BGT Stop #3

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Hi all and welcome back to The Hogue Connection! In this post we will explore BGT Stop #3, of the Braves and Graves Tour we took back in August. In BGT Stop #1, we visited the homeland of the Bates Family in and around Eton, Murray County, Georgia. Next, we headed up the highway to Graham County, North Carolina and Panther Creek Cemetery. For a map of the whole route, go here.

The cemetery is about a mile off of Highway 28, east of Stecoah. Exit 28 on Lower Panther Creek Road and drive past the marina on the left and up the hill. The weather was great that day, sunny, but not terribly hot for that Saturday, August 20th. Someone, probably a bunch of folks, take great care of this cemetery. The lawns were mowed, and the flowers and flags were neatly kept. Here’s a map of the area:

Who is Buried Here?

FindAGrave, has 482 memorials listed for Panther Creek Cemetery. 13 of them are Hogues and 52 of them are Crisps! We have many Crisp cousins in that neck of the woods. Go here to check out the entire listing. While you are there, make sure you read James Lenard Hogue’s bio. Our cousin Pat Hogue did a nice, detailed job on it. For even more information, go here to James’ wife Lucinda’s FindAGrave bio. The main purpose of my visit was to see the grave of James Lenard Hogue and to check out the possibility that William G. and Hollin Hogue are buried here, too. James Lenard is their son and the brother of my great, great grandfather, William M. Hogue. Also buried here, James and Lucinda’s son, Rev. Henry Jackson Hogue (1858-1939).

If you go back to one of my previous articles here, I discussed the recollections of Carl Hogue, as related by a friend of The Hogue Connection, Mountain Links. Carl attended Decoration Days at Panther Creek with his father when he was a youngster. Carl heard that the graves of William and Hollin were at one time marked with field stones, which have long since disappeared. I probably should have taken some more time on my visit here, but I kind of rushed us through it, knowing I had more to see in the area. Hopefully I can get back there some day.

Who is Manous (Mandes) Morgan?

I’m not sure if his name was Manous or Mandes, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same guy. Morgan, according to a marker (see above), was the guy who donated the land for the cemetery. He was also one of the earliest interments there, passing away in 1870. The dates on the marker above are the dates that are on Manous’ wife Edith’s tombstone. Perhaps Edith, maiden name Medlin, was the one who donated the land. It is a bit confusing, and I haven’t found a concise history of Panther Creek Cemetery. Here is a shot of it from Google Earth:

Google Earth of Panther Creek

The Grave of James L. Hogue

Honestly, it took a few minutes to find James’ grave. I went up near a set of concrete steps, and for some reason, headed west. The cemetery is still in use today; the most recent burial I found was in August of 2022. I don’t think there is an older part or a newer part, but I’m not sure about that. I had seen pictures of James’ headstone before and figured it would be easy to find. Once I did locate it, I was very surprised. It is only about two feet tall:

James Lenard Hogue grave
J.L. Hogue grave Closeup

What is a field book?

In this case, it is a 180 page notebook that was used by TVA workers to manually record graves in cemeteries in the 1930’s, and 40’s. I came across this resource on The title of it is U.S., Tennessee Valley Cemetery Relocation File, 1933-1990. I imagine the TVA’s job was to record all graves in the area pertaining to a project (there were four of them here), whether they were moving the graves or not. The surveyor would patrol the site and make a note of the existing graves and write down the information on each tombstone. If the grave was unmarked, they would list their best guess on to what type of body was buried there and what was used to designate it as a grave. Here is the page with James’ listing:

TVA Field Book

The surveyor got the death date wrong. The partial column on the right shows the type of marker, either Monument, Rock, or Wood. You can see there are 6 adult graves nearby, all with rock markers or field stones as Uncle Carl Hogue called them.

There Are Some Old Markers Here…

As you can see, folks back in the day used many different materials to mark the graves of their loved ones. If you run through the field book, you’ll see many adult graves marked only with rocks and no monument. Some of these older markers have been replaced with new marble ones.

Who Is Buried Around James L. Hogue?

In this gallery, I added pictures of the area surrounding James’ grave:

As you can see, there aren’t a lot of monuments near his grave. The whole row appears to be full of unmarked graves. The picture on the far right is facing south, towards the road that borders the cemetery. That’s Jane in the background.

So…What’s The Verdict?

Is it possible that William G. Hogue and his wife Hollin are buried here in Panther Creek Cemetery?

Based on the evidence available and the fact that they owned property less that ten miles from here, I’d say yes. Is it highly probable? Based on the recollections of others promoted by our friend Mountain Links, I’d say yes to that, too! While there are many small, family cemeteries in this area, some of which we will visit on the next BGT stop, this one just makes the most sense to me.

Looking at the Field Book, this is probably the most information we are going to have about the unmarked graves in this cemetery. We will likely not be able to pinpoint the exact location of William and Hollin’s graves, but i feel good in saying that they are in there somewhere. Thanks for checking out The Hogue Connection this week, and if you have any comments or opinions about my theories, as always, drop me a note. Special thanks to Wynell McElrath Morgan, JoAnn Welch Harris Coon, and Karen Marcus for the great job in taking some of these grave photos.

Next up…BGT Stop#4…the town of Stecoah, Graham County, North Carolina. You can return to the Home page here.

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