Overton

 

Note: the recently found foot stone on Cordelia Remer’s grave.(stone on the left)  Over to the right out of this view,  is where another tombstone was found 2 weeks ago.also note the space in between the stones of Cordelia Remer and Philander Ingalsby.  That is where I believe the grave of Dr. Newman lies without its tombstone, the one stolen by vandals off of his grave. A replica stone was mentioned at one time to be supplied but it has not been done so at this time.  I cannot understand how the museum can morally allow the grave to not be marked. Apparently Captain Remer buried his daughter high on the hill so he could see her tombstone as his boat passed by on the Bayou. Sidne wrote this 1999-2000, perhaps later.I tried( to tell DHAM about this but they do not care. They continue to say the tombstone was removed in c. 1973, which is of course, impossible chronologically. 

Subject:The words of Sidney Cox 

Jul. 11, 2011We’re all suffering the loss of those talking horses that once filled our living rooms, where they versed beautiful recitations of the colored ages that came before and so near us. The lack of their testimonies will broaden the searches for truth considerably. I’m afraid we’ve taken for granted a great benefactor of wisdom. And by not listening closely, we’ve allowed a lot of it to be buried with them…     

At the writing of ‘Bonita and Bill Butler,’ I’d had the fine pleasure of rediscovering some local history in and around my home in Louisiana. Webster Parish is embedded with vast watershed of sloughs and swampy bottoms. The picturesque stills are breathtaking to say the least, but the canopies of Cypress and Spanish moss in their uniqueness are but a shroud veiling an even grander expanse beneath. It was here in the safe shadows of the Button willows and Palmettos that I discovered volume upon volume, ancient chronicle, who’s pages were scored by human entry, revealing a heritage, rich as the black earth that cover them.    

‘Bonita’ is the actual the name for one of many packet steamboats that made regular passage from Red River up Loggy Bayou into Lake Bistineau. She served the Port of Overton near Dixie Inn, Louisiana in the early to mid 1800’s. The town of Overton itself was made up of cotton warehouses, and hosted only a small number of residents at the time. It has long since been removed due to a Yellow Fever epidemic, and the surviving residents were relocated to higher ground in a place today called Minden.   

The character ‘Billy Butler’ was inspired in part by the tragic story Captain George Remer, who along with his seven-year old daughter Cordelia, became unfortunate casualties of the Overton epidemic. I visited the cemetery a while back to see her grave, and read these words on the headstone of the Dr. H.S. Newman, the attending physician at the time…
 
"THE SCULPTURED MARBLE-
THE ACCORDING TOMB
SHALL MOLDERING PERISH-
IN THE LAPSE OF TIME;
BUT WITH THY FRIENDS
THY NAME SHALL LIVE
WHILE MEMORY LASTS
AND PITY HAS A TEAR’"
-Sidney Cox

http://www.mindenmemories.org


I passed the Russellville Historical marker on Hwy 9 two weeks ago. It denotes the site of the first parish seat of Claiborne Parish and is duly marked.  My query is:
why can we not have a similar marker for Overton, the 2nd Parish seat?  
Subject: some Louisiana Historical Markers, 2014 

Bonnie and Clyde Deathsite

in Louisiana Historical Markers

A stone monument stands about 8.2 miles south of Gibsland, LA, on the west side of Hwy 154/Parish Rd 300, marking the site where the law finally caught up with Bonnie and Clyde in 1934.

posted by: QuarrellaDeVil

location: Louisiana

date approved: 1/2/2014

   
Judge Fred J. Cassibry Square

in Louisiana Historical Markers

Louisiana Historical Marker standing on the grounds of the Louisiana Supreme Court Building at the southeast corner of St. Louis and Royal Streets, New Orleans, LA, paying tribute to public servant, Judge Fred J. Cassibry.

posted by:  QuarrellaDeVil

location: Louisiana

date approved: 12/9/2013

last visited: never

Jazz

in Louisiana Historical Markers

Plaque attached to a column at the Holiday Inn - New Orleans-Downtown Superdome, 330 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA, noting this area as the birthplace of jazz music.

posted by:  QuarrellaDeVil

location: Louisiana

date approved: 12/9/2013

last visited: never

 

Town of Pollock

in Louisiana Historical Markers

Marker in the center of town celebrating town's history. Located in small park on Thornberg Street (LA 8) west of 165 near Stewart Street.

