Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

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Cox Cemetery - Old Ocean Springs

 

LOCATION:   This cemetery is abandoned.  It was formerly located in the SW/4, SW/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W on lands owned by George Allen Cox (1811-1887).  Presently this site is north of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) in an area west of the PFG Precisicion Optics at 733 Bienville and east of the Oak Cove Townhouse development.

 

HISTORY:   The Cox Cemetery was a family burial plot for members of the Cox and VanCleave families.  It was named for George Allen Cox (1811-1887).  Cox was an entrepreneurial pioneer at Ocean Springs.  He was born in Tennessee in 1811, and settled in Holmes County (1838) where he ran a sawmill.  He married a widow, Sarah Ann Sheppard, in 1850.  They owned a plantation in Yazoo County, and a summer home, Magnolia Grove, on the beach at Ocean Springs, which they discovered in the early 1850s. 

By 1854, Cox was well established at Ocean Springs.  He owned the local newspaper, The Gazette, and had substantial real estate holdings in the area.  In December 1859, Cox acquired 78.35 acres from Desoto Avenue north to Fort Bayou,

and from Martin east to Church Street.  This tract was the site of the later Cox homestead and burial plot.  Cox built a home on Fort Bayou and constructed a wharf to handle

charcoal and other forest products which came down the bayou from the Bluff Creek area to the northeast.

            Cox's stepdaughter, Eliza Sheppard (1842-1912), married R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908) of Yazoo City.  They settled at Ocean Springs in 1867.  Mr. VanCleave built a general store along Bluff Creek in 1868 to supply forest workers in that area.  In time the settlement took his name, VanCleave.  At Ocean Springs, R.A. VanCleave was postmaster (1872-1882), ran a mercantile store, and built a hotel near the L&N depot in May 1880.

            In the 1930s, a WPA work party exhumed the remains of the Cox and VanCleave family members buried at the Cox Cemetery, and moved them to the VanCleave Family Plot at the Evergreen Cemetery.

 

REGISTER*

 

George Allen Cox                    1811 to August 2, 1887

Sarah Ann Sheppard Cox              1820 to ?

Henry VanCleave                     died at eight years

Walter Haven Covington

Fannie VanCleave Covington          died 1893

Walter Haven Covington (infant)

Ora Mead Covington (infant)

 

*  from Vertalee Bradford VanCleave and Irma Covington Tate

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

Regina Hines, Ocean Springs, 1892, 2nd Edition (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula - 1991), pp. 9-10.

 

Bettie J. Marsh, The Neaves Story: The History of a Southern Family in the 19th Century, (1979), pp., 4, 5, 98, and 100.

 

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972), p. 29.

 

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Robert Adrian VanCleave", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula - 1989), pp. 376-377.

 

The Pascagoula Democratic-Star"The Entirely New VanCleave Hotel", June 25, 1880, p. 1.