By Sarah Naugher and Regina Butler
As you take a stroll on the back side of the old part of the Pontotoc city cemetery, a sight greets your eyes that is heartbreaking.
There are a number of grave stones that are broken down and in need of repair.
In addition, whole families’ grave plots lie neglected and overgrown by the trees and vines.
And beyond these families graves lie the unmarked graves of the Chickasaws.
Anyone who works in genealogy will tell you how important cemeteries are to help folks find their families.
Sometimes the gravestone is the only vital link a person has to discovering their past and where their ancestors lived, worked and died.
The Pontotoc County Historical Society has undertaken a project to repair and renovate items in the old part of the city cemetery.
Efforts are underway to repair the broken monuments and fences, and to find graves buried under inches of dirt.
Already two graves have been unearthed that were not known to have been there before.
The Chickasaws gave this land to the city of Pontotoc by a treaty drawn up in Washington, D.C. in 1852. It was not a part of the original Pontotoc Creek Treaty which was signed in 1832.
The city of Pontotoc has the cemetery mowed and otherwise maintained but does not repair broken monuments, most of which were broken by vandals a few years ago.
These gravestones should not remain neglected. If you care about your ancestors and want to leave a legacy for your children to follow your lineage, please give to this project.
The Historical Society has opened a bank account at the First National Bank entitled, “Pontotoc County Historical Society Pontotoc City Cemetery Renovation Fund.”
So far, only five people have contributed. Work has already begun but funds are so limited that only a small amount of the renovation needed can be done.
If you have members of your family buried in the Pontotoc City Cemetery, you are encouraged to make a contribution to the fund at the First National Bank.
When the project is complete, the Historical Society hopes to have a plat marked out so you can easily look up and find where a particular grave is marked.
This is an important time-saver for those in other states who are researching their genealogy and have several cemeteries to visit when they come to Pontotoc.
Remember that there are many people buried in this cemetery with no relatives living here. However, if you are from another state, the society welcomes contributions from you to help upkeep the grave of your ancestor.
There are 123 Confederate Vets, veterans of all wars and people of all races, including graves of Chickasaw Indians and slaves buried in this hallowed place.
Let us honor those buried in the Historical Cemetery by preserving it with honor and pride.
Please contact the First National Bank at 662-489-1631 if you would like to donate to the fund.