Thursday, November 26, 2015

Melton-Bennett Cemetery, Madison County, Mississippi

Today is Thanksgiving. I probably should be taking a nap with my wife after having a great breakfast with two of our children, but I decided it was a good time to get out and look for a cemetery. The weather is gorgeous, and the cemetery is in nearby Madison County. The cemetery is the Melton-Bennett Cemetery

Since a map has not been generated for the cemetery, I Googled the name to see what I could find. I found a site that I had forgotten about but which may be the best source for cemeteries in Madison County. It's at the Tombstone Transcription Project for Madison County. I think Pat and Walter Wellington have probably surveyed every cemetery in Madison County. Mr. Dudley Rinicker has also been extremely active running down cemeteries in the area. The only problem with some surveys is when they were done. It may have been anywhere from 40 to 70 years ago. Looking at the directions in this survey, the roads are in existence today, so that hasn't changed, and it was even noted that the cemetery lies between two subdivisions. My wife and Googled a likely place, so I set out to see if I could find it.

I pulled up and parked on the side of road to start looking. We were thinking a stand of trees close to the road looked like a good possibility. I looked all through it, but didn't find any sign of a headstone nor a fence. There are two other places I checked out and again, nothing. The rest of the area between Hoy Road and what looks like may be someone else's property is just a nicely cut field. There is a big ditch between the field and the other property, which appears to be something of a junk yard. I searched around close to the ditch, but still didn't see any signs of a cemetery. I may be mistaken, but I'm thinking it may be on the property with the junk yard.

The address on the mailbox in front of the property is 1505 Rice Road. I type up a letter I'll send out tomorrow which will hopefully get to the owner of the property asking for permission to photograph Melton-Bennett Cemetery if it is indeed there.

It's yet another mystery. They aren't always solved, but it's always satisfying to try.


I found out that it appears this property is owned by Mr. Joe E. Rice, Jr. I decided to fire off a letter to Mr. Rice asking if he's familiar with an old cemetery on his property and asked if I could get his permission to photograph it, if it is indeed there. I included my mailing address, email address, and phone number. As of today (02/14/2016), I have not received a response.