Thursday, August 4, 2011

Purported location of "Cuff Cemetery" shows little visual evidence of a cemetery

There is a cemetery identified as "Cuff Cemetery" on the topographical map (with coordinates) and other maps that is supposed to be located in a very rural and remote area of Baxter County off CR 131 near the Ozark National Forest. The cemetery is called "Unknown Cemetery in SE Baxter County, #69" on the Baxter Bulletin Cemetery Map, circa 1993. The cemetery is not mentioned at all in the Baxter County Cemetery Book entitled "Of Grave Importance". Few other details or information seems to be accessible in any listed or published source, either in print or online.

This photo courtesy of Annamae Freeman

 I have made two visual walking tours of this location trying to find some evidence of a cemetery here.  This property and surrounding property is currently owned by the Branscum family.  The area is a sloping rocky field or pasture used for cattle. Jim and Linda Branscum relayed to Annamae Freeman, who passed the information along to me, that there are believed to be about thirty (30) graves in this cemetery.  An early land patent shows this property to be that of Jacob Dillard, who was known by some of the Branscums as "Uncle Cuff", and that members of the black community were buried there, thus the name "Cuff Cemetery".  There are no manufactured gravestones nor even upright field stones making grave plots that I could see in this location.

If anyone has additional information concerning this cemetery, I would love to get an email from you.

Note: Another researcher from the Norfork area stated he also searched for the Cuff Cemetery about 20-25 years ago while surveying other cemeteries in the area but was unable to locate it. He believes it was a cemetery used for african-american burials and that no trace of it now remains.

The topographical map, Baxter Bulletin map, and
coordinates place the Cuff Cemetery in this location,
but I have found no evidence of it here.

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