheek, b. April 22, 1828, Departed this life Aged 67 years and 1 day, We miss thy kind and willing hand, Thy fond and earnest care, Our home is dark without thee, We miss thee everywhere”. This grave is marked with an engraved footstone and was noted previously.
Marker 19—Situated to the right of marker 18, this well preserved stone reads: “Beloved One Farewell, John D. Cheek, Son of Austin & Nancy Cheek, Born Aug 22, 1855, Died Nov 15, 1892”. An engraved footstone marks the bottom of the plot. This stone was previously recorded.
Marker 20—Located to the right of marker 19, it lies prone on the ground and reads: “In memory Of Wistar Simpson Cheek, Son of Austin & Nancy Cheek, b. Sept 13, 1860, d. Nov 1st, 1876, This body from the dust shall rise, And dwell where pleasure never dies”. An engraved footstone was also noted. This stone was previously recorded.
Marker 21—A stone to the right of marker 20, cleaned up well to read: “Lulah Estell, daughter of JP & MC Martin, Born Dec 5, 1878, died Nov 12, 1883, Our darling one hath gone before”. An engraved footmarker was also noted. This stone was not previously recorded.
Marker 22—This very small, almost completely undistinguishable stone is situated to the right of marker 21. There may be an “A” barely distinguishable upon the surface. No footstone could be found. This stone could easily be missed in the groundcovering.
Following is a general representation of the layout of stones within the cemetery. The top of the map is approximately denotes approximately a westerly direction.
Marker 1 2 3 4 5 6
Marker 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 N
Marker 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
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