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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Wilson Family Was An Important Historical Family In Washington County, Arkansas

Wilson Lake Area Cemeteries
Washington County, Arkansas

     Lately, I've been spending a lot of time near Wilson Lake in Washington Co., AR.  Wilson lake is just south of Fayetteville and to the east of Greenland on Wilson Lake Rd which is just off County Road 69.  Me and my gravin' buddy found a goldmine of cemeteries to research and photograph.  
     Wilson Lake is a beautiful nature area.  Just take a look at the following pictures:

Wilson Lake, looking toward the dam
Beautiful view of Wilson Lake

     The first cemetery we photographed was the Stelle-Schaffer Cemetery.  Originally called the Stelle Graveyard, it was founded in 1872.

Stelle Graveyard, 1872

     It is definitely a cute little cemetery named after John Stelle who run a milling business in the same area.

Grave of John Stelle

     Here is an overview of the Stelle-Shaffer Cemetery:

Stelle-Shaffer Overview

     The next cemetery proved to be even more interesting than the Stelle-Shaffer Cemetery.  It is called the Wilson Family Cemetery.  It is named for the Wilson family, who were large land owners and lived in the area where Wilson Lake is located today.

Wilson Family Cemetery Overview

     This cemetery has some very interesting and unusual stones.  A relatively rare find is the monument for William Friend Wilson:

Monument of William Friend Wilson
Top half of William Friend Wilson's Monument

     And the stone for Jacob Van Hoose:

Grave of Jacob R. Van Hoose

There is still much research to do on the Wilson Family Cemetery.  However, there is still yet another Wilson Cemetery in the vicinity.  This one proved to be a little more difficult to find.  However, me and my gravin' buddy finally did find it and it proved to be a great find indeed!  It is also referred to as the Wilson Family Cemetery in some records, but we are calling it the Joseph Wilson Family Cemetery to distinguish it from the other Wilson cemeteries in Washington County.  As far as we know, this cemetery has never been published and may not have ever been photographed either...until our visit!

 Joseph Wilson Grave
 G.M. Cline Grave
Just a small portion of the 1/2 acre cemetery

     Oh, did I mention that you have to hike in to this Wilson cemetery?  Yep, you do.  Not a long hike though, but it is uphill most of the way.  
     These cemeteries are endangered and need some TLC.  I hope you enjoyed the brief visit to three very important cemeteries in Washington Co., AR.  Get interested and let's preserve our rich heritage that can be found in these priceless relics of the past, won't you?


  1. Could you show on a map how to get to these cemeteries? Also, is the Skelton Cemetery near the Confederate cemetery off of Rock St?

  2. Most of the cemeteries are fairly easy to access. I could try and draw a map to show you how to reach the Stelle-Shaffer and the Wilson...also the Skelton. However, the Joseph Samuel Wilson cemetery is a little harder to reach. You have to hike to it. Even though it is less than a mile from Wilson Lake Road it is almost all uphill. I will see what I can do to draw a map to them and put the map on here.