LOCATION: In the SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W of Harrison County between D'Iberville and the Sunkist area of West Biloxi. The site is in cut over pine woods northwest of the Biloxi Par Three Golf Course at 1734 Popps Ferry Road.
DIRECTIONS: From the Biloxi Public
Library on Lameuse Street in Biloxi go north to its terminus at Bay View
Drive. Turn left (west) on Bay View and go .36 miles to the I-110 Bridge.
Go north across the I-110 Bridge for 2.63 miles to I-10. Take the
New Orleans entrance to the left (west) and go on I-10 for 2.25 miles to
the Cedar Lake exit (Exit 44). Go south (left) on Cedar Lake Road
.53 miles to Popps Ferry Road.
Turn right (west) at Popps Ferry Road and go .38 miles. Stop and park off the road. The Hamilton Cemetery is in the wooded area approximately 1/4 mile north of the road. The cemetery is small and may be difficult to locate because of the undergrowth.
HISTORY: The Hamilton Cemetery is
a small, apparently abandoned, pioneer cemetery located in the South Cedar
Lake area of West Biloxi. The cemetery site is located in cut
over pine woods and shrub thickets just north of the Popps Ferry Road and west of the Biloxi Par Three Golf Course.
This area of Harrison County was settled in the 1840s and 1850s by Swiss (Hosli-Husley), German (Schmidt and Moffitts), and Irish (Hamilton) Families. They made their livelihoods from the sea as mariners and the land as farmers.
William Hamilton (1833-1860) and Mary Keenan (1834-1907) were Irish immigrants from Queens County. Queens County is now called Laois and is located in Leinster Prov-
ince, a region of farming, dairying, and textiles. Port Laoise, the county seat, is fifty miles southwest of Dublin, the capital of Ireland.
The Hamiltons bought the S/2 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from William Overstreet in April 1856 (Harrison County Deed Records Book 73, pp.280-281). On their 80 acres homestead, the Hamilton reared four children: Sarah (b. 1857), James (b. 1858), Mary (b. 1859), and Minerva (b. 1860).
The 1860 US Census of Harrison County lists the death of a William Hamilton (born Kentucky) in February of that year. This is probably the Irishman, William Hamilton, as he does not appear in the future censuses with his family. Mary Hamilton married Andrew Ager in April 1898.
Two of the Hamilton girls married men in their neighborhood. Mary
Jacob Henry Husley (1868-1948) in November 1883. This union produced at least three
children: Jacob Henry, Jr. (1885-1965), Joseph Fabian (1896-1918), and Mary Josephine (b. 1896).
Sarah Hamilton took Peter Baijah Lamey (b. 1847) as her husband in February
1883. They were childless. In her will signed only eleven days before
her death on November 17, 1907, Mary Hamilton Ager legated her real estate
to her daughters, Sarah H. Lamey and Mary L. Husley (Harrison County Will
Book 3, p. 136). Mrs. Lamey conveyed her interest to her sister,
Mary Husley, in June 1915 (Harrison County Deed Book 112, p. 155).
When Mary L. Husley sold the SW/4 of Section 12, T7S- R10W to William Schmidt on December 21, 1918, the deed stated:
"less one half acre, lying and being in the
SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W, on which is now located a cemetery
and an easement or right of way across said land to
said cemetery" (Harrison County Deed Book 122, pp. 548-549)
Currently, the Hamilton Cemetery is in an abandoned
and deteriorating condition. From the remaining fence post and iron
fencing, it appears the dimensions of the Hamilton
Cemetery were 24 feet by 16 feet. Approximately five feet of the southeast perimeter of the cemetery is still fenced. The original fence was constructed from pine post which are
4 feet above ground and are about 6 inches in diameter. The rectangular iron fencing is composed of a 5 inch by 7 inch pattern. The gate is gone, but the entrance appears to have been about 4 feet wide. A 6 inch strap hinge remains at the bottom of the north gate post.
The primary structure remaining in the small cemetery is the tomb of Mary Hamilton Ager. Her tomb was built with red brick and mortar, and covered with a thin veneer of
cement. When wet, the cement appears to have been scored to give the appearance of 11 inch by 17 inch blocks. Mrs. Ager's resting place is 9 feet long, 4 feet wide, and is 4
feet at its maximum height above ground level. Her marble marker has dimensions of 23 inches by 30 inches. The name W.A. Pool is inscribed in the southeast corner of the
marker. Pool was a monument dealer in Biloxi in the early 1900s who operated from 765 Croesus Street.
In addition to the Ager crypt, there are three, weath-ered cypress headboards. These wooden structures are ap-proximately 15 inches wide and 4 1/2 feet tall tapering at
the top. No lettering remains to identify the graves that these objects once marked. Two of the headboards are found atop the Ager tomb to cover an apparent intrusion by vandals
into the resting place.
Assuming that graves are 4 feet wide and 9 feet in length, there is space in the Hamilton Cemetery for four additional graves. Kenneth Lamey in his research of the
cemetery has anecdotal evidence provided by Mrs. Eliza Lamey Rushing that at least two additional persons are buried here. They are Alexander Lamey (1804-1890) and Darithula
Latimer Lamey (1827-1876). It should be safe to assume that William Hamilton (1833-1860), the first husband of Mary Keenan, is also buried here.
Mary Hamilton Ager 5-19-1834 to 11-17-1907
William Hamilton 1833-1860
Darithula Latimer Lamey 1827-1876
Biloxi City Directory-1905, (The Biloxi Daily Herald
Printery: Biloxi - 1905), Volume 1, p. 123.
Biloxi Herald, "Necrology-Mrs. Mary Ager", November 18,
1907, p. 2, col. 4.
Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster,
Inc.: Springfield, Massachusetts - 1984), p. 648.
US Census, 1850, 1860, and 1870 - Harrison County, Missis-
Kenneth Lamey March 6, 1992
Mark J. Lamey March 6, 1992
Fabian Husley March 11, 1992
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