Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest,
neglected and alone.
The name and date are chisled out
on polished marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care.

It is too late to morn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh,

in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats
a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear ancestor, the place you filled

one hundred years ago.
Speads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved.

I wonder if you knew.
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Support The Minden Cemetery Association

Many of you may not realize how expensive the upkeep of a cemetery is. We ask that you support our efforts to keep this historic cemetery and final resting place of so many of Minden’s finest citizen’s in good shape for future generations. We spend quite a lot of money just in mowing our 30 plus acres. This job is quite labor intensive and requires several people to keep the lawn and weeds in check. There are so many other projects that we would love to tackle but we do not have the funds to begin the work. For one we would like to build a grave locator kiosk. With GPS ability now the graves would have GPS coordinates to go along with the names and sections. We would also like to install gates and an iron fence along the old side of the cemetery along Bayou Avenue to stop vandalism. This is a very expensive project that again is on hold due to lack of funding. A marker repair project is also on hold. If you have family members buried at the Minden Cemetery we would hope that you will support our efforts. Mail your check to:
Minden Cemetery Association
P.O. Box 1198
Minden, Louisiana 71058

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Funding provided in part by the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission

Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering the Unknown Veterans 144 Years Later

Civil War Trench
Click on above album to see more pictures





















In the old section of the Minden Cemetery, in the back right corner marks the graves of over 20 unknown Civil War Confederate Soldiers. This hallowed ground of 144 years has never been forgotten. Even though the soldiers names may be lost forever to the future, their lives are remembered for their bravery and valor in April of 1864. These men more than likely were from the Walker Texas Division and General Polinac's Division of Louisiana. During the bloody and furious battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill these men were wounded and brought to Minden to be treated for their wounds. Both of these divisions had been in Minden before, a few months earlier, they had wintered in or near Minden in 1864.
These men had family and these men were loved just as the 100’s of soldiers that fought with the Minden Blue’s and other regiments from our area did. Like so many Civil War soldiers many were lost and never heard from again. They are somewhere across these United States buried in unmarked graves or left to scatter to the wind over 144 years ago. Many a loved one would only hope that their dear departed would have been laid to rest with the respect that the long plot in the Minden Cemetery represents.
That is where this story really begins. Over the years the names were lost if they were ever known of the soldiers in what has become known as the “Civil War Trench” it is estimated that somewhere between 20-30 bodies lie buried along this concrete line. May 1, 1933, one of the worst tornados to ever hit Louisiana struck Minden causing a tremendous amount of damage to the cemetery. A large monument belonging to the great inventor Samuel J. Webb was broken off. This piece of stone was saved and later made in to what we have today as the “Trench” monument. This stone was placed at the grave site by the Daughter’s of the Confederacy in May of 1936. It reads “In Memory Of the Confederate Dead 1861-1864”
A few years ago, through genealogy research, one of these unnamed men would be identified by his family. Thomas L. Anderson PVT CO 1, 31 Texas Cavalry 1828-1864 was finally found by his family and given a grave marker to tell the world who he was. Unfortunately the rest are still unknown but not forgotten.
In 2007 the T.M. Scott Camp of Minden’s Son’s of Confederate Veterans wanted to do something to honor these men. The groups of men are direct descendants of Civil War Confederate Veterans. They along with many other Civil War Camps across the country teach living history lessons in the forms of battle reenactments and encampments. They also take on the cemeteries as projects; dedicating markers and helping descendents locate possible burial sites of unknown soldiers. They are seen in parades and also have Civil War galas where you have the opportunity to step back in time and listen to authentic Civil War music, dress in hoop skirts and dance to the Virginia Reel.
Barry Watson contacted Schelley Brown whom is a member of the Minden Cemetery Board several months ago with a request to erect markers for the unknown soldiers. Brown stated, “Having worked with the Son’s of The Confederacy and the Daughter’s of the Confederacy on several occasion during the annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk, I was thrilled that they were taking this project under their wing. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and remember these soldiers in a historic manner.”
With the help of the Veteran’s Administration the forms were completed. The 21 stones were delivered on a large pallet weighing over 5000 lbs., earlier this year. Camp members from Minden, Claiborne Parish and El Dorado, Arkansas came together a few weeks later. Those member included Robert Vance, Bobby White, Jeff Scarlett, Jeff Earl Scarlett, Gator McDade, Ethan Powell, Roger Pittman, Ronnie Sale, Crystal Vance and Barry Watson. In one day of hard back-breaking work all the stones were put in place. After 144 years these men finally have a head stone to show that they are there.
Saturday March 29th, 2008 at 1:00 PM a dedication ceremony will take place at the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue off Pine Street. The public is invited to see this unique, living history lesson. Sons of The Confederacy Camp members from El Dorado, Shreveport, Claiborne, Ruston, Farmerville and West Monroe are expected to participate in this long awaited event, along with local members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Civil War attire if at all possible but is not required to attend. This will be a wonderful time to show children what history a cemetery holds and how important remembering the past is for our future.
For more information you can contact Barry Watson at 371-9757 or watsonautosvc@bellsouth.net





