Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wayne County's Elmwood Cemetery

Tombstone of Milton J. Ferguson
The Elmwood Cemetery, located just off State Route 37 in Wayne County, is one of the area's largest cemeteries, still receiving burials in the present day.  However, the cemetery began, as many do, as a small private, family cemetery for the Ferguson Family before being incorporated into a larger, public burial ground.

The Ferguson Family of Wayne County begins with Samuel, and his wife, Mary Jameson, both of whom were believed to have been born and raised in Ireland before coming to America, and eventually settling in Wythe County, VA in the mid-1700s.  One of their sons, William Leonard Ferguson, was born in Wythe County in 1777 and would go on to marry Sarah Stokes in that county in 1799.  A few years later, their son Milton Jameson Ferguson was born, on October 3, 1801.

Some time between 1803 and 1808, the family moved to what is now Wayne County, West Virginia (at the time, the area in which they lived was still a part of Cabell County, VA). 

According to a personal account, found at THIS SITE, it is a local legend that it is the spirit of Milton J. Ferguson who has haunted the cemetery since his death on December 9, 1853.  In fact, his spirit is said to "welcome" visitors to the cemetery, as they enter the old, Ferguson family plot.  The author of the account listed seemed skeptical at first, but did note that a feeling of uneasiness permeated the area.  Later photo analysis (unavailable) showed unexplained anomalies.

This is the only account I've heard of a possible haunting at this particular cemetery, so I'd love to hear from anyone out there who has more information to share!  Also, remember the next time you visit this cemetery, be sure to greet Mr. Ferguson and the rest of the Ferguson clan buried at Elmwood Cemetery!  As an aside...there is another member of the Ferguson Family who is NOT buried at Elmwood.  Milton's son, Milton Jameson, Jr., who went by Jameson, was an extremely prominent citizen in Wayne County, being admitted to the bar at the age of 20, and serving as a Colonel, and even under General Albert Jenkins during the Civil War.  He is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Ft. Gay.  THIS SITE has a wonderful history on this member of the Ferguson clan.

*Photo by Find-a-Grave user, OurPast.  Click on the link for internments.*

*Please note that this is NOT the same cemetery that HPIR was asked to investigate.  For information on that cemetery, please see:  Wayne County Cemetery Investigation

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