Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hindman Cemetery, Tippah County, Mississippi

This small cemetery is located two miles east on Highway 4, outside Ripley. Although once a lovely family plot, the cemetery is now overgrown with weeds and grass and the brick wall around it is crumbling. A tall tree stands over the cemetery, and its fallen branches lie on the cemetery's ground. Its main claim to fame is the grave of 26 year old Robert Holt Hindman who was killed by the great grandfather of William C. Faulkner, Col. W. C. Falkner, of Ripley, although the family patriarch, Thomas C. Hindman, Sr., was a prominent citizen in his own right.

The Hindmans arrived in Mississippi when Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Sr., whose grave marker is pictured below, purchased land near Ripley in 1841. Thomas and his wife, the former Sallie Holt, were from prominent families in Virginia and Tennessee. Thomas Hindman, Sr. was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to the post of U.S. Agent to the Cherokee Indian Nation and was a frequent traveler to Washington, D.C. Just before his family's move to Ripley, Thomas spent several months trying to persuade the Cherokees in North Carolina to join their counterparts out West.

Once in Mississippi, the elder Hindman became active in politics of that state. He was a leader in the Whig Party and served as a delegate to a conference held in Memphis on infrastructure and transportation projects in the South.

1850 Census
Tippah County, Mississippi
Thomas C. Hineman 56, farmer, born in Tennessee, real estate worth $4,500
Sarah Hineman 60, born in Virginia
Sarah Jane 23, born in Tennessee

Thomas C. Hindman, Sr. died July 18, 1856 near Ripley, Miss. His tombstone, above, indicates that he was born October 10, 1792 at Knoxville, Tenn. According to the local newspaper, Thomas was killed accidentally while inspecting a cotton gin on his plantation.

After his death, the remaining Hindman family moved to Marshall County, Mississippi, having sold their property holdings in Tippah County.

1860 Census
Marshall County, Mississippi
Sally Hindman 71, born Virginia, real estate valued at $3,500
Sally Hindman 34, born Tennessee, real estate valued at $3,800
Mother and daughter were living next to James B. and Mary Lyon Ellis, Mary being a daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hindman.

Below is the tombstone for Frances Elizabeth Hindman, eldest daughter of Thomas and Sarah. She was born June 27, 1820 and was the first to be buried in the cemetery upon her death August 14, 1843.

The headstone below is for the children of Mildred Stanfield Hindman and her husband Bernard Baxter Doxey. Their daughter Frances Elizabeth, was born November 17, 1848 and died May 1, 1849. Their son John Thomas was born August 18, 1853 and died August 26 (year illegible on tombstone).

Mildred S. Doxey, their mother, was the daughter of Thomas C. Hindman, Sr., and in 1922, at the age of 92, she wrote her memoirs. She recalled when her sister, Frances Elizabeth Hindman, died in 1843, "She was buried in the garden, our flower garden, where many of our loved ones now lie. I often wish I could go there and shed a tear for the loved ones buried there." Later, she wrote of her first child, a daughter named after her deceased sister, "She was born near Ripley at my father's house. All were delighted as this was the second grandchild, and the first one in the Doxey family. ... We returned to our home when she was two months old. She was a perfect beauty. She grew very fat. As my family was so anxious to see her, we went up the last of April to Ripley. Everyone had to play with her. On the first day of May she was taken with the croup and died in twelve hours." She was buried "in the garden" next to her aunt and namesake. Just a few days later, another grave was dug for Robert Holt Hindman who was killed by W. C. Falkner during an argument.

In addition to the above grave markers, there are two more still standing: Robert Holt Hindman who was killed by Col. William C. Falkner in 1849 and Thomas Hindman Puckett, only child of Sarah Hindman Puckett who was born in 1864 and died in 1877.

Robert Holt Hindman was not the only son of Thomas and Sarah who was murdered. Another son, Thomas C. Hindman, Jr. was assassinated on the night of September 27, 1868 at his home in Helena, Arkansas. His assassins were never caught.

Thomas Hindman, Jr. was a well-known figure in Arkansas where he moved from Ripley in 1854. At the time of his death in 1868, he was the highest ranking Confederate veteran in the state, having served as a Major General during the Civil War. He was a lawyer and served Arkansas in both the state legislature and in the U.S. Congress. After his death, he was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery (formerly Evergreen Cemetery) in Helena.


  1. hello, mildred stanfield is a great aunt of mine way down the stanfield family line..good photos there..would love to hear from the creator of this site to see what family info you have on this family..would be interested in shareing.. from paul stanfield jr.