Turn out large in spite of Saturday’s weather for living history lesson.

150-200 visitors paid their respects Saturday March 29th at the Minden Cemetery marker dedication for the 21 unknown War Between the States soldiers. These men have been buried without an individual marker for 144 years. If you didn’t make it to the dedication ceremony Saturday you missed an historical moment in Minden’s history.
The T.M. Scott Camp of Minden’s Son’s of Confederate Veterans along with members of many other camp’s from the Ark-La-Tex came together to honor and pay homage to men that have not been forgotten for nearly 150 years. This living history lesson was officially the start of April as Confederate History Month in Minden, as was stated by a proclamation from Mayor Bill Robertson’s office. This proclamation was read by executive assistant to the Mayor Mrs. Wanda Pittman in the absence of Mayor Robertson, due to his recent illness. Other dignitaries were on hand including; councilmen for the Army of Trans Mississippi, Mr. Chuck McMichael which is a representative for every camp this side of the Mississippi River.
The ceremony was a moving experience for many that have worked long and hard to see this project from beginning to end. The site of the rider-less mule being led down the dirt road, with a pair of soldier’s boots turned backwards in the stirrups was a reminder of what the real meaning of the day was all about. The somber procession of soldiers marching down the dirt road and past the “Trench” carrying the many flags of the era was a moving site to behold. As a cannon fired and a volley of gunfire was sounded the sounds of Taps was heard in the distance from a lone bugler. A rose was then laid at the stone of each of these unforgotten soldiers by some members of the United Daughter’s of the Confederacy the order of Confederate Rose and even a small child dressed in period attire.
A Channel 12 reporter was on hand to capture this important event for Minden’s History and as he interviewed the crowd he learned a little bit about how important history is to our area and how important the upkeep of cemeteries as part of a community’s history is. Schelley Brown, executive director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and member of The Minden Cemetery Association Board was on hand to participate and comment. “I think what Barry Watson and all the others have done here today to remember these men a very commendable act. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to see this project from start to finish and I am so glad that today’s turnout was wonderful in spite of the rains earlier in the morning. This type of event is what members of this group and I want to continue as a teaching tool for our community.” If you missed Saturday’s program a DVD of the event will be available please contact Schelley Brown at 423-0192 for more information.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Cemetery Lady

Cemeteries, a part of our History
I met Earlene Lyle several years ago when I became interested in the Minden Cemetery. I, too, am always drawn to anything old and history related. I once went to a meeting where I was to represent several organizations in Minden: The Residential Historic District, the Minden Cemetery Association, the Coca-Cola Museum and the St Jude Car Show. When I stood up, I told them my name and said if it is old, rusty, won’t crank, falling down or buried, I am here to represent it and speak about it. That comment got a good laugh from all who attended. My mission has always been the same. I am very much interested in preserving our past. I am a firm believer that if a town or city doesn’t preserve its past then they cannot have any kind of decent future to build on.
When you meet someone like Earlene Lyle, you realize how committed some folks are in helping others. Many people believe that you should let the dead rest in peace. I believe that there is too much history in the cemetery to forget about it as a historic landmark. Cemeteries around the country hold our founding fathers and mothers. People should not be forgotten, and, to me, an unkempt grave is a sin. Just because someone’s family is gone, should those people not be paid the respect to take care of their final resting place? I think it is everyone’s responsibility. I will never be buried in Webster Parish, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t help preserve an important piece of history.
I would like to make a personal plea to all of you reading this story. If you have a loved one buried in an older cemetery or a church cemetery, PLEASE give to the upkeep fund. It costs a huge amount of money to keep a cemetery up and in good shape. Many cemeteries around the world have fallen into a state of disgrace because people stopped giving because they did not feel it was their responsibility. It is all of our responsibility! Repairs need to be made, fences mended, and expensive ant and weed killer spread in sometimes large areas. The mowing alone is a huge undertaking because of trimming around stones and markers. If you would like to give to the Minden Cemetery Association fund, please contact me, Schelley Brown, at 318-423-0192.
This is a poem that I found several years ago that sums up how I believe that you should feel about your ancestors when you visit their grave sites.
Dear Ancestor
Your tombstone stands among the rest, neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out on polished, marble stone.
It reaches out to all who care.