Louisiana College

in Louisiana Historical Markers

On Campus in front of Alexandria Hall.

posted by:  kwashnak

location: Louisiana

date approved: 4/14/2013

last visited: never

Mount Olivet Cemetery and Chapel

in Louisiana Historical Markers

Cemetery - 335 Main Street, Pineville

posted by:  kwashnak

location: Louisiana

date approved: 4/14/2013

last visited: never

City of Pineville

in Louisiana Historical Markers

City of Pineville marker, 731 Main Street (Main Street & East Shamrock Street) in front of Pineville Old Town Hall Museum.

 Submitted by Tom Carey

 

The La State Attorney General has spoken:  

It is more important for the Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum to possess the stolen tombstone than it is for the tombstone to be on the grave from which it was removed.  Dr. Newman’s tombstone was in place for 140 years and now, there is an unmarked grave.  

However, please note the misinformation: the words saying the stone was at MHS in the early 1970’s.  Since a member of a famous Webster Parish entertainment group went to the site c. 2000 and published, online, his words about Dr. Newman and Cordelia Remer, the 1970’s date is incorrect.  

But nevertheless, we all abide by the law and Mr. Caldwell is a honorable person.

I just wish that the same dedication and attention given to DHAM, by the State of Louisiana judicial system, in possessing this removed stone would have existed in 1959 when the cemetery was desecrated and in 2000 when the tombstone was removed by vandals.  

Louisiana law now says friends and family may visit Overton at any time they wish. It is my hope that no further cemetery desecration occurs.  

Thank You.  

TD Carey Ruston, LA

This document should speak for itself on how the Newman gravestone should be handled according  to the opinion of the State of Louisiana.  

The Museum should return the tombstone where it rightly belongs to be..on the grave of Dr. Newman..Have they not heard of gravestone rubbings ? They could frame it and hang it in the museum..I doubt seriously if they would want the tombstones of their mothers,fathers,siblings removed just because a museum thought it would look nice displayed there. Shame on them. Nan Hunter Castle, Class of 1953

On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:29 PM,

Also, thank you for the help with the Dr. Newman tombstone. Your web site is read by many and I have received comments.

First, of all, thanks to Lou Baird Snook, my high school classmate. She was kind to email me and to mention how she and her Grandfather Frank Treat, Sr., went out to Overton as the interstate work was being done and how he had the dozer and backhoe people stop work to redirect the path of the highway. I believe this is correct as I think Mr. Treat was in possession of the same LDOT survey map that I now have, one from c. 1957, in which the highway right of way does show the northern edge of the cemetery being involved. I think he went out there when he saw the possibility of destruction. Lou and her Grandfather put up the existing fence that now stands. This email from her confirms what Wade Ratcliff told our group this past December when he mentioned that the gate looked like a product of the 1950’s and, so, it is. No doubt there have been other gates and other fences. There are reports from often-quoted Dr. Longino about the “swinging gate to nowhere”. Harold Barrett mentions how there was a gate there he saw in the late 30’s but then, Herman Ratcliff says he walked the area numerous times in the late 40’s and it was open. So, perhaps it does not matter. Just don’t walk out that gate these days. I am in possession of an email from a member of the Singing Cox Family in which he says he went to Overton (c. 2000) and viewed the Dr. Newman tombstone. This is a fact. this is part of his email: ” I visited the cemetery a while back to see her grave, and read these words on the headstone of the Dr. H.S. Newman, the attending physician at the time…”

"THE SCULPTURED MARBLE-
THE ACCORDING TOMB
SHALL MOLDERING PERISH-
IN THE LAPSE OF TIME;
BUT WITH THY FRIENDS
THY NAME SHALL LIVE
WHILE MEMORY LASTS
AND PITY HAS A TEAR’"

