The Glendale Cemeteries 

The following story about the Glendale Cemeteries was furnished by Mr. Clarence Crocker, a life long Glendale resident. Mr. Crocker started to work for Glendale Mills in 1948. Part of his first job was responsibility for things dealing with the Village and the cemetery was part of that.  

Records show that the village of Bivingsville (Glendale) began (1830-32) with the Bivingsville Manufacturing Co. or Bivingsville Cotton Mills as it was also called, having some twelve houses, a Community Church and a shop or two.  Beside the Community Church, where the present Methodist Church building stands today, Glendale’s first cemetery was begun on land donated by the Company. Many of Glendale’s first village and community residents are buried there. Though the cemetery was primarily for mill employees and their families, as time passed, the village and community enlarging and the number of persons increasing and dying, the cemetery became filled and a new cemetery just outside the village on the Glendale-Clifton road was begun on land also donated by the Company. Though I know of no record as to when it was started, in a quick walk in the cemetery I saw one grave marked 1888 and quite a few in the 1890s.

In the early days, families buried their own dead. A couple in Glendale, Mr. “Lit” and Linder Porter would come to your home when requested and prepare the corpse, bathing, dressing and oft times  placing coins on the eye lids to keep the eyes closed for burying. Some families would transport their own dead to the cemetery in their wagons or have someone else carry them. Though the Methodist Church assumed responsibility for the cemetery beside their church early on, Mr. Jim Thompson who lived near in one of the companies farm houses, was for many years in charge of the new cemetery, assigning grave lots and digging graves. Though funeral homes had long since been established in the area, one in 1886, another in 1900, the company had built a tool shed at the far end of the cemetery where tools for digging graves were available for any family who wished to dig the grave for their deceased or they could contract with Mr. Thompson to dig the grave.

In talking with an Executive of the S. C. Morticians Association recently, I was told that as late as 1925-30 some people in South Carolina were still burying their dead. While he told me that no law requires a body to be embalmed, the practice was started as early as the 1860s during the civil war. When returning the soldiers who had been killed on the battle field to their families, the army embalmed the body before shipment. As I understood him, there is no law in South Carolina that prevents a family from burying their dead today provided they get proper medical certification.
 
With culture, ethics and the laws concerning the dead and burial changed and all interments being done by morticians, having no longer need for such, we had the tool shed torn down and the tools removed in 1949.  The spot where the tool shed stood is now a family square. 

At that time, the County was allowed to do community work and we arranged to have the cemetery cleaned at least once a year by the chain gang. Working through the churches of the community, dinners were prepared for the prisoners. The chain gang set up tables for the meals. The meals were of great variety and wholesome.

Noticing one day that the prisoner’s choices were deviled eggs, casseroles, sandwiches, and other fancy foods, I asked one why they weren’t eating pintos, cornbread, etc that put meat on the bone, “foot“ he said, we get that seven days a week when we are at the camp. When the Company was sold in 1957, the cemeteries were left to the responsibility of the families, churches and community. Some families have indeed taken interest in the resting place of their loved ones. Some have outlined their square with granite logs and filled it with granite sand or stones. 
Naomi Bagwell had two rock columns built at the upper entrance in 1959 in memory of loved ones interred in the cemetery.

In 1994, Martha Crocker Dearybury, Donnie and Ronnie Ward  organized a Glendale re-union which was  held in the old Mill Store area to raise funds for Cemetery purposes. From that humble beginning, The Glendale Cemetery Committee was organized and a Fund was set up. Each year funds are raised through stews, selling videos, books and solicitation to care for the cemetery. With these funds, they have been able to change the old rutty dirt road through the cemetery into a nice, smooth, paved road. They have placed barrels for waste collection along the road side and have kept the grass mowed. Martha died in 2008 and today Donnie and Ronnie along with other volunteers are carrying the good work on. We who have loved ones buried in the cemeteries should certainly show our appreciation by words of encouragement and support. Click on this link, Glendale Cemetery Committee Fund, for more information and how to join this group.

Footnote; I don’t have records supporting this but a number of Glendale old-timers from back in the late 1800s and early 1900s told me this story.
A certain Glendale man’s wife died. (I withhold the name.) He was carrying her to the cemetery in his wagon. The wagon hit a bump and he heard a groan. Opening the casket he saw perspiration on her face. He whirled around quickly going back home. He called Dr. Smith, village Doctor, who said she was dead now but not when she had been placed into the casket. Putting the casket back into the wagon he returned to the cemetery. Just as he approached the rutty bump in the road, some of the mourners who were walking behind the wagon vowed that they heard him say to his horse, “watch that bump Maude, watch that bump”.
Well, be that as it may be, It has been commonly acknowledged that in the old days, some were perhaps in a comma and buried alive through a grave mistake.

(Editor Comment - The fear of being buried alive was widespread before the days of embalming. There were several devices invented so that the entombed person could communicate with those left behind. These included bells on the surface that could be rung from inside the casket and speaking tubes from the casket to above ground.)
         

The old Bivingsville, Glendale Cemetery beside the Methodist Church.  
 






The new Glendale cemetery on Glendale-Clifton road.




Note from Web Master Mary McKinney Teaster -

I have numerious relatives buried in this Glendale/Clifton Road cemetery. My Corn relatives buried there are: John Lafayette and Charlotte Flinn Corn, my Great Grandparents, Great Aunts Bessie May, Ada Victoria, Sallie Carene, Great Uncle Arthur, and Great Great Uncle William Walker Corn. (See Corn Family.) Grandmother Charlotte Flinn Corn's sister, Elizabeth Flinn, married Gabriel Coates and they also lived at Glendale. I don't have the records of how many of those relatives, but I'm sure there are quite a few, are buried there. (See Coates Family.) Great Uncle Charles Blaine Corn married Susie Crocker and both are there. (See Crocker Family.) I may have more there. I haven't been back to the cemetery  in years.  I used to pass  the cemetery several times a day but I moved away, almost all my relatives are gone from the Glendale community, and my parents' land and house are sold.  It's hard to go back.
 
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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at:
marylee@glendalesc.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.