Mountain Home Cemetery, Historic Section
The Mountain Home Cemetery, Historic Section, is located five blocks south of the Baxter County Courthouse at the intersection of Baker Street and 11th Street in Mountain Home (Baxter County). The cemetery, which is located on a hill and has a U-shaped driveway that goes through it, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 13, 2020.
The Mountain Home Cemetery is a collection of parcels that have been donated and purchased over the years from individual landowners. The first acre was donated to the city by Milus S. and Catherine Casey Paul to be used as a cemetery when the city was laid out in 1874. Ten years later, when incorporation papers were filed, the map included the land donated in 1874, referring to it as the Mountain Home Cemetery. There were a total of seven burials before the property was donated to the city in 1874, with the first three burials being the nieces and nephews of Colonel Randolph D. Casey, who was the father of Catherine Casey Paul; the children were also the grandchildren of Major Jacob Wolf. The fourth burial was Col. Casey’s mother. Milus S. Paul was the first person to be buried in the cemetery after it was donated to the city.
By the early twentieth century, additional land was needed for the cemetery. The next acre of land was purchased by the city on June 1, 1928, from Lora S. Hopkins. The next half acre of land for the cemetery was obtained on August 6, 1929. The property was also purchased from Hopkins for $50.00. Subsequent acquisitions expanded the cemetery beyond the historical section.
Grave markers are found throughout the cemetery, and they exhibit a wide variety of shapes, including semi-circular, rounded, pointed-arched, square, and spherical. The gravestones are also diverse in their decoration, ranging from plain to highly decorated. The historic tombstones, which are located in Sections A and F, have several different forms and illustrate a wide variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century iconography, including ivy, gates, open books, the kingdom, flowers, lambs, urns, draped cloths, clasped hands, crosses, crowns, weeping willows, doves, and angels.
The Mountain Home Cemetery, Historic Section, also includes markers from various fraternal organizations such as Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, Masons, and the Grand Army of the Republic. Some of the Masonic markers have the abbreviation H.T.W.S.S.T.K.S., which stands for “Hiram, Tyrian, Widow’s Son, Sent to King Solomon,” and it was used to indicate Royal Arch Masons who had made it to at least the third degree. The Mountain Home Cemetery, Historic Section, also has many cast-iron Confederate States of America (CSA) crosses, as well as U.S. government-issued markers for veterans from World War I and World War II.
It is easy to differentiate the Historic Section from the newer sections to the east, west, and south, as the gravestones’ designs are indicative of a different era. Despite its age, the cemetery is in excellent condition and is well maintained; it has not suffered any major vandalism. There has been a major focus on maintaining the integrity and condition of the historical gravestones, with repairs being made when needed. The two non-contributing resources are the gate and a small pavilion that has exhibits on the cemetery.
For additional information:
Norrell, Marshella. “Mountain Home Cemetery, Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at https://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/BA0239.nr.pdf (accessed June 11, 2020).
Maryanne Edge and Marshella Norell
Mountain Home, Arkansas
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