Later, in 2001 the same Dr. H. Newman tombstone appeared in the MHS band room. The point about this is: anyone who has been to the Overton Cemetery knows that the area is flat and that it is at least 75’ in diameter. Sherry and others have made note that Dr. Newman’s grave was adjacent to that of Cordelia Remer’s and this child’s grave is in the middle of the cemetery. Some have suggested to me that the stone was found on the side of the hill and maybe “fell off”. By the 70’s the Newman tombstone was not in its base. That may be true, but the tombstone did not simply fall off the hill. It was not washed off and did not slide off as a result of an earthquake, it was, in fact, stolen. My feelings are(unproven) that some high school boys were being high school boys and that they went and took the tombstone out of the cemetery, later either felt guilty or were criticized by their parents, and then cautiously took the stone to the band room. Not to criticize one bit the people from MHS who took the stone to the museum, but I do question, why did they not turn it over to the sheriff’s office or to the Minden Police? Perhaps the fear that an official record might be made kept that from happening. Not good to steal a tombstone, no doubt. I called a friend of mine in Minden, a very smart attorney because I knew he would be objective and that is what was desired. He took both sides as attorneys are taught to do. He said that no doubt it is good that the museum has the stone as it keeps it from being stolen again. Let us not forget that the tombstone laid in place from 1859 until 2000. Is 141 years long enough to give certainty to a grave? But, he also suggested that the DHAM certainly has no legal right to the stone. I have been advised that DHAM has been in contact with members of the Newman family. That could be so. I have knowledge about those connections. But, now, comes the rest of the story: 1. Overton Cemetery is an Official Louisiana Archaeological Site. That means that nothing in the cemetery can be removed and taken to another location, unless approved. It prevents any group from going to the cemetery, taking an artifact, and saying it “belongs to the the Museum, the Club, or the Civic Center”. Everything at that site belongs to the State of Louisiana. I have specific contacts with the NW LA Director regarding this designation. No, it is not a Poverty Point, but yes, it is protected. For the Museum to say the tombstone belongs to them rightfully needs justification. If Sherry, Tom, Thad, or Ann or anyone else who is a member of DHAM wants a piece of history for the museum we cannot go and take or have someone else take an artifact. I cannot legally go to the abandoned cemetery at Line Road, and take my GGG Grandfather Grigsby’s tombstone, just because I want to do so, and donate it to the museum. That stone is protected. Perhaps I could take it to another cemetery if approved. As a retired history professor at La Tech, one who has donated papers, told me: a museum is no different from any other group be it civic club or what ever. Again, Overton Cemetery is an Official Louisiana Archaeological Site. Please DHAM read what the statutes say regarding that. 2. According to the La Attorney General’s office, the only people who can go to an abandoned cemetery or private property are family and friends of the families. As far as I am concerned all can go, they are our friends. But, there is no precedent for stealing a tombstone and leaving a grave unmarked. This is opinion 08-0186. I am not an attorney, but thanks to Mrs. Harper, I can read decently. If anyone who reads this, any member of the DHAM, can explain to me how their group feels that it is ethical and moral to keep a stolen tombstone and leave a grave unmarked simply because they “want” the tombstone. I will be ready to listen. My only purpose in the whole thing is to make sure that this grave of a fine physician, Dr. Newman, does not go unmarked any longer. Soon, his grave will be forgotten, but right now it is not, and I am of the opinion that the Dorcheat Museum needs to return the stone and put it right back where it sat for about 140 years. I am not sure what DHAM plans on doing. Normally waiting cures all but they need to take care of the Dr. Newman grave site ASAP. Patience is waning. Thank You. Tom Carey

Compliments of Ann Mays Harlan

View of the cemetery from below the hill. From this view one must walk around to the other side of the hill to locate an easier climb up to the cemetery.

                         

I called Ted Riser at 3:15 this afternoon when I arrived at the Holiday Inn. My brother Larry and I were invited to meet him at his home. When we arrived he asked us if we were ready  for a hike. We walked from his house to the cemetery. This was quite a walk through the woods and brambles up and down steep inclines. Ted, his German Shepherd "Sandy" Larry and I made the hike.

