This monument is in Jasper.
This monument is also in Jasper, in the Bankhead family section.
We were in Jasper on Sunday on business and part of our trip involved visiting the cemetery there. I know people that never go to cemeteries – ever – but I have always felt very comfortable around them, in fact we go to cemeteries in cities where we hardly know anyone just to see the monuments (I mean, some of them are just incredible).
My Nanny z”l took me with her to cemeteries very often since I was very, very small. We would go several times a week to check on flowers, do a little walking, and do lots of talking – and I would hear the best stories. Nanny grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody, so when we would go through, I got to hear all sorts of happy and sad, weird and wonderful family stories and history about all sorts of people. In the cemetery where my PawPaw z”l and MawMaw z”l Fossett are buried, the Fossett stone is one of the first ones you see among all the others because it is tall and a really pretty mauve-ish granite. I’m sure Nanny had a lot to do with picking it out.
Marker of Queen Kelly Mitchell in Meridian
Above is the grave marker of Queen Kelly Mitchell in Meridian, MS. The story is that she died in 1915 while giving birth at a camp in Coatopa, Alabama (which is west of Demopolis). Her family brought her to Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian to be buried. A recollection of that event can be found at this very good site that also refers to the rest of the family of Emil Mitchell, who was Kelly’s husband, the “King of the Gypseys”. The story goes on about the burial customs and the fact that the grave was reinforced with steel bars and concrete so as to discourage thieves (because apparently many fine things were buried along with her body for use on the other side of the Styx).
collection of items left on Kelly Mitchell’s marker
I have heard that when the Roma come through Meridian, they leave items on Kelly’s marker. Visitors do as well (people seem to do that a lot…people leave all kinds of things in Montgomery at Hank Williams’ grave….guitar pics, whisky bottles, etc. Next time I go through, I’ll post a picture). This gravesite also seems to be a spot for people who do geocaching, so I’m pretty sure that some amount of this must have been left from them. Whenever we go through Meridian, we stop at Rose Hill to see what’s on the markers. It is different every time.
Along with Kelly Mitchell are buried her husband, Emil, who died in 1942 close to Attalla (AL), Flora Mitchell (Emil’s sister), Joe “Sharkie” Mitchell and Princess Diana Sharkey Mitchell, Slatcho Mitchell, Helen and Frank Mitchell, Mehil Mitchell, Lawrence Mitchell, Nicholas Gulumba, Costa George Bimbo, and Ovdoikia George Bimbo.