Gene Gravlee

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Walker County, AL

County# 64


Walker County Page - #64

Hello, I'm Gene Gravlee
It is my pleasure to serve you as the
ACPA Walker County Representative.
To contact Gene Gravlee, please visit the
ACPA Mail Center
and view the County Rep email contact list.

Important History in Walker County

Rice Chapel Cemetery
Walker County was created by an act of the Alabama Legislature on December 20, 1824. There were early settlers in Walker County many years before this when it was an Indian Territory. It has been stated that some settlers were here early, however I can only prove they were here as early as 1813. Several Revolutionary War Soldiers are buried in Walker County. They include Jeremiah Alexander buried in Old Zion Cemetery (#26), John Henson buried at Henson (Old Betsy Liner) (#114) and David Walden buried in Walden Cemetery (#8). Veterans of the War of 1812, Indian Wars, The Mexican War, The War Between the States and all the other wars are buried in Walker County as well. One soldier from the War of 1812 of particular importance was Griffin Lamkin, who is buried at the Jasper Memorial Cemetery (#83). Griffin Lamkin attained the rank of Lt. Colonel during the War Of 1812 and represented Madison County in the first Alabama Legislature in Montgomery. Another important historical burial of interest is that of John Brown (#302). John Brown came to Walker County with his parents, Thomas and Lovey Brown. He was elected Probate Judge in 1868 and served until 1874. He was buried on the Brown property and the family moved away after his death in 1875. Some members of the Tubbs family bought the property and one of them purchased the marker that stands. His grave is also on private property and permission must be obtained to visit this grave.

Devastating Cemetery Loss and Destruction!

To this date, we have located 318 cemeteries in Walker County. These cemeteries have been located and plotted using a GPS (Global Positioning System) so that they will never be lost again. Each cemetery found in Walker County has been assigned a number. This assignment began in -The Historical Atlas of Alabama, Volume 1, Cemetery Locations by County - published by Craig Remington at the University of Alabama. This numbering procedure was followed and expanded when the Walker County Alabama Cemetery Map was published. Many of these old cemeteries are on private land and you must receive permission to go there. Some of these cemeteries are Cole (#275), Jim Snow (#264), and two Drummond Cemeteries (#276 & #278). Rice Chapel Church and Cemetery was once known as Hopewell. At first I did not realize that my great-great grandfather was talking about Rice Chapel when he kept referring to Hopewell in a copy of letter written by him. In looking at the July 1989 photograph of Rice Chapel, you will see a rock slab tent effect on some graves. These are not there today. They were removed and some of these slabs ended up in private yards even though many ends of the slab tent had names etched in the rocks. The slabs moved were of my Roberts family. Thompson Graveyard is now called Snow Cemetery (#257). It can be very confusing trying to figure out just which cemetery someone is talking about after a cemetery has been renamed. In another location, a man was about to build his new home when he discovered three grave markers where he planned on building the house. This same man borrowed a farm tractor from a neighbor, moved those markers and he built that house on top of those three graves stating to his neighbor that he was not afraid of dead people. In another area of Walker County, a mobile home sits on top of another cemetery. The total number of graves is not known at this site. Yet in another section of this county, a contractor was going to build new homes several years ago. The man working for him pushed grave markers over a hillside. This cemetery is now in the back yard of a home. Gayosa Mining Town had two cemeteries, one white and one black. These cemeteries were there one day and gone the next because of strip-mining several years ago. Looking at Blanton Cemetery (#183) as it is located on a bank on State Right of Way. Only one grave remains today because highway construction destroyed graves many years age. Davis Cemetery (#122) in Coal Valley is in need of a major cleaning. Hopewell Cemetery, (#219) is in the clump of trees and cannot be seen until you are standing on top of the graves. The Alms House Cemetery (#254) needs a group to adopt. There are many other cemeteries too numerous to mention here. These things must be stopped. How would you feel if these were your ancestors? There are laws to prohibit this from occurring. Check out the Legislation and Laws Section on ACPA Home Page for a listing of laws pertaining to Cemeteries in Alabama.

Cemeteries In Need

Below are some images of just a few of the cemeteries in need. If you have the time and desire to help in this way, please contact me and we can "get the ball rolling" toward a rewarding pastime and project.

Grave of Andrew Patton (#245)
Davis Cemetery (#122) (Coal Valley)
Drummond (#278)

Blanton Cemetery (#183)
Old Hopewell (#219)
Alms House (#254)

Your County Guide

As the ACPA Walker County Representative, I will do all I can to assist you in giving you information to locate, preserve, restore and adopt a cemetery in Walker County. This County has an advantage because some people have cared for several years about the preservation of cemeteries. The Walker County Genealogical Society has published seven volumes of "Here They Rest" cemetery census books. Floyd Guthrie has the best database of anyone of the actual census of Walker County cemeteries.