Located in Henderson County approximately 5 miles north of  Lexington, Tennessee lies the Prospect Cemetery.  This small cemetery is the final resting place for several early settlers of the county. These early familes include the Cunninghams, Ballards, Fesmire and others.

           GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 35.69703    Longitude: -88.43668

In August of 2010, while searching for my GGGG grandmother, Sarah Rice Cunningham, I found a transcription online that was performed in 2004 by a David
Donahue. In that transcription was this note:
David Donahue recorded Prospect Cemetery March 3,2004. Beth White and Wilma Bolen recorded Prospect cemetery in 
1976. Their record appears in Henderson County, Tennessee Cemetery Inscriptions (R. H. Harris, Memphis, Tennessee,
1976), Vol. III, p. 606. They note that there was a Methodist Church by this cemetery which served as a school house.
It burned in 1925.

I turned to findagrave.com to track this location and also see if there were any photos to be found. Sadly, there were none. There was not even a map of the exact location. Luckily,  findagrave volunteer, Roger Gant,  was able to go the extra mile and locate and photgraph the entire location. What he provided was an incredible documentation of this nearly forgotten burial site.  Hopefully with his photo documentation which follows, and the updated information that is now listed on findagrave.com, this cemetery will never be forgotten or neglected.
(See the updated findagrave page

Here are Roger's on the scene comments from that day:

" As a casual "Find-A-Grave" volunteer, I spotted the request for a couple of Prospect Cemetery photos because of its close proximity to me as well as the many indirect connections that I have to people buried there. Although I didn't readily recognize the surname as being from that cemetery, I wasn't surprised since I don't know Prospect as well as I do other cemeteries such as Shady Grove, just barely south of Henderson County.

After going out there and walking the entire cemetery looking for Tim's requested headstone photos as well as a couple of other from the website, I was beginning to question his information as to the burial locations. Going back to my resources, I realized about the same time that Tim did, that this was not the correct "Prospect Cemetery in Henderson County". We both discovered the transcription by David Donahue referencing his work as well as other previous cemetery transcribers that the Prospect Cemetery that we were looking for was just slightly northwest of Lexington, and call "Prospect Cemetery (Black Bottom Creek).

Thinking, "no problem" just go to the correct cemetery started out as a bigger challenge than I was expecting. I have used the GPS many times to locate remote, abandoned cemeteries, but always have a map designation to help get started with approximate coordinates. Of all the state and county maps that I had access to in my database and online, I couldn't find any reference to the location of Prospect Cemetery (Black Bottom Creek). Using David Donahue's brief description combined with available satellite photography, I identified a couple of potential "targets" to load into my GPS.

Striking out to the field I was ready to do moderate "weed whacking" to get to the cemetery, but as I approached my first and most likely GPS target location, I rolled up to the sign identifying the near by location of Prospect Cemetery.

Following the path several hundred feet, I came upon the moderately well kept location. Although the cemetery has been abandoned for many years, it was fortunate that it is located on or near enough to the Beech Lake Reservoir land acquisition that it has the benefit of the identification and moderate level of care that cemeteries within their boundaries have, which has kept it accessible to the public."

- Roger Gant Aug. 16, 2010

Following are the known burials with accompanying photos: (All photos courtesy of Roger Gant.).
Names with links appear in my family tree files at ChildressCousins.org.

Tim Childress

Date of Birth
Date of Death
Image File
Ballard, Elizabeth H     Sep. 19, 1880 Jan. 26, 1881 Dau. of W. E. & A. E. Ballard
Ballard, Margie  
Apr. 28, 1834 Oct. 29, 1911 MOTHER 
"His Wife" -Easter Star symbol          
Ballard, W. B. Nov. 5, 1860 
Nov. 27, 1892
Ballard, Z. B.  
Apr. 22, 1830 
 Oct. 29, 1911
Cunningham, E. A
Feb. 24, 1864 
Mar. 24, 1885 Son of E.W & H.E Cunningham Image
Cunningham, Elijah Whitt Apr. 2, 1834 Sep. 14, 1884

Cunningham, Infant Unknown
Infant son of R.B. & N.A. Cunningham

Cunningham, J A 
Mar. 30, 1861 Aug. 8, 1862 Son of Elijah Whitt Cunningham & Hartie E. Cunningham
Cunningham, J E 
Nov. 2, 1862 Sep. 5, 1865 Son of Elijah Whitt Cunningham & Hartie E. Cunningham
Cunningham, Sarah W. Rice Nov. 13, 1803 
May 23, 1862 Wife of Ransom Cunningham
Fesmire, John Wesley 
"Co H 27 Regt Tenn Inf CSA" Image
Phillips, Addie Ringold 

Ringold, A. T. 
Jan. 6, 1845 
Sep. 12, 1924 Masonic  Symbol   

Wilson, James 
"Husband of M.J. Wilson"
"Member of the Methodist Church 28 years"
Aged 50 years 2 months 27 Days 

Wilson, Martha D. Cunningham Aug. 5, 1835 May 4, 1862 "Daughter of R. & Sarah Cunningham" "Wife of S. N. Wilson"  Image

Again, a special thank you to Roger Gant, without whom, this cemetery may have continued to be buried in the past.

LEGAL NOTICE: The content of this website is intended for the personal, noncommercial use of individual researchers and educators only. Content may not be used for commercial gain.