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Today is May 30, 2020

Williamsburg cemetery holds historical value for Covington County

By Nancy Jo Maples

Williamsburg cemetery holds historical value for Covington County

Williamsburg and its Old General Cemetery hold rich parts of Covington County’s 200-year-old history.

The largest town between Monticello and Ellisville in the 1800s, Williamsburg served as county seat 1829-1906. When the county was formed in 1819, several venues were used for court. In 1829, the first official courthouse was built in Williamsburg. After it burned, a second was built, but was later razed and rebuilt. An arsonist burned the third one in 1904. Afterward, a committee voted to move the county seat three miles away to Collins. The courthouse there was built in 1906 and still serves the county.

Not much remains in Williamsburg other than the storied cemetery, ironically located on Bone Street. The name of this street is believed to possibly predate the cemetery and could have been a wagon road or Native American path. Cedar trees shade the tombstones dating back to 1820 of the community’s early inhabitants that include families who pioneered the area and soldiers from the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

The Covington County Genealogical and Historical Society spearheaded the cleaning of the graveyard about 10 years ago and erected a granite stone near the front of the cemetery listing the names of 40-plus people buried in unmarked graves. Restoration of the cemetery evolved into a book as the cemetery project neared completion due to the wealth of material collected that needed to be preserved.      

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