Ellisville was a bustling town when the Deasons arrived from Lauderdale County in the 1840s. Now a drive through the mostly wooded area known as “Old Town” could give one a feeling of melancholy. The buildings are gone, the people are gone, the “bustle” has given way to trees, mosquitoes and an occasional boxturtle crossing the road. The railroad enticed the town to move and rebuild to the west – maybe they called it progress…
Off the peaceful little road, scarcely wider than one lane, you can find two cemeteries. One is close to the road and easy to find. This is the Bynum Cemetery. The other, the Anderson Minter Cemetery, can be found only if you know where to look. It, like the Bynum Cemetery, is the final resting place of many familiar names from Ellisville’s history. Scarecly 2 miles from the Deason Home, one can picture the sad processions made from the home to the cemetery as one by one these early pioneers of Ellisville passed away.
This tiny cemetery is located at the top of a bluff…. the land drops off and the Tallahala Creek curls its way through the woods nearby. The first thing you see upon entering the cemetery is the Anderson monument. Walk a little further and you will find the Anderson family. Isaac Anderson, Sr. (1785 – 1871) is there between his two wives, Teresa Powell Anderson (1789 – 1850) and Sarah Deason Anderson (1829 – 1873), their old markers replaced with new ones or their graves would surely have disappeared long ago. The second owners of the Deason Home – Isaac Anderson, Jr. (1856 – 1903) and his wife Sallie Pool Anderson (1859 – 1939) are close by. There are other Andersons there, too, together forever on this quiet hill.
Walk a little further and you will find Amos Deason (1806 – 1878) and his wife Eleanor Baskin Deason (1816 – 1888). Eleanor was born on July 4, only 40 years after our nation first declared its independence on that day. The Deasons’ headstones have been replaced also, and many thanks go out to the person who made it possible for future generations to find their forefathers buried there. The Deasons’daughter Mary Ann Deason Jordan is nearby. Their third daughter Dorcas Deason Parker is buried close to Heidelberg where she and her husband Henry settled and raised their family.
A walk through the cemetery can prove entertaining as well. There are little statues and figurines placed on loved ones’ graves by those who knew them best. Every trip to this peaceful place turns up new treasures. There is a very healthy cactus growing in a green bathroom sink – complete with faucet! A concrete picnic table and bench is placed to the side, presumably so family members can enjoy a meal with their dearly departed. And visitor beware! There are fire ant beds aplenty. Consider yourself forewarned. There are also other past residents of Ellisville resting there in peace (hopefully). Sadly some stones are illegible and others are broken, while still others have weathered the elements quite well. Every family represented in this cemetery had a part in making Ellisville what it is today. Many thanks to them for their courage, strength and vision for the future.
Visit deasonhome.org for more information about Jones County’s oldest home.