Cemetery Sunday: Stonecypher Cemetery, Rabun Co., GA

Today for your reading pleasure, we have a cemetery that can be visited in a regular car.

To get to the cemetery from Clayton, Georgia, in Rabun County, take Hwy. 76 west toward Hiawassee. Turn left onto Hwy. 197 toward Moccasin Creek State Park, then turn left on Moccasin Creek Road. There’s a sign on the right for the cemetery and a small parking spot just beyond that.

Stonecypher Cemetery holds a number of grave sites, many of them marked with inscribed stones, and just as many not.

Many of the graves are grouped into family plots, like those of the Addis family, located on the side of the cemetery nearest the parking area.

Bill and Elaine English surveyed this cemetery in 1997, and placed the survey online. Because of the availability of a good survey and the number of inscribed markers, I’ll only highlight a few here.

Eliza Chastain
Born Jan. 31, 1842
Died Sept. 30, 1904

J. B. Wall
Oct. 15, 1840
May 23, 1910
Dear parents th’o we miss you much,
We know you rest with God.

Ida Wall
Born Mar. 14, 1886
Died Feb. 4, 1917
I am the resurrection and the life

And, of course, the Stonecyphers, whose family plot lies on the far side of the cemetery from the parking area.

The above picture is of the graves of William and Malissa V. Stonecypher, husband and wife. Several other Stonecyphers were buried adjacent to this area.

In memory of
William Stonecypher
Born Aug. 30, 1826
Died Aug. 23, 1899
Age 72 years 11 Mo. 23

In memory of
Malissa V.
Wife of Wm Stonecypher
Feb. 22, 1834
May 11, 1894
Age 60 yrs
Having finished life’s duty
She now sweetly rests

Malissa’s marker contains a memorial to William on the back.

In memory of
Wm Stonecypher
Aug. 30, 1826
Aug. 23, 1899
Age 72 years
Kind father of love thou art gone to rest
Forever to bask mid the joys of the blest

William was well-thought-of in Rabun County. His obituary appeared in the 24 August 1899 issue of The Clayton Tribune:

An Old Landmark Gone.

Mr. William Stonecypher, of Burton, an aged and highly respected citizen of this county, died at his home Tuesday night about midnight, from the effects of a fall from a ladder the same day. Mr. Stonecypher has been troubled with something like paralytic strokes for some time past and it is thought he was so affected at the time he fell. Mr. Stonecypher is a native of the county, having been born near his home place and spent his long and useful life near the place of his birth. The deceased had many relatives in the county. He is an Uncle of Senator W. J. Green and our Clerk of Superior Court J. S. Ramey. The bereaved have the sympathy of the entire community.

Prior to William’s death, a man identified as “Uncle Billy” wrote several letters to The Tribune which the editor, J. A. Reynolds, published with glee. Here’s an excerpt from a letter published in the 6 January 1899 issue:

Old Time Quilting.

Away back in the 40’s when times were good and people were more neighborly and honest, is the time I will talk about. There are a few left yet that were young then who know that what I write is true. In those days there were not many people in the county–a few roads, mostly trails. Such things as we have now were never heard of then–such as organs, buggies, stores, fine clothes and such were not know. I remember Uncle Bill K—-, of the Valley, had some boys and girls, all grown up. Well, they gave a quilting and Log Rolling. The whole country went, some rode mules, some went in ox carts, some walked, but we all got there by time to do a full day’s work. The girls went to quilting, the old women went to smacking their lips telling of old times, and the middle aged women went to cooking dinner. The boys and young men went to rolling logs and trying their strength, the old men to taking their bitters and smoking their pipes and telling of their manhood in days past…

Uncle Billy and William Stonecypher were likely the same person, if a letter to the editor published in the 30 March 1899 issue of The Tribune is anything to go by. The signature of the writer was likely included in the part of the paper that had been torn away. The letter detailed the goings-on of what was likely the Burton community, and stated that “Uncle Billy Stonecypher has sown his tobacco bed and spend his time looking after his sitting hens.”

If so, then William was certainly a lively character of whom his many descendants can be proud.

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