  Ann Mays Harlan, Webster Parish Sheriff Ted Riser and Sandy

The entire area is so overgrown with trees and brush a person has to know where to go to get there. The road mentioned in Wanda Head's book is no longer navigable by auto. Possibly a 4-wheeler might work. But walking (hiking) is the best way. It is not a SHORT or EASY hike. The cemetery cannot be seen from the road. The cemetery is fenced but one can no longer enter by a gate. You must go through the fence with someone holding it in such a manner for you to crawl through the wires. All the stones except two are totally destroyed. I was so dismayed to find the stone of  Judge Richard M. Drew broken into several pieces, laying on the ground, and of course, covered with leaves and sticks.

 

 

 

 

            

 

Richard   M. DREW
  Born  Jun   26,  1822
  Died  July  11,  1850  
  His public and private virtues
  Have survived his death and
  Will endure when this dumb
  Marble shall have faded

Richard Maxwell Drew was a son of Newett Drew, who came to the Overton area in 1818 and set up a store and grist mill where Cooley flows into Dorcheat. This was the lower landing, and a steamboat shop. I-20 cut thru the side of the cemetery and a dozer broke his stone while digging gravel. The family of Mr. Drew would like to buy this 1/10 acre so they can keep the cemetery up but it is not for sale at any price. The Police Jury would clean it up, but they would have to have ownership first.

RICHARD CLEVELAND DREW  (According to John Agan's Images of Minden's , page 13) , was admitted to the Louisiana in 1872. The Drew family's legal tradition includes having had a family member on the bench since 1850, covering 1850. R. C. Drew served as district attorney, parish judge, and, eventually judge of the court of appeals.  

                                                               

 HILANDE INGALSBY, born in Warren Couny, Pa. according to Clif Cardin. He may have been born 28 Aug 1838 This stone has had repair work done on it.

                                             

 

 

 

 

              Lucien Bonnner, (d/o of Sarah A Reed & J. L. Bonner)

                                       

Sacred to the Memory of

H. S. Newman of  Warren Co. Pa.

 died August 1859 AE 39 yrs.                          

                                                                                                                                                 

      

  The sculptured marble-   the according tomb   Shall moldering perish-   in the lapse of time;   But with thy friends   thy name shall live   While memory lasts and pity has a tear.

                                                                                             

Dr. Newman's tombstone showed up at Minden High School one day. No one knows how it got there.  The Neighborhood Museum has it now.  Now there are only two  standing cemetery markers at Overton Cemetery. He was the doctor who treated Little Cordelia Remer. When he died they buried him beside her grave. We have never known which side.  If you know e-mail MindenMemories@aol.com and tell us. 

 

             IN MEMORY of CORDELIA REMER

                   who departed this life

  
      DECEMBER 14, 1856  &  7 YEARS AND 7 MONTHS

OVERTON CEMETERY is located 2.7 miles South of Minden, Webster Parish. Take Hwy. #7 South of Minden on private property.  In 1951, Miss Reynolds social studies class was so interested in the Overton Cemetery she and a group of students hiked to the spot where the village once stood. They found the grave of little Cordelia Remer, the steamboat Captain's little seven-year old daughter who made the trip from New Orleans up the Mississippi, Red River, Loggy Bayou and Dorcheat to Overton. According to history, Cordelia died from bites of the mosquitoes. This was before medical science knew that malaria and yellow fever were caused by mosquitoes. The village of Overton and the old steamboat captain were heartbroken over little Cordelia's death. Dr. Newman who followed his little patient three years later in death is buried beside Cordelia. The old captain wanted to carry Cordelia's body to New Orleans to bury her beside her mother but could not do so as they did not have ways to preserve her body . The old Sea Captain buried her on the high hill at Overton. When his ship would travel thru he could see her grave as he passed by.

 

The stone of Cordelia Remer is still standing and has been repaired  with concrete support to preserve it. Another stone, Hilande Ingalsby has also had this same repair work done on it, Dr. Newman's grave marker was missing. The cemetery has not been cared for over the years.  Such a shame for this part of Minden's history. 