It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist, you died and I was born,
yet each of us are cells of you in flesh, in blood, in bone.
One blood contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved. I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot, and come to visit you.
Author Unknown
Earlene’s cemetery book has been a life saver for me during the Cemetery Tours. If not for this book, I would spend countless hours trying to locate certain graves. The following story is how Earlene came to be called “the cemetery lady”.
THE CEMETERY LADY

By Earlene Mendenhall Lyle


“Hey, Bob….. the cemetery lady’s here.” These are the first words I hear whenever I visit the local funeral home.

Of all the titles I’ve had during the last 50+ years, this is one to which I’d never aspired, and, certainly, it had never occurred to me that the description would ever be appropriate! I must admit, though, that I’ve spent many hours in the Minden cemeteries during the last 10 years. Why, you ask? Well, let me try to justify this seemingly macabre interest in cemeteries.

Years ago, I developed an interest in genealogy and began interviewing some of our oldest family members and recording the information given to me. Until then, I never had a clue that anyone in our family came from anywhere other than Louisiana and Arkansas. Because most relatives remembered only that a favorite aunt or uncle died ‘the summer of 1949’, I began visiting family cemeteries and recording the information found on tombstones.

In mid-1995, I was working in Atlanta, GA, when my daddy was diagnosed with cancer, and I began making bi-weekly trips from Atlanta to Minden to be with him as much as possible. During one of those weekend trips, I drove around Minden and just happened to drive past the Minden Cemetery. Loving the history found on old stones, I stopped and strolled through the oldest section, recording some of the names and dates on the old stones. Although I had no plans to do anything with that information, I filed it away “just in case”. Daddy passed away in December 1995 and was buried in Gardens of Memory Cemetery.

In 2001, after several years of Alzheimer’s, my mother died and was buried in Gardens of Memory, also. I had come to Minden for a visit and was staying with my sister, Barbara, when we got the news. After the funeral, I remained in Minden with Barbara while my family returned to Alabama. That afternoon, I got ‘antsy’ and just had to get out of the house so I drove back to the cemetery. After visiting my parents’ graves, I started walking around and looking at the names of others buried nearby. I found so many family friends that I grabbed a pad and pencil and began recording the information on many of the stones.

Returning to Barbara’s home, I told her she needed to help me record the names of everyone buried in that cemetery. At first, she told me ‘No’, in no uncertain terms. Later, though, she agreed to go with me for just a little while. Like me, she found so many family friends that she became very interested in recording their information. Quite often that afternoon, I’d hear, “Earlene, come over here; look who I’ve found!” After I had to return to Alabama, she was the one who recorded the greater part of that cemetery. When I questioned some of the recorded data, she was the one who stopped by the cemetery to verify that data.

A couple of years ago, being without an ongoing project, I ran across the Minden Cemetery notes I’d made in 1995 and decided to return to Minden and record every burial in The Minden Cemetery. This time, Barbara told me she was not going to help with that one. Well, she ‘stuck to her guns’ about working in the cemetery, but she would come by and tell me she was cooking dinner for me and Bob. This was always great news, knowing we were going to have a good dinner waiting for us!

After recording all of the burials in Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Barbara and I published the book, Transcriptions from the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in 2003. In 2004, after months of walking, writing, sunburn, and ant bites, The Minden Cemetery was published.

