Trips in and around Marion County, Tennessee

By Robert Moore

Updated: September 12, 2015

Click on the highlighted text for more information on the referenced locations.

     Several years ago brother Thomas Risden Moore began what has become a labor of love for him, and later for me.  Our mother, Tressie Sullivan Moore, had searched in vain for the grave site of her father John Duncan Sullivan.  She knew he was buried in Sherwood, Tennessee; but she had not been able to attend his funeral or burial.  Consequently she did not know the location of the cemetery, or where he might have been buried in it.   Risden began a search several years after our mother died, and found out that our Uncle Reese Short, husband of mama's sister Lou, knew where he was buried.  Uncle Reese, in his 90s at the time,  accompanied Risden and showed him, not only where grandpa was buried, but also the grave locations of four other Sullivan family members.  All five graves were located adjacent to each other in the Sherwood Cemetery in Franklin County, Tennessee.  The cemetery is located on a steep slope at the foot of a mountain.  The site was badly overgrown with cane that someone had planted to control erosion on the slope.  Risden spent several days cutting and killing the cane and other undergrowth.  He built a containment wall and had the site built up with soil.  He ordered five headstones made, and he and brother Guinn Moore installed the stones.  Since that time Risden has kept the family plots and the walkway into the cemetery in good shape.  Buried in these plots are John Duncan Sullivan, his spinster sister Oprah Sullivan, his sister Trasda Sullivan, and her Husband James (Jim) Sullivan, and Jim's spinster sister Nancy.   Nancy and Jim were first cousins to the others.  Since Risden's endeavors, most of the rest of the cemetery has been cleaned up.  It still needs a lot of work; but it is much better now. 

   Update on the condition of the Old Sherwood Cemetery:  Virtually everyone has stopped working on the cemetery.  Only a few efforts are being made at keeping the brush cut and grass mowed.  Privet hedge has taken over much of the cemetery.  I keep the Sullivan plots and an entry to them mown; but much of the rest of the cemetery is now overgrown.


Sullivans buried in the Sherwood Cemetery, Sherwood, Tennessee

Sullivan Grave Sites Sherwood Cemetery, Sherwood, Tennessee

     Our mother's mother, Augusta Passons Sullivan Whitlow, is buried in the Odear Cemetery in Sewanee, Franklin County, Tennessee.  Her headstone inscription did not contain enough information to make it easy to determine exactly who she is.  Brother Risden and I decided to rectify this by placing another stone with the proper amount of information on it.  The older Moore family kids who remember her, know her as Granny Grunt.


            Augusta Passons Sullivan Whitlow, Odear Cemetery, Sewanee, Tennessee   

     To the best of my memory my father, James William Moore, took care of the grave site of his maternal grandmother Margaret Jane Mantooth Hilliard Faller from the time our family returned to the area in 1944.  The gravesite is located in the Patton Annex Cemetery adjacent to the South Pittsburg, Tennessee high school.  It is in the Rhodes family plots.  Several years ago Risden Moore stated to me that he knew that Granny Faller, as Daddy caller her, was buried there; but had been unable to find the grave.  I told him that I knew where she was buried because I had helped Daddy clean it on several occasions.  We visited the site several times.  I did some research and determined that the date of her birth was incorrect on the stone.  Additionally the inscription only had the name she used at the time of her death.  By this time we had become acquainted with our cousin Bob Rhodes who is the legal owner of the plots.  We conferred with Bob, and decided to have a new headstone erected bearing her correct date of birth and her full name.  Rodgers Funeral Home in South Pittsburg saw to having the work done for us.  The original headstone was moved to the foot of the grave.  We have since learned that even the year of her death was in error.  She actually died on May 1, 1929.


             Grave site of Margaret Jane Mantooth Hilliard Faller, Patton Annex, S. Pittsburg, Tennessee                                                                                                                                          

        Our great grandfather George Wesley Hilliard died in 1892 in S. Pittsburg, Tennessee.  We have been unable to determine exactly where he was buried.  Some say in Bradley County near Cleveland, Tennessee.  Considering transportation and financial issues of the time, there are many doubts that this is true.  It would make more sense that he was buried somewhere in the local area.  Maybe in the old S. Pittsburg Cemetery on the north side of town, or maybe in the old Gunter cemetery adjacent to the Patton Annex Cemetery near where his wife is buried.  My father mentioned to me once, when we were cleaning Granny Faller's grave, that several Hilliard kinfolk were buried in that cemetery without headstones.  Considering the likelihood that we may never find where he is actually buried, we decided to erect a memorial headstone near his wife.  In September 2011 in S. Pittsburg,  Risden Moore and Bob Rhodes saw to it that the memorial headstone for George Wesley Hilliard was installed at Patton Annex Cemetery.