  When Overton was abandoned after the yellow fever epidemic of 1839 the parish seat was moved to Athens. Most of the inhabitants moved to Minden.

Thank you Sheriff Ted Riser and Ann Mays Harlan for this fantastic journey to Overton and the beautiful pictures.

The Lost Settlement of Overton

By:  John Agan, Webster Parish Historian, and columnist for the Minden Press-Herald

One standard feature of any school is one or more bookrooms. In them you can always find the expected items, plenty of textbooks, various classroom and office supplies, stored records, and tombstones. Yes, you read correctly, I did say tombstones.

Actually, that isn't a standard feature of a school bookroom, yet one bookroom at Minden High School did contain an actual tombstone a few years ago. Not only was the tombstone real, it was in fact historic, as one of the last physical remnants of an important Echo of Our Past, Minden's long-vanished sister community of Overton.

At the conclusion of this week's column, we will briefly discuss how a tombstone ended up in a school, but for now, here is part of the story of the tombstone and the nearly vanished Overton community and cemetery.

Overton

The settlement of Overton had its beginnings in about 1822, when Newitt Drew established a sawmill and a gristmill at the confluence of Cooley Creek and Dorcheat Bayou.

For more than a decade, Drew's location was the northern terminus of navigation on the Bayou and a business community grew up around the mill. Eventually, the town developed and became the Parish seat of old Claiborne Parish in 1836.

The village was named for the judge whose district sat there, John H. Overton. Overton beat out Charles Veeder's newly formed town of Minden in the competition for the parish seat.

Although the community was economically healthy, its physical location on low, swampy ground proved to be its undoing. On two different occasions,1839 and 1841, outbreaks of yellow fever or malaria struck the population. Some accounts place the death toll from these epidemics at more than 350.

Limited Future

It soon became clear that Overton's future as a community was limited because, as local historian Thomas Lorraine Campbell stated in a 1972 article,"the cemetery, on a hill about a quarter of a mile north and east of Overton, grew nearly as rapidly as the town."

As the population waned, Overton lost its status as parish seat to Athens in 1846, and by the end of the Civil War, almost all traces of the community were gone.

The site of Drew's enterprises, known as Minden Lower Landing, continued to flourish until the end of the steamboat era in the 1880s, but no one dared live on the unhealthy ground.

In fact, as Mrs. Campbell also mentioned, some bodies were even moved from the Overton Cemetery to the Minden Cemetery so family members would avoid the trip to the swampy site of the former village.

A Last Reminder

As the years passed, and gravel excavation created the "bar pits," the site of Overton was gradually swallowed up by the diggings.

Some local residents can recall seeing the piers that supported the old warehouses still standing near the bayou, but even those are gone today.

The last reminder of the lost town of Overton was its cemetery on the hill, but even it was not safe from destruction. Sections of the cemetery, which once contained dozens of graves, disappeared, either from the effects of commercial activity or from the wear and tear of time.

In addition, many of the graves had been unmarked as the bodies were buried with the haste necessary in a time of epidemic. By 1930, when local historian Dr. Luther Longino wrote his account of Overton's Cemetery, he found only three tombstones remaining in the graveyard: Cordelia Remer, Philander Inglesby, and Dr. H. S. Newman.

In 1971, Mrs. Campbell was able to view those same three markers, plus the stones of Lucian Olivai Bonner, daughter of J. L. and Sarah Reed Bonner, and Judge Richard M. Drew, son of Newitt Drew.


The Drew family plot, that once contained at least 4 graves, had been destroyed by either gravel digging or road construction years earlier, but family members had returned the only remaining marker, that of Richard Drew to the cemetery site.

Modern Visit

In March 2001, Mike O'Rourke of  Doyline inventoried the cemetery once again and found four of the five gravestones that were present in 1971 were still at the site, with only the bookroom stone missing from Mrs. Campbell's list. Our story will deal with the three graves Dr. Longino viewed in 1930.

All play a part in the story of the bookroom tombstone. The story of that stone is intertwined with one of the best-known accounts of Overton, the story of Cordelia Remer, recounted in local legend and first recorded by Longino.

