“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Easley in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Pickens Cemetery

Pickens Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
1. Pickens Cemetery Marker
This land, Cherokee territory until 1777, became the final resting place after the American Revolution for early pioneers who settled the area. A number of soldiers of the Revolution are buried here including Robert Pickens, who served in the state militia and was brother to General Andrew Pickens.
Erected 1980 by Colonel John Robins Chapter, Colonial Dames XVII Century. (Marker Number 4-24.)
Location. 34° 44.35′ N, 82° 35.467′ W. Marker is in Easley, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on Three and Twenty Road (State Road 485), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Easley SC 29642, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Soldiers Buried in Carmel Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away); St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal Church & Cemetery (approx. 3.2 miles away); St. Paul Methodist Church (approx. 4 miles away but has been reported missing); John C. Calhoun Memorial Highway (approx. 5 miles away); Pickensville (approx. 5 miles away); Julien D. Wyatt
Pickens Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
2. Pickens Cemetery
(approx. 6.2 miles away); Colonel Robert Elliott Holcombe (approx. 6.3 miles away); Easley Veterans Memorial (approx. 6.4 miles away); Captain Kimberly Hampton (approx. 6.4 miles away); Easley, South Carolina (approx. 6.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Easley.
Regarding Pickens Cemetery. The cemetery is located about 1/2 a mile behind the chapel. The cemetery holds the remains of nearly 30 Revolutionary War soldiers.
Also see . . .
1. Pickens Chapel Church Cemetery, Anderson County, SC. Text file containing numerous notes and articles on the church and cemetery. (Submitted on January 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Pickens Chapel Cemetery, Anderson County, South Carolina. Cemetery inventory compiled 2009. (Submitted on October 7, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Find-a-Grave: Old Pickens Cemetery. (Submitted on April 24, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Andrew Pickens. Andrew Pickens (September 13, 1739 – August 11, 1817) was a militia leader in the American Revolution and a member of the United States House of Representatives from South
Pickens Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
3. Pickens Cemetery
Carolina. (Submitted on October 7, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Descendants of Robert Welborn Pickens. (Submitted on August 11, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Robert Welborn Pickens. Robert Welborn Pickens represents one of the very oldest and most prominent families in South Carolina, one whose patriotism is attested by service in every great war in which this country has been engaged. (Submitted on October 7, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional comments.
1. Old Pickens Cemetery
by Carnie Davis
October 22, 1980
The Easley Progress

Walking among the graves of old Pickens Cemetery is like turning the pages of time back two hundred years.

You read names and dates and you see a tall young man riding off to war; a beautiful young mother dying at childbirth for lack of proper medical care; infants dying at the age of ten days...two months...two years.

You see a grave marked only by a rough field stone, a name chiseled by hand into the granite surface. No last name. No date. You wonder who "Martha" was, and why she died. You can almost see a grieving husband with hammer and chisel, shaping the crude letters into the rock.

Pickens Cemetery is probably
Pickens Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
4. Pickens Cemetery
the oldest burying ground in Upstate South Carolina. It was begun around 1785, barely eight years after the land had been won from the Cherokee Indians.

At least 25 to 30 soldiers of the American Revolution are buried in the cemetery. Some say this is probably more than you will find in any other cemetery in the state.

Some of the head stones are almost completely illegible. Most of the graves of the soldiers are marked to indicate that the men fought in the Revolution.

Pickens Cemetery is a fascinating place to visit.

Aware of the historical significance of the cemetery, the members of the Col. John Robins Chapter, Colonial dames XVII Century have erected a roadside marker at the entrance to the cemetery and Pickens Chapel Church. The cemetery is a short distance behind the church, hidden in a grove of trees but easily accessible on foot or by car.

The marker will be unveiled in a dedication service on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 2:00 p.m. Descendants of the Revolutionary soldiers are especially invited to the dedication, as well as other interested friends.

According to early historians the first church to stand on the site, a log structure built about 1785, was called Richmond Church. The church was built on land belonging to Capt. Robert Pickens, one of the sons of Robert Pike Pickens who had come to America from Ireland in the
R. Welborn Pickens Tombstone image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
5. R. Welborn Pickens Tombstone
Enlisted in Co. G. 2, Battalion
State Reserve of S. C.
Last Confederate States Veteran from
Upper So. Carolina
early eighteenth century.

Capt. Robert, it is said, had settled here after the war, having brought his aging father with him to live at the headwaters of Three and Twenty Creek. The father, a cousin of general Andrew Pickens of Revolutionary War fame, was the first person to be buried at Pickens Cemetery.

General Andrew Pickens is thought to have worshipped at the church and possibly to have been a member there in the beginning. Later, however, the General and his neighbors organized Hopewell Church, now known as Old Stone Church, near Pendleton.

Although much of the early history is hazy or lost, it has been established that Richmond's name was later changed to Carmel; that the church was moved from its first site where the graveyard stands to another location on the Pickens plantation; that the congregation eventually split, the church was torn down, and two new churches were built, one on either side of what is now the line dividing Anderson and Pickens counties.

C.T. Martin, an early editor and publisher of The Easley Progress, described the split between the two churches in his history of Carmel Church written for The Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. He said, "About the year 1802 the log church situated on Three and Twenty was torn down and removed to the present site on 'Indian Creek.' Tradition says that the removal
Pickens Chapel -<br>West Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
6. Pickens Chapel -
West Facade
was caused by a division in the church, several members having withdrawn and joined the Methodist, a new sect that made their first appearance in the state in 1785.

"It is stated that a little girl daughter of one of the Pickens families appeared before the Session of the church for admission. On account of her age, the Session failed to receive her, which offended the child's mother, causing the family and others to withdraw from the Presbyterian Church and join the Methodists."

Dr. A.L. Pickens, in a book called Skyagunsta referred to the split at Carmel in this excerpt from the book: "At old Carmel the Methodists had drawn off a large part of the congregation, establishing a new church just far enough away for the shouting and book board thumping not to worry the more staid Presbyterians. Captain Robert's family was invaded by the schism, and tolerantly he contributed more land, both churches using the same cemetery for years. He saw to it that it was one of the best kept anywhere near, and hence a little company of twenty-odd Revolutionary soldiers, with the captains and majors among them for good measure, lie here."

Another book, Historic Places in the S.C. Appalachian Region, documents the present Pickens Chapel building as having been erected in 1888. According to this account, the Pickens family went back to the original site of
Pickens Chapel image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 16, 2003
7. Pickens Chapel
Old Richmond-Carmel and erected their new church in front of the Old Pickens cemetery.

The Methodist church was known as Wesley Chapel, having been named for John Wesley, founder of Methodism. It remained an active Methodist congregation until 1928-29 when the small group was dissolved.

The building, renovated and freshly painted, is now the home of Lighthouse Baptist Church. However, the property still belongs to the Pickens family, as it has for the last two hundred years.

Most of the older graves in the cemetery lie together on the east and southeast side. Their epitaphs tell a poignant story of life and death in the early days of Upcountry South Carolina