Monday, April 6, 2009
Hillcrest Cemetery - Goodman, Mississippi
Hillcrest Cemetery in Goodman, Mississippi, located in Holmes County, holds the history of almost two generations of my father's family. Pictured here is the double grave marker of my paternal grandparents, Clark Commander Branch and Lelia Porter Branch, located in a newer section of Hillcrest Cemetery, in Goodman, Holmes County, Mississippi. As the inscriptions on the gravestone states, Clark Branch was born on August 9, 1899, and Lelia Porter Branch was born on July 17, 1904. This photograph was taken by my parents several months after my grandfather's burial and not very long after the gravestone was placed at the gravesite. As you can see, my grandmother's inscription shows only her date of birth, as she continued to live almost twelve years after her husband's death. She never remarried, and when she died on January 16, 1991, Lelia Porter Branch was buried next to her husband.
Hillcrest Cemetery is the burial place for many early residents of the area who lived in the Goodman area or "just over the Big Black River," in Attala County, where members of the Branch and Porter families had settled over 150 years ago. My grandmother's immediate family, except for one brother, are buried here in this cemetery. The graves of her parents, J. J. Porter and Margaret Susannah ("Maggy") Merriweather Porter, along with five of her brothers and sisters, Etta Porter Parker, Leonard Porter, James Porter, Newell Autry Porter, and Vertie Porter, are located nearby. Another brother, Clarence Porter, is buried in Jessamine Cemetery in Ridgeland, Mississippi, near where he had lived most of his adult life, and in the same cemetery in which my own parents have chosen to be buried.
Members of my grandfather's family interred in Hillcrest Cemetery include at least one of his four sisters, Stella Branch Young and her husband, Woodard Young, and their mother, Claudia Baldridge Branch. Edward Arthur Branch, Claudia's husband and father of her five children, died when my grandfather was 15 years old and is buried in Good Hope Cemetery near Camden, Mississippi, in Madison County. An account of Ed Branch's death, along with a photo of his Woodmen of the World gravestone, can be seen here.