Dr. Longino had the opportunity to talk with several residents who had been born or lived at one time in Overton, and they recounted this tragic story that he preserved for future generations. George R. Remer was a riverboat captain.

He piloted vessels on the Mississippi, up the Red River into Loggy Bayou, Lake Bistineau and eventually up Bayou Dorcheat, in those years when such navigation was possible. Remer invested in property and businesses in Overton and considered the village an unofficial home, even though he spent nearly all his time on the water and had a wife living in New Orleans.

A Tragedy

In the early 1830s, the wife died, leaving Remer with a small daughter, Cordelia, who had been born in 1829 in New Orleans. After the death of Mrs. Remer, Cordelia lived with her father on his boat. While such an atmosphere might not seem proper to rear a child, Remer wanted to keep his daughter close, and had apparently sold his home in New Orleans.

We don't know how long this arrangement lasted, but little Cordelia probably enjoyed the exciting trips up from New Orleans on the Mississippi past Baton Rouge, into the Red River and past the growing town of Alexandria, and eventually to the end of the line at Overton.

In December 1836, Remer piloted his ship into port at Overton once again. However, this stop was not "business as usual."

Shortly before reaching Overton, Cordelia Remer had fallen ill with what has been reported to be a case of yellow fever.

Whatever the malady, by the time the vessel reached Overton, she was gravely ill. Dr. H. S. Newman, the village's physician was summoned to care for the little girl.

The doctor, who had received excellent medical training in his home state of Pennsylvania, did everything he could. Unfortunately, the disease was too far advanced and Cordelia was too weak.
She died on December 14, 1836, at the age of seven years and one month. With no way to preserve the body for the long trip to bury Cordelia by her mother in New Orleans, George Remer decided the child would be interred in Overton. Tradition says hers was the first grave in Overton Cemetery, and it was lovingly marked with a marble tombstone.

Although the marker has been disturbed several times over the years, it still remains on the old cemetery site, overlooking the bayou that the father and daughter traveled together. So it is not Cordelia's stone that can be found in the bookroom.

But what of Philander Inglesby and Dr. Newman, what were their stories, and why were they in this little village on the bayou. H.S. Newman had been born about 1805 in Warren County, Pennsylvania, along the northwestern border of Pennsylvania and New York.

A Physician

The son of Jeremiah Newman, he was trained as a physician and by the mid 1820s settled in the county seat, also named Warren. Here he married Sarah Ditmars, daughter of a family that had moved into the area from New Jersey.

On July 30, 1827, while giving birth to their first child, Sarah Ditmars Newman died, along with the infant.

The heartbroken physician buried his little family in the Old Fifth Street Cemetery along the Conewango Creek in Warren. It seems the memories of his loss, combined with the opening of the new frontier to the west, sparked a westward move for H. S. Newman.

He most likely came down the Ohio River, into the Mississippi, then into the Red for the long trip that ended at Overton. Circumstantial evidence would indicate he brought as a traveling companion, Philander Inglesby, a younger son of one of the most prominent families in Warren. It seems too much of a coincidence that two residents of the same small Pennsylvania community ended up in Overton by chance. We know that Newman had reached Overton sometime between 1830 and 1836.


No doubt he was kept busy by the many outbreaks of disease that plagued the village. We can only guess that the tragic death of little Cordelia, and her burial near a small stream brought back memories to Dr. Newman of his own loss nearly 10 years earlier. Then on August 28, 1838, his friend Philander Inglesby, died at the age of 31. It seems likely that one of the mosquito borne diseases claimed Inglesby during that summer, and once again Newman faced a tragic loss.
Inglesby's tombstone, although showing the effect of years and many disruptions, is still on the site of the Overton Cemetery.

Fever Strikes

Dr. Newman only continued his medical practice in Overton for about one more year. On August 6, 1839, during what would have been the first great yellow fever epidemic at Overton, H. S. Newman was claimed by the diseases he had fought for the last few years.

He was buried there in the Overton Cemetery near his friend (probably from childhood), Philander Inglesby. The epitaph carved on Newman's tombstone was strangely prophetic of the fate of the Overton community and cemetery.

