Letter to the Editor- Concern for Mt. Nebo Cemetery

Section of Mt. Nebo that has been cleaned. The Cherry Family.

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

My name is Willie Bethay, and I had a chance to stand in a cemetery known as “Mt Nebo” within the city of Johnston and it is a total disaster.  In just looking at it I became very emotional and very distraught to the point of being in tears.  The thought that somebody’s loved ones being in a grave site looking like this.   I feel that I must try and do something to correct this.  If you look at the headstones there’s even World War I and World War II veteran headstones there. There is also according,to the Edgefield Historical Archives, a Civil War Confederate Black Solider buried in that fenced in area.  This is a complete disgrace to their family and our country.  The reason I took the liberty to look at this cemetery is because I attended a City Council meeting and a vote was made to give funds for maintaining two cemeteries; one being Mt. Olive and the other one being Mt. NEBO.  After talking to a few citizens of Johnston I came to the conclusion that Mt.NEBO was the cemetery used to bury “Negros” back in the days and now no one wants to take ownership of it. This cemetery was not owned by any of the churches in town.  What puzzled me is that the Town Council nor the County Council is claiming this property so I am assuming that this land was just designated by someone for the purpose of making a burial cemetery for Negros.   The City of Johnston took on the role of paying someone to cut the grass at both cemeteries but as you can see, head stones were turned over, graves totally caved in and large brush have taken over.  As you can see in the pictures, Mt. Nebo was totally neglected.  Take a look at the pictures and you tell me (all photos not included).   As a Military Veteran of 22 years, I feel that we must Honor our dead better than this.  If you decided to take a look at it, be real careful out there.  You may end up falling 6 feet in the ground. 

Willie Bethay

This letter can be found on edgefieldadvertiser.com later in the week and photos will be there.

Sunken Grave
Broken Tombstones