Mt. Zion Cemetery (aka Shones Cemetery)
Hwy 4, Benton County

Much History Lies Hidden In Old Abandoned Cemetery
The South Reporter, Date Unknown
By R. B. Henderson

Holly Springs - About twelve miles east of Holly Springs on the south side of Highway 4 just over the line in Benton County, is an old, old cemetery, long since abandoned as a burial ground. The cemetery is overgrown with trees and undergrowth, but there are signs of other graves that indicate the cemetery was an extensive one.

Many of the monuments were expensive ones and lettering of these monuments is clearly legible. On some of the other monuments the inscriptions are illegible, and have broken off and covered with silt.

The cemetery was known as the Mt. Zion Cemetery, although sometimes referred to as the Shones Cemetery due to its proximity to the Shones Mill on Snow Creek. This famous pioneer mill was established before the outbreak of the War Between the States and, until after the turn of the century, was the favorite milling place for a large section of the country. Until the formation of Benton County it was a voting precinct.

There was once a Methodist church near the cemetery, and a school was taught in the church for several years. A public road ran by the church, dividing the cemetery into two sections, the one on the north side for white and on the south side for colored.

There was a post office in the community for many years. The first post office was known as Snow Creek. The first postmaster, appointed March 18, 1856, was Moses McCarthy. T. Reed, Wilson Covington, and Wm. S. Holbrook, also served as postmaster. The post office was discontinued on January 30, 1867. There was a later post office in the community known as Colbert. Margaret R. Crawford was appointed postmaster on October 9, 1893, and Charles A. Jones on May 14, 1898. The post office was probably discontinued upon the advent of the Rural Free Delivery System sometime after the turn of the century.

It has not been possible to uncover any of the church history of the Zion Church. It was almost a certainty that the church was established soon after the country was settled following the Chickasaw Land Sales of 1836. It became inactive probably early in the 1900s.

Old land records show that the Mt. Zion Church was established March 6, 1846, on a plot of ground of two acres deeded to "The Trustees of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church", by Eli Jones. Trustees of the church were not named in the deed, nor are any of the charter members of the Church remembered; however, religious preference of the community at that time must have been predominantly Methodist.

Mrs. Mack Simpson, Sr., who is a great granddaughter of Eli Jones, thinks that the Zion Church became inactive about the turn of the century when the Mt. Hope Methodist Church was established. Both Mrs. Simpson and Mrs. Maggie Kimery, who was a Payne, believe that they have attended the Mt. Zion Church when very small.

These inscriptions were taken from the monuments in the old cemetery:

Abraham Bogard, June 30, 1798 - February 20, 1858

Saphrona Bogard, October 10, 1827 - October 27, 1857

Eli Jones, December 17, 1788 - October 15, 1872

Wife of Dica M. Jones, September 5, 1791 - November 5, 1855

Susan, wife of R. B. Jones, January 20, 1809 - May 30, 1875

William J. Jones, November 19, 1842 - September 21, 1862

Amariah, wife of Alfred Freeman, September 16, 1812 - July 16, 1881

Mary J. Cathy, September 23, 1844 - January 25, 1897

G. A. Cathey, January 7, 1841 - May 7, 1891

Permealae Landreth, September 27, 1827 - March 12, 1891

Stappleton C. Landreth, May 28, 1814 - May 6, 1886

Fermelie Ann, daughter, October 5, 1856 - December 185_

Charles L., son of J. R. & V. A. Landreth, March 14, 1870 - January 23, 1880

Nosh C. Landreth, December 28, 1874 - January 25, 1877

Julie Cathy, August 24, 1902, aged 105 years.

This church was located in S22 T3 R1W, prior to 1870 was in Marshall County, MS.

Article submitted by Martha Fant

Nolan Jones, GG-Grandson of R. D. Jones and G-Grandson of William J. Jones, submits the following corrections and additions for Mt. Zion Cemetery:

The entry that reads Susan, wife of "R.B. Jones" should read "R.D. Jones"

The entry for William J. Jones is missing "son of R.D. and S."

Missing entry: "H. E. Jones, son of R. D. and Susan" (H.E. is Henry E.)

Additional burial at Mt. Zion Cemetery
Submitted by Tami Cobb

Alfred Freeman, born ca 1806 in NC and died February 9, 1885 in Marshall County, MS. He was an ordained Methodist Episcopal Minister. He may have been the pastor of the church at some point, between 1850-1885. He carved the marker for his wife, Amariah (Jones) Freeman's, stone. He has no marker on his grave, only a stone. He was a member of Lodge #45, Tippah County MS, Mississippi Free and Accepted Masons; the Lodge was in Salem, MS. This information was provided by other researchers on this line. Alfred is my ggg-grandfather.

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