In 1972, Mrs. Campbell used that epitaph as the opening for her article in the North Louisiana Historical Journal. It read: "The sculptured marble, the according tomb shall moldering perish in the lapse of time; but with thy friends thy name shall live while memory lasts and pity has a tear. Peace to thy ashes forever rest in peace."

By 1971, the prediction about the stone was true, Mrs. Campbell found it dislodged from its base and propped against a tree. The base was lost, so the original spot of Newman's burial was lost to time.
Unfortunately, the monument of his memory seemed also to be lost, as no one in the local community, even by the time of Dr. Longino had any memory of Dr. Newman, other than his role in the death of Cordelia Remer.

In the summer of 2001, I received a phone call from Morris Busby, the Principal of Minden High School. He reported that he had a tombstone in one of his book rooms, and it belonged to a Dr. H. S. Newman.

That call started my research and led to this story. It is interesting to note that while Dr. Newman's final resting place was at one point disturbed by road construction, the construction of streets in Warren, Pennsylvania disturbed the graves of his wife and child. In 1863, a bridge was constructed over the Conewango Creek and the town expropriated the land occupied by the Old Fifth Street Cemetery, where Sarah Newman and her baby were buried. All the graves in that cemetery were moved to the Oakland Cemetery in Warren.

Aside

Now for a little bit of modern mystery we will return to the MHS bookroom. In 1971, Dr. Newman's tombstone was still on the site of the Overton Cemetery. In 2001, it was in a bookroom at Minden High School.

The question is when and how did it change locations. Today, the stone has been moved from the high school to a location where it can be preserved as a memory of the journey of Dr. H. S. Newman from Pennsylvania to Louisiana on to becoming a haunting Echo of Our Past.


John Agan is a local historian and adjunct instructor at Bossier Parish Community College. He also works in the Louisiana and Genealogy Section of the Webster Parish Library and is a published author. His column appears Fridays in the Minden Press-Herald.

I asked Ted about the rock house on the Crichton/Treat property. It is still standing and in good repair. The Chrichton family still uses the house for private family gatherings. The house has never been "lived in." It has always been the family "party house."  It was built in 1932. Ted volunteered to take us on a tour on the entire 300 acres. I got pictures of the rock house, the rock boat house and some of the lake on the property. I ran our of film and Larry ran out of storage on my digital camera. My film and memory strip were in my car back at the Riser's home The entire acreage is well cared for and a beautiful place. What a great afternoon.   Ann.

PARTY HOUSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOAT HOUSE: When Overton was abandoned after the yellow fever epidemic of 1839 the parish seat was moved to Athens. Most of the inhabitants moved to Minden. 

Thank you Sheriff Ted Riser and Ann Mays Harlan for the fantastic journey to Overton and the beautiful pictures.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webster Parish Centennial 1871 - 1971

Written by the Police Jury

Submitted by Ann Mays Harlan

 

 

 

 

              OVERTON CEMETERY
                           TOMBSTONE RECOVERY
                            FEBRUARY 26, 2011

Yesterday Drew White(son of Beth Drew White, MHS 1960) two of his fine young friends, and I made the long-awaited trek to the bluff of Overton Cemetery.
 
Two or three previous attempts were unsuccessful as the area now is fairly well overgrown. As Ann Mays Harlan mentioned in her wonderful story about the cemetery, the trek is interesting at the least and a challenge at best, physically.
 
The family's purpose for going to the cemetery was to bring back and get repaired the tombstone of Richard Maxwell Drew. That will be done and it will be placed in the Drew Plot in the Minden Cemetery. A new tombstone will be put in its place at Overton.
 
We took great pause in looking at the tombstone of little Cordelia Remer, buried at age 7 years one month. That is bothering me to the point of trying to get some professional restoration on that tombstone and of the others. There were many more graves in earlier times but the bulldozers managed to clear them off quite well with searching for gravel and building I-20.  Most of those buried there died from Yellow Fever in the many epidemics that plagued the area.
 
