Past and Current Efforts at Making a Census

Pleasant Forest Cemetery has been recorded at least three times prior to the current work. The earliest existing record in the McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library, was taken by Mrs. Ruby A. Templeton Smith and updated through 1984. Another record was taken by Mr. Robert McGinnis and is also in the McClung Historical Collection. In October of 1983 a team of recorders, many of them members of the Pleasant Forest Cemetery Board of Directors, under the direction of J. Hobart Bartlett of Salt Lake City, made a record of the inscriptions. That record was distributed to members of the team.

 The present work represents not only a current reading of the stones but cross checking in a concerted effort to reconcile the numerous variances in the three previous readings. There are several records of inscriptions from the earlier works but the stones were not found in the 1994 effort. These are included in this record but no location has been assigned.

The present work began by using plot plans held by the Cemetery Board. The first plan represents lots sold after the church and school were removed and are numbered 1 through 103. The second plan includes lots 104 through 180. Included in this section is an expansion of the original property resulting from a gift to the cemetery. The deed, dated February 10, 1975 and recorded in Knox County Deed Book 1547, page 1024 reads in part: James Ira and Elsie Lawson Campbell, Frank Guinn, Lonnie Campbell, Clemmie Hobbs Glen Everette Frank Russell, Jr., Charlie Irwin, and J.I. Crenshaw...

Lots 1-180 are approximately 20'x20' in size and most of them are defined by corner markers. Many have been subdivided into halves or quarters. The lots in the oldest section of the cemetery, that is, the portion from the site of the church (lot 44 on the map) eastward to Concord Road are not officially numbered. They are not defined by corner markers and the graves do not follow a straight line pattern. Therefore, a grid was laid out corresponding as nearly as possible ot the numbered lots, and numbers were assigned in order to establish a locating device. Several distinctive stones have been identified on the map to aid in location of lots. In the 1990's additional sections west of the cemetery road were opened and are identified on the second grid map as 500's and 600's.

Previous records of Pleasant Forest Cemetery have included only burials in the "white" portion of the cemetery. The present record includes two sections of Pleasant Forest which are recognized as burial sites of black citizens of the community. Section "B" is west of Concord Road and within the circle drive around the cemetery. Section "E" is directly across Concord Road from the main portion of Pleasant Forest.

Knox County deed book 95, page 424, contains the following record probably concerning the portion of the cemetery designated herein as Section B.

W.W. and Annie Nelson, Eliza J. Nelson and Julia A. Russell, wife of M.L. Russell to Trustees for Colored Peoples Graveyard, Benjamine Hardin, Calvin Lytle, George Russell, William Crookshanks and their successors, 1 2/3 acres $50 October 24, 1889




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