The Minden library has copies of both books in their Reference section, and I have a limited supply on hand at this time. If you would like a copy of the books, you can contact Earlene in Minden at 318-377-9596, via e-mail at mailto:iluvoldcars@yahoo.com, or by snail mail to Earlene Lyle, 6225 Bell Creek Ct., Grand Bay, AL or 1301 Broadway St., Minden, LA 71055.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Great Place To Preserve Our History



















Some of Our Ghosts & Visitors From The Past Few Years

Many of the large cemeteries in our Nations capital and Civil War state parks have annual Ghost Walks. The Minden Cemetery Association in Minden, Louisiana has always been in need of funding for upkeep and repair of the grounds and headstones, since the Cemetery is not funded by the City of Minden, Louisiana.
In 2004 Schelley Brown and local historian John Agan, both members of the cemetery board, came up with a plan to help the cemetery by planning an annual Cemetery Ghost Walk held in conjunction with Veteran’s Day every year. With help from Earlene Mendenhall Lyle “The Cemetery Lady” and her book “The Minden Cemetery a peaceful resting place” the tours began to evolve.
The response has been overwhelming with people making reservations this year from as far away as Nebraska, New Mexico, and Florida. “Every year it just gets bigger and better!” Brown stated, “We already have one group of 90 coming from all over the country. It surprises more than a few to find out some of the interesting facts about the people in Minden’s history. We have people buried here that made huge impacts on Louisiana and Arkansas.”
All of this could not be done without the help of local actors and actresses dressed in period costumes roaming the cemetery. This will be an amazing sight to behold as you tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. It’s very unique to look across and see Civil War era ladies as well as Civil War soldiers sitting by their perspective graves. Many of the Minden’s leading past citizens will be on hand and happy to be sharing their stories of the way life in Minden was over 150 years ago. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders and citizens. You will learn how Minden’s women and men endured thru great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today. This is your chance to see how men and women worked together to make Minden and our country what it is today.
Bagpipe music will beckon you from across the grounds as you visited the 13 tour stops. Local bagpiper Vernon Love will make his regular appearance for this special tribute. In 2006 the event actually fell on Veteran’s Day. A special tribute to Veterans from as far back as the War of 1812, Civil War, WWI and II was the focus of the year’s tour. Also included in were several husband and wife ghost bringing with them actual belongings and pictures from their homes.
This is the perfect place to bring class rooms of children, scouting groups and Sunday school classes. Tour will begin at 12 noon- the last tour will start at 3:00 and end around 4:00 p.m. with tours starting every 15 minutes and lasting about one hour. Golf carts to assist with those that are unable to walk the tour are available on a limited basis. Mobility devices are welcomed and encouraged as well as light weight lawn chairs to carry with you.