       George W 

                                                George Wesley Hilliard

     At the same time that they installed the headstone for George Wesley Hilliard, they oversaw the installation of the headstones for our mother's sister, Lela Mae Sullivan, and Aunt Lou Sullivan's infant son, Joseph Carl Sullivan in Beene Cemetery in S. Pittsburg.  Lela Mae Sullivan died of meningitis at age 3 in Richard City, Tennessee.  Carl Joseph Sullivan died after ingesting burnt carbide from a miner's type lamp also in Richard City.  They were buried in the Beene Cemetery without headstones.  Tressie Moore told of  "laying out" the body of Carl Joseph to prepare him for burial.


     Lela Mae Sullivan

       Carl Sullivan


     In April 2012  Risden Moore, cousin Bob Rhodes, and I  met with the folks who are now managing the Patton, Patton Annex, and Gunter Cemeteries in South Pittsburg, TN.  These cemeteries are adjacent to each other, and are located near South Pittsburg High School.  They have spent a lot of time cleaning up the portion know as the Gunter Cemetery, and are continuing to work to keep the rest in good repair.  They have erected some beautiful new signs.  We also visited the Chapel On The Hill adjacent to Patton Cemetery.  I remember watching in 1954 when the Chapel, then known as the Primitive Baptist Church, burned.  My brother Joe Moore assisted in putting the fire out.  The original bell tower was not replaced when the church was repaired.

Patton Sign  

                                                          New Patton Cemetery Sign                                                                                                                                 



Chapel on Hill

                                      Chapel On The Hill, S. Pittsburg, Tennessee


     We have been looking for the gravesite of our Aunt Lou Hilliard Hicks (one of great grandmother Margaret Jane Mantooth Hilliard Faller's daughters) for some time.  No one seemed to know exactly when and where she was buried.  The wife of a Hicks descendant, Louise Howard, told me she had heard that the burial site was somewhere in Northern Dade County, GA.  The nearest Georgia cemetery to her last residence in Whiteside, TN was the Summit Cemetery.  In April 2012 Risden and I decided to see if we could find her grave.  And find it we did.  Our first attempt was rained out; but we persisted.  With the information on the headstone, I was able to find her Tennessee death notification.  Her full name was Louisa Velcora Hilliard Hicks.  The headstone is engraved "Lou Z Hicks"; but the Z  is obviously incorrect.  The cemetery is near the Tennessee and Georgia state line,  not more than 50 yards over the  Georgia line.

Lou V Hicks

                      Louisa Velcora Hilliard Hicks

     We also visited the Ladd's Switch Cemetery where Aunt Lou Hicks' husband Robert Walker "Bear" Hicks is buried.  Two infant children belonging to the Hicks are also buried there.

Bear HIcks.JPG

                   Robert Walker "Bear" Hicks


June 2012 Visits

      During my visit home for our family reunion in June 2012 Risden and I visited several  areas.  We visited our brother, Joe Doss Moore, in the Chattanooga National Cemetery, and found it immaculate as usual.  Joe is buried in plot RR99.  Many other of our veterans and their wives are buried in there.  The cemetery is very large.  It is inspiring just to visit there.  Information on how to find his gravesite can be found in our Cemeteries selection of the website.

     While we were in Chattanooga we decided to visit our Hilliard ancestors buried in Chattanooga Memorial Park in Red Bank.   This is also a very large cemetery.  It is reasonably well kept.  The location is on a sharp little hill.  Roads through the cemetery are gravel with many twists and turns; but are not that hard to negotiate.  John Wesley Hilliard and his second wife, Jeff Hilliard and his wife and his son Jeff Jr.,  Otsie Hilliard Van Allman and her husband, and Belle Hilliard Hudson Cagle are buried very close to each other.  Lillie Mae Hilliard Graham, Uncle Jeff's daughter, and her husband are buried a short distance from the others; but still in the same section of the cemetery. 

     We also revisited great aunt Louisa Velcora (Lou) Hilliard Hicks' gravesite in the Summit Cemetery in Dade County, Georgia not far from Whiteside, Tennessee.  Someone places flowers on her grave.  The cemetery is on a knotty little hill; but is in reasonably good condition.  The land is quite uneven making walking somewhat difficult.

     We made our usual round of all the cemeteries where Risden keeps our ancestors gravesites in good repair in Bellefonte, Sherwood, Sewanee, Kimball, New hope and South Pittsburg.  All of them are now neat and are a pleasure to visit.  Many thanks to Risden for insuring that we all can have pride when we visit these locations.

     Since I moved back to the South Pittsburg, TN area, I have taken over care of the cemeteries.  I will keep up the good work Brother Risden has been doing as long as I am able.


Risden & Robert Moore at Joe Moore's gravesite


           John Wesley and Arva Mosely Hilliard                                            Casper and Otsie Hilliard Van Allman


                    Jeff Hilliard  Sr.                                               Ruth Barns Hilliard                                         Jeff Hilliard Jr.

                                                  James K. and Lillie Mae Hilliard Graham