Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Old Graveyard Bell

The old graveyard bell at historic Keyes Cemetery in western Itawamba County has greeted visitors at the old cemetery's entrance since the 1800's. During the olden days, the tolling of the bell would announce the death of local residents.


Anonymous said...

I did some research on the manufacturer of the bell and sent it in to you through the Society website. I found it interesting. I have heard rumors that the bell is from an old school yard. I was wondering what you know of it?

Bob Franks said...

Thanks for writing Oliver. I received your excellent article about the old Keyes Graveyard bell. Some very interesting research there about the manufacturing company. I too, wonder about where the bell came from. It is interesting to note that in the records of nearby Hopewell Baptist Church the following notations are in the old minute books:

August 1880: A bell was received from Walley Keyes. Sexton C.A. Gillentine is to ring it at the proper time.

June 1887: The bell was removed to the graveyard.

The above entries makes me wonder if this refers to the bell that is located at Keyes Graveyard. The dates of the entries seem to agree with the manufacturing years of the company and today I don't think there is a bell at the small Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery. It makes me wonder if "the cemetery" in the above notation is referring to Keyes.

Anonymous said...

It very well could be. Anything is possible!