The BeginningThe exact date of the beginnings of the Minden Cemetery remains somewhat of a mystery. Several of the traditional primary sources give contradictory information or information that is impossible based on known facts. According to the Centennial Edition of the Minden Signal-Tribune and Springhill Journal, published on December 31, 1934, the first burial in the cemetery occurred in 1840. That burial was of a Mrs. Mary A. Smith, on April 22, 1840. According to Biographical and Historic Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana, Mrs. Smith had first been buried near Murrell's tan yard, located in the area of today's Kirby Place. She had been re-interred in the Minden Cemetery at the suggestion of Charles Veeder, the founder of Minden. The Centennial Edition goes on to say that at the time of her burial the land that composed the present cemetery was set aside by Col. John Langdon Lewis and his wife as a burial ground. The newspaper account goes on to state that in 1854, after the incorporation of Minden, the cemetery was deeded to the town by the Col. and Mrs. Lewis. This date is confirmed by Biographical and Historical Memoirs, which records that at the first meeting of the Aldermen of the Town of Minden on May 22, 1854, "a new deed from Col. J. L. Lewis and his wife, granting the cemetery to the town was demanded. . ."
For all of you that come out we hope you can help Mrs. Mary Smith locate her grave as she is still wandering around looking for her final resting place!Oldest MarkersMuch of the older section of the Minden Cemetery was devastated by the tornado of May 1, 1933, and many of the oldest markers were destroyed then or have been lost or covered by soil in recent years. In fact this year we will remember those lost forever in unknown graves.
Hello,
I have a name but it has been lost forever! I am one of the many buried in this cemetery, that lost their markers in 1933. You can see all the large spaces without markers in front of you. May 1st, 1933, at 4:00 pm the most deadly tornado in Louisiana history occurred in Minden where 28 were killed and 400 injured. This tornado was estimated to have the strength of a modern F-3 storm. Officially, more than $1.2 million dollars in damage was caused, over 500 homes were damaged or destroyed along with many business. This disaster of 1933 plunged Minden into the Great Depression as unemployment soared and hard times came to our city. So as you look around today remember that there are many more of us here.
However, the following burials prior to May 1853 are marked by stones visible today: Robert G. Quarles, August 17, 1843; Sarah Emily Pennell, September 13, 1843; Martha Murrell, November 10, 1844; John Murrell, August 1, 1845; Emily McDonald, March 27, 1846; Sarah Elizabeth Morrow, June 18, 1847; Caroline C. Etter, October 1m 1847; Ursula M. Frazier, March 21, 1848; Robert Gilliam Quarles, December 5, 1848; Thomas Kennon, February 8, 1849; James Bonner McDonald, August 9, 1849; Almedia McDonald, August 11, 1849; W. C. C. Pratt, September 4, 1849; Charlotte Mixon, November 20, 1849; Richard Wilde Quarles, November 29, 1849; Martha H. Evans, September 6, 1850; G. M. Mills, November 6, 1850; Martha E. Kennon, April 7, 1851; Mrs. Mahala Drake, July 8, 1851; Robert H. Kennon, July 11, 1851; Elizabeth Ferguson, July 27, 1851; William Matthew Ardis, February 25, 1852; Thomas Houston, March 10, 1852; J. T. Morrow, June 19, 1852; Benjamin L. Sanders, October 15, 1852; and Joseph Lowell Chaffe, May 8, 1853.
For years cemeteries have needed help with upkeep issues. The Minden Cemetery is no exception to this problem. From the very beginning maintaining a deteriorating property has been an issue as you will see from the following letters.A Public LetterDuring the lean times of Reconstruction, it was difficult for our town to pay its bills, much less clean up the cemetery. By 1883, the condition of the cemetery had deteriorated to such a degree that Mayor Pankary W. Paul, sent the following public letter to the Webster Tribune, which published his remarks in its issue of May 17, 1883."To The People of Minden"We are informed that the cemetery needs attention. Why can we not as at other times come together and with loving hands add something of beauty to the homes of those who have died in our midst? There are surely loving hearts and willing hands enough to in our little town to remove in a short time from our graveyard all that evidence of dilapidation that speak so badly for the living who acknowledge ties of blood and affection for those who sleep the sleep of death among us."I urge upon the good people of Minden to meet at the Cemetery on Monday the 21st day of May, for cleaning the graveyard from the leaves, limbs, and debris that have accumulated there in years past."A few soldiers of the late war are buried in Minden, and the wounds of the war are healed over and hidden from sight, the saplings have grown tall over its trenches and graves, and their roots have reached down to the hearts of the dead. Scars, hurts and death blows are almost forgotten; the men did their duty, let us do ours, by commemorating the death of those who died for their country."Here is a duty for the Reverend divines and followers of the humble Nazarene to perform. Select a day and call out your congregation, and let us observe that day with solemnity and propriety that the occasion may demand. Surely out of the whole year we might select one day to be devoted to such a holy purpose, we approach no nearer the Lord by continual indifference to the fact that in death he gives us the sublimist lesson of life, and in the language of the Minden Democrat, 'lets us make it a pleasure to think that the worldly remains of those whose spirits are wandering of the Elysian fields of pure delight lay at rest in tombs that are cared for with loving hands.'P. W. Paul, Mayor"A ResponseMayor Paul's request was met with enthusiastic response as the following article appeared in the May 31, 1883 Tribune:"The people, in obedience to the call of the Mayor, turned out on the 21st inst., and greatly improved the cemetery. The Thursday following was appointed as, Decoration Day. The people met for that purpose and Rev. W. H. McGee and Col. George D. Alexander addressed them on the occasion. Mr. McGee made a very earnest speech and impressed the duty they owed themselves in beautifying and keeping the graveyard in a good condition and as a duty they owed the dead. Col. Alexander in a brief but enthusiastic speech spoke of the noble motives that prompted the gathering and paid a glowing tribute to his comrades who lie buried in the graveyard who died for the ‘lost cause.’ He said it wasn't his purpose to resurrect old sectional feelings but to pay respects to the dead, especially the Confederates. He did not say that they were right, but defended the motives that prompted to do as they did, and said, ‘We believed we were right.’"A resolution of thanks was then voted Mayor Paul for having inaugurated the move. The gathering then proceeded to decorate and pay their respects to the graves of the dead."UpkeepBy 1890, another clean up was necessary and finding that the cemetery needed almost constant attention, the Minden Cemetery Association was formed and in that year hired a sexton to maintain the graveyard. Operating funds were always short and on several occasion local organizations sponsored events to raise funds for cemetery maintenance. One of the most successful was a band concert held in 1908 that raised enough money to keep the cemetery in good condition for a number of years.Today, the Minden Cemetery is a physical reminder of those that created the Echoes of Our Past. Maintaining the cemetery is still the task of the Minden Cemetery Association, and now, as in 1883, they can always use financial assistance to preserve and protect this hallowed ground.
Some of what you will see and who you will meet if you come out in November
The Civil War Trench-
In 1936, The Minden Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a monument to these men. This area is known as the “Trench”. This spot is where 21 Confederate men are buried who died from wounds received at the Battle of Mansfield. Recently a single individual tombstone marking the burial place of Pvt. Thomas L. Anderson of the 31st Texas Cavalry has been erected.

