Thursday, November 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

South Carolina cemetery has some strange stories

By
From page C6 | August 03, 2014 |

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Some of Tonya Guy’s favorite people are dead. They lie beneath the magnolia trees in Willowbrook Cemetery, and Guy enjoys taking visitors to see their final resting places during the tours she conducts in the historic graveyard on Church Street in Edgefield.

“There are illustrious individuals here who led such fascinating lives,” said Guy, who is the grants and promotions coordinator for the Edgefield Cemetery Association. “To be able to introduce them to others is an honor and a privilege. I never get tired of telling their stories.”

Four South Carolina governors are buried in Willowbrook, along with some other notable politicians.

One of the most unusual tales associated with the cemetery’s denizens belongs to someone less famous — Dr. James Adams DeVore, who died in 1895. His grave has a trapdoor made of iron that has rusted.

“He was a very eccentric character,” Guy said. “According to local legend, he is buried sitting in a chair behind glass. Under this door, there is supposed to be an archway and a tunnel that leads to him.”

Guy doesn’t know for sure what exactly is down there because the opening below the door has dirt and debris in it.

“A preacher didn’t like people going to see DeVore, so he supposedly filled it in, probably in the 1960s,” she said.

Since then, a big stone cross from another burial site has fallen on top of DeVore’s plot, possibly causing damage to structures beneath the ground’s surface.

“People who were growing up here in the 1950s remember when an individual was dared to go down there, and he saw DeVore,” Guy said. “One day, we would like to do an excavation and see if we can get back there.”

Not too far away from DeVore’s grave is the final resting place of Matthew Calbraith Butler, who was a Confederate major general during the War Between the States.

Butler lost his right foot in an 1863 battle in Virginia. He returned to duty only a few months after being injured.

“He had a wooden foot made, and he went back and served the rest of the war,” Guy said. “But what’s really unusual is that he had his real foot embalmed. He kept it in a box, and when he died, the embalmed foot was buried with him because he had asked for it to be.”

Behethland Pawnee Butler Bacon was only in her 20s when she died. Her grave in Willowbrook used to have a small summerhouse made of wooden latticework on it.

“Her childhood toys and seashells were put in there, and children would come and look inside,” Guy said. “People thought for a long time that she had died as a child, but that’s not true.”

After the latticework deteriorated and rotted, a vault was built that is still there today.

A tall monument marks Thomas Glasscock Bacon’s final resting place in Willowbrook. He was a colorful man who raised racehorses and game chickens.

He fought in the Second Seminole War, and during the Civil War, he was a colonel with the 7th South Carolina Volunteer Regiment. He later became a state senator.

“He never forgot the men he served with in the War Between the States,” Guy said.

When Bacon died, his final words were, “Let me go. I want to go to my regiment,” and they were carved on his monument.

A large, rough-looking rock sits atop the burial site belonging to the Rev. John Lake. He was a missionary who started a leper colony on an island in the South China Sea, and the stone is a souvenir from that colony.

“I love talking about everybody out here,” Guy said.

But the most special, to Guy, are a physician named Elbert Bland and his wife, Rebecca.

During the Civil War, after Bland was wounded twice on the battlefield while supporting the Confederate cause, Rebecca didn’t want him to continue his military service. But Bland didn’t grant her wish. In 1863, during the Battle of Chickamauga, Bland got hurt again; and he died.

“Rebecca loved him dearly, and for the rest of her life, she grieved and mourned,” Guy said. “She dressed in black, and even though she had many suitors after the war, she wouldn’t have anything to do with them.”

Rebecca died in 1891.

“At her request, her husband’s grave and coffin were opened,” Guy said. “She was laid on top of his bosom, and that’s where she rests. All she asked for was a small footstone with her name on it at the end of his grave. I think the sweet romance of it all makes it a beautiful story.”

For more information about tours of Willowbrook Cemetery, call Guy at 803-637-4010 or visit www.oedgs.org and click on the Willowbrook Cemetery link near the top of the home page.

This feature was written by Dede Biles, who writes for the Aiken Standard in South Carolina.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Middle Green Valley plan moves forward

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

     
    School district continues look into Armijo grade-change scandal

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Veterans ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New focus on achievement gap of black males

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
    Vacaville art gallery schedules open house

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

    What’s the matter with Kansas Street?

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Sandbags available in advance of storms

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Governments shut doors for holiday

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Weather for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

     
    .

    US / World

    Passengers in Russia’s Arctic give airliner a push

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Court: No warrant needed to draw parolees’ blood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Armored vehicle nixed by Davis ends up in Woodland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Snow makes Thanksgiving travel ‘a little hairy’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Union focuses on security guards at Apple

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Homeless man beaten to death in San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Obama gets the bill for White House Thanksgiving

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Heart stent for Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, 81

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    American among hostages targeted in Yemen raid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Canada police arrest ex-radio host in sex case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Spy balloons give police new view of Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

    Small crowd protests in Oakland for third night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    Ferguson residents clean up, hope for calm night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

    Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 27, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 27, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscope for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    Nursing homes full of opportunities for giving

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Hanks, wife to host Christmas tree lighting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    With shake-ups, AC/DC perseveres with album, tour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    875 hours of holiday programming on TV last year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Missing model-restaurateur B. Smith found in NYC

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    University in Tennessee cancels Cosby appearance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    .

    Sports

    Seahawks, 49ers meet for 1st time this season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Panda heads put away with Sandoval’s departure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    All City football: Vikings sweep top honors

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    San Francisco’s bid for 2024 Olympics taking shape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    NFL might not flex any Sunday night games in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Curry, 3s too much for Magic; Warriors win 111-96

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Sharks sign emergency backup goalie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Spurs’ Popovich undergoes medical procedure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    AP source: Tomas in process of deal with D’backs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Harden leads Rockets past Kings 102-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Smith to start at QB for Jets vs. Dolphins on MNF

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Butler knocks off No. 5 North Carolina, 74-66

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    RG3 benched: Redskins to start Colt McCoy vs. Indy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders’ Woodson expects to play in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Atletico Madrid, Arsenal reach knockout phase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Business

    FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    US new home sales up 0.7 percent in October

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Twitter now tracks other apps you’ve installed

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Esther Ringler

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dora Maria Aranda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Adrian Looy

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Holiday Gift Guide 2014

    Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards

    By The Washington Post | From Page: HGG2

    How to give holiday gift cards

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG2

    How to establish gift spending limits

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG3

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG3

    Novice crafter? There’s a project for that!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG6

    Gift ideas for the special seniors in your life

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG6

    Time and money-saving holiday gift ideas

    By Statepoint Media | From Page: HGG7

    Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG7

    How to save on high-tech gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG10

    Shop top finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG11

    Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG12

    Great gifts for music lovers

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG13

    Kitchen gift-giving made easy with personality profiles

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Great gifts for the family foodie

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Holiday shows abound in Solano County

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: HGG17

    Great gifts for people who love to read

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG19

    An oft-elusive yet gifty treat: coffee table books

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG19

    Steps to take before giving pets as gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    2014 holiday toy predictions

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Eco-friendly gift ideas for ‘green’ giving

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Things to consider before buying this holiday season

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Trend-setting gifts for the women on your holiday shopping list

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG23

    Gifts to keep kids engaged

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG25

    Gift wrap tricks to save time

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG26

    Save time and energy with a family gift this holiday season

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG27

    Gift exchange dos and don’ts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30

    Right at Home: gifts you can use – and use up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG30

    How to send gifts to faraway friends and family

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30