It was the public burial ground for residents of the town, free and slave, until churches and other groups established separate cemeteries. By the time of the last major yellow fever outbreak in 1878, there were hundreds of graves, many or most unmarked today. Only 6 monuments date after 1900. During the later part of the 20th century, the old public burial ground became a pasture and woodlot. Today, efforts are being made to conserve the 100-odd 19th century monuments, conduct historic and archaeological investigations, and beautify the site with native vegetation and Victorian ornamentals and make it an historic and recreational asset for all residents.
Many early officials of the city and county, as well as merchants and tradesmen, and their families and servants are buried here. While there are only around 100 grave markers, and these mostly represent the most prosperous families, there are probably 500-1000 burials present on the site. Probably, many graves were marked only with wood boards or posts, plantings, or earthen mounds decorated with the deceased’s cup, bowl, bottle, or other personal effects like conch-shell calling horns. After Emancipation, several prominent Freed men and women had monuments erected to their memory.
THE FRIENDS OF SPRINGHILL
Springhill Historic Memorial Garden Cemetery is owned and operated by Friends of Springhill.
The Friends of Springhill Historic Memorial Garden is a group of over 300 people who have joined together and volunteered over the past 6 years. Members of this group include citizens of Mississippi who recognize the importance Springhill Cemetery holds as DeSoto County’s oldest cemetery. Several group members belong to the DeSoto Civic Garden Club, the Explorer’s Club, and the Hernando Civic Garden Club. Many group members are current and former students at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Also involved from the college are the teachers of the Art, Civil Tech, Welding, Botany, and Drafting & Design Technology departments.