Jacqueline Taylor – On your left as you enter the cemetery is the grave of Mrs. Jacqueline Ward Taylor, who died at the age of 90 in 1930. “Aunt Jack” was well known as the operator of a hotel in Minden for many years.

As you enter the old section of the Minden Cemetery through the decorative arch, you are immediately greeted by a large friendly lady, she seems to be of hearty pioneer stock, and is genuinely happy to see you.
“Come in, come in, I’m so glad to see you today. My name is Jacqueline Taylor, but everybody for miles around calls me Aunt Jack. I ran the hotel up on Broadway; oh I forget you call it Main Street today, for forty years. The old hotel is the building where Roberts Music store is today. I just wanted to please my customers, but they tell me I showed the most hospitality to guests of any body in these parts. I guess there was something to it. When they had my funeral in 1931, all the stores in town closed down and the people came to the cemetery. Makes you feel good to know that the folks appreciated what you did while you were among the living.
. It’s been nice to meet all of you and I want you to always think of me when you see that park they named after me, you know the one with the bandstand downtown, well y’all call it a gazebo. You did know that’s Jacqueline Park? Named after me, and It’s sure nice to know my town thought so much of me to preserve my memory.

Alberta Glass last surviving Civil War soldier

Hello there. My name is Alberta Glass, I ran a store in downtown Minden for nearly 50 years, but most folks remember me for another reason. I was the last veteran of the War Between the States in Minden. I was born in old Claiborne Parish in 1845. When I was 15 years old my parents sent me down to a new school in Pineville called the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Institute (you probably know it better by the name it got later – LSU). There was a really tough soldier as Superintendent at the school, his name was William Tecumseh Sherman – yep, the famous General Sherman. I had only been at the school a little while when The War Between The States broke out. I went back home and in March 1862, I joined Company G of the 12th Louisiana Infantry in the Confederate Army. We went to the east and fought quite a bit in Georgia and Tennessee. I even got wounded once at the Battle of Atlanta. When it came time for us to surrender in May 1865, I bet you can guess who our unit surrendered to. It was the Army of that same General Sherman who’d been head of my school. I came back to Minden after the war and went to work as a store clerk. Eventually I owned that store. By 1933, I was 88 years old and the last Confederate veteran still living in Minden. They had a big ceremony to dedicate that statue in the park over on the next hill south of this cemetery. Had a band and everything, they let me unveil the statue. I only lived 4 years after that. I was going on 92 when I finally died. I tell you, I saw a lot of things change here in Minden and this country.
This is only a sample of the very interesting history of the cemetery and its past citizens. Ghost Walk will be done with great respect to our past citizens and something everyone should enjoy. If you have family buried at the Minden Cemetery you will want to be on hand. This is a way to honor and pay tribute to those men and women that worked so hard to make Minden the community that we love. The cost of the tour this year will be $10.00 for adults and $4.00 Children under 12. Group rates are available, with 10 or more per group. All proceeds from the tour help to maintain the Minden Cemetery which is funded by the Minden Cemetery Association a non profit organization. For more information please contact

Schelley Brown
318-423-0192
What: Old Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk
Where: Minden, La.
Place: Old Minden Cemetery on Bayou Avenue off of Pine Street
Sponsors: Minden Cemetery Association / Minden Residential Historic District Association / Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau/ The Minute Magazine
Date: Saturday in November in conjunction with Veteran’s Day
Time: Tour times Noon- with last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.
Contact: Schelley Brown 318-423-0192 or email @ iluvoldcars@yahoo.com
Public Information: Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce
Phone 318-377-4240






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