While many prominent plantation families had their own family plots set aside on their own land, there were many prominent citizens, as well as, those whos' wealth did not afford them a private family burial grounds.
Some of the oldest markers left standing at the Hill Crest are :
( Click highlighted links to see Find A Grave Memorials, Photos & Headstones.)
Martha E Blake wife of M Blake who died Sept 12, 1839
Will Coyle was the first person to be interred in the new section of the cemetery, the area which was formerly a baseball field, which became part of the cemetery in 1905. Ironically, Will Coyle was killed with a baseball bat.
Hill Crest Cemetery has long been known as Little Arlington to the locals. All but two of the twelve Generals from Holly Springs, who marched away to war in 1861, are laid to rest here.
Brigadier General Absolom M West
Adj-General Thomas A Falconer
Asst. Adj-Genera Harvey W Walker
One of Two Confederate Memorials
Micajah Autry one of the martyrs of the Alamo has a memorial shaft here. He perished during the days between Feb 23, and March 6, 1836 when 150 revolutionist were killed at the Alamo Mission in the Texas War of Independence.
Samuel A Cole of the Marshall Guards fell at Matamoros Mexico in October 1846 during the Mexican War is also at rest here.
John Lester, one of eleven men who were the first to be taken prisioner in World War I is honored here with a memorial. He had been taken prisioner with 10 others in the Toul section of France on November 3 1917.Lieut.
Colonel James L Autry was in command at Vicksburg, when a federal fleet under the command of Admiral Farragut steamed up the Mississippi River from New Orleans in 1862. Farragut demanded the surrender of Vicksburg. Col Autry's reply to this demand:
" Mississippians do not know how how to surrender, nor do they care to learn."
The Federals opened fire on the city, filled with women and children. This bombardment lasted for several day, but caused little damage. Col Autry was killed in battle on Dec 31 1862 and his body was returned to his home in Holly Springs
When yellow fever first came to Holly Springs in 1870, all who were able fled the town to avoid contamination. Out of a population of 3500, only 1500 were left in the town and 1440 of them contracted the disease.
Mayor Goodrich was the first person to die of the epidemic. He died on August 31st, 1878. You may visit the The Yellow Fever Martyrs Church and Museum (circa 1841) East College Ave., Holly Springs, MS 38635, 662-252-3669, Museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of seven Catholic martyrs who gave their lives during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1840. Open by appointment only.
The small headstone in the photo on the left, that is turned to face sideways, is Mammy's Headstone.
Hillcrest Cemetery is the setting for storytelling as local townspeople, dressed in costumes of the day, re-enacting roles of Holly Springs' most illustrious characters at the Annual Holly Springs Pilgrimage, held every year in April. You can take a walking tour of the cemetery and here stories related to those interred here.
To learn more about the history and lives of those buried at the Hillcrest Cemetery you can also visit the Marshall County Historical Museum located on Van Dorn Ave, you can reach it by dialing 662-252-3669.
See More Photos
Find A Grave.com
It Happened Here True Stories of Holly Springs by Olga Reed Pruitt 1950 South Reporter Printing Co
Images Of America Holly Springs by Alice Long & Mark L Ridge 1998
Childhood In Holly Springs A Memoir by Chesley Thorne Smith 1996
Marshall County Historical Museum
Holly Springs, MS 38635