The push now is, as Ann has mentioned, to have the police jury establish that hallowed ground as a memorial place. It is in fact the first cemetery of Overton.  And, Overton was the first parish seat of Claiborne Parish(there was no Webster Parish at that time). The amount of land is miniscule, I estimate 1/20 of an acre, perhaps 40' by 50'. 
 
My brother Richard has approached the owners of the land but things have not worked out in that regard.
 
If any of your readers have any interest in preserving the history of Overton it would be helpful for them to approach the Webster Parish Police Jury and let their feelings be heard.
 
I had heard of this cemetery my whole life.It now is the time for another attempt by my age group to work on this. In a few years, it will have to be the work of others.
 
Thanks,
Tom Carey
MHS 1965
 
(I am about to forward pictures, some or all you may already have)
 



Richard Maxwell Drew Tombstone Recovery Effort Feb 26, 2011


Lower half of R.M. Drew tombstone 

 
This one gave us great pause - Memory of Cordelia Remer

3rd. full tombstone still present

 

One afternoon Ted Riser gave Ann Harlan a tour of the cemetery. She asked him
about the rock house located on the Crichton/Treat property. The entire acreage
is well cared for and a beautiful place located on three hundred acres. They may
be the owners of the cemetery.

Dr. Newman's stone is in the Dorcheat Museum after it ended up in the book room at MHS during the 1980s. Hilande Ingalsby came south to Overton with Dr. Newman after Dr. Newman's wife and child(children?) died in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Many thanks to the Drew descendants for their efforts to save this cemetery. I know that they were the only ones who tried to do anything when the construction of I-20 devastated the cemetery and I surely hope Richard will be successful in his negotiations with the present owners so the small portion of the cemetery that remains can be preserved.

John Agan, Webster Parish Historian

I thought I read it was in a museum, I asked Richard about it and he said he did not know

 
Wonder if a replica should be made of that one and place back atop the bluff?
We are going to ask Judge Drew to take an active part in trying to have the police jury do something about the oldest cemetery  in the parish seat of Claiborne Parish. Stay tuned.
 
Thanks,
Tom Carey, Class of 1965
 

One of her sisters was Georgianna Remer, wife of John Andrew Jackson Inabnett
My MHS classmate was John Inabnett, presumably the Great(?Great) Grandson of J.A.J. Inabnett and Georgianna. (Henry was a few years ahead of Johnny at MHS)


George R. Remer (Abt. 1805-1869) Born in Oneida County, NY married Jane A.(last name unknown) of NY. (It is believed that his middle name is Richard).In 1837 he was in New Orleans,LA where at least one of his children was born. In April 1843 he purchased 79 acres in Section 10 of Claiborne Parish, LA..In the 1850 Census for Claiborne Parish, LA he is listed with his wife, mother and children. All children are listed as being born in LA. His mother is Elizabeth Remer (b. Abt. 1784). He is the father of Margaret A. (1837-) married James M. Jones in Bossier Parish, LA on 1/6/1857.; Georgianna (1838-before 1900) married on Sept.27, 1859 in Bossier Parish to John Andrew Jackson Inabnett (1834-1908)

Submitted by Dr. Tom Carey, Class of 1965

 

You were kind to send me an email address for Henry Inabnett but try as I can, it is no where today.   There will be an Overton Cemetery gathering as mentioned on December 3, 2011 at approximately        11:45 A.M.A local Minister will be present to bless the sacred grounds. The R. M. Drew tombstone has  been moved to old Minden Cemetery next to his son's resting site (R.C. Drew).   But, a new one will be placed at Overton for the ages. I hope to pursue the same for the other broken ones there.   I am trying to gather more information for the Minister on Cordelia Remer. The other child buried there was   a great grandchild of R.M. Drew's sister, Jane Hays Drew, and there is little left but maybe enough to piece together. Cordelia's stone is in fairly good shape.   In short, I am trying to reach Henry or any others of that family to gather information and to see if there is interest in restoration of the tombstone of Cordelia Remer, age 7, died 1856.   Any help would be appreciated.  Thank You   Tom Carey, Class of 1965 318-548-9400 cell 318-513-9400 office 318-255-9432 home