Historic Watson Cemetery Rescued From Vanishing Without A Trace

by | Nov 9, 2017 | City News, Community, Hanceville, Images, Interviews, People, Videos

Henry Basinger was born in 1800. He lived 47 years.

Mr. Basinger was the first person entombed in what is now known as the Historic Watson Cemetery.

The Historic Watson Cemetery exists in a hidden-from-common-sight location in the northern portion of the City of Hanceville.

This small settler-days cemetery is home to just seven known human burial sites. It is possible that more residents of Hanceville have been laid in memorial here (including possible slaves). However, there are no markers or written historical documents to affirm that theory.

The last known burial was in 1895 with the interment of Nancy Bradford Watson.

With the passing of more than 100 years, this cemetery became neglected, overgrown and all but forgotten. A modern apartment complex was erected immediately to the north of this site in the late 1900’s making the graveyard even more invisible.

Without human intervention, this burial site would have decayed and eroded, leaving the memories of these early pioneers of the City of Hanceville to be expunged by natural processes and a fading recollection of ancestral history.

Fortunately for those buried at this location, the Hanceville Historic Group came to the rescue.

For several years, this group of committed Hanceville residents has been working to map, clean-up, restore, and revitalize this sacred monument to the city’s beginnings.

The Hanceville Historic Group comprises itself of:

• Betty Dover
• Delton Blalock
• Norman Boone
• Pam Reid
• Shirley Burden
• Eddie Burkart
• Margie Burkart

These committed and tenacious citizens formed the Hanceville Historic Preservation Commission. This agency became capable of acquiring funding as a non-profit organization.

With assistance from 200 Alabama Bicentennial and a grant from the Cullman County Community Economic Commission, the Historic Watson Cemetery has been re-done and brought up to safe, modern, and proper legal status.

In this interview, we speak with several members of the group as well as Drew Green, Chairman of the Cullman County Bicentennial Commision. They provide full historical and logistic details about this newly up-to-date cemetery:

On Tuesday morning, Brother Paul Campbell (Pastor of First Methodist Church of Hanceville) joined all of the parties above at Historic Watson Cemetery for an official public dedication.

Based on the committed excellence of this small group of citizens, the Historic Watson Cemetery stands rescued from vanishing without a trace.

As a result, the eternal memories of the following residents now proudly carry on:

Nathan Watson (1810-1886)
Nancy Bradford Watson (1810-1895)

Daniel J. Watson (1837-1864)
William J, Watson (1839-1861)
Henry N. Watson (1853-1864)

Henry Basinger (1800-1847)
Lucinda Watson Basinger (1808-1894)

The Historic Watson Cemetery is now on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Historic Watson Cemetery Rescued From Vanishing Without A Trace

All images by http://cullmanphotography.com

CLICK Any Image To Enlarge

Historic Watson Cemetery in City of Hanceville
Historic Watson Cemetery Rescued From Vanishing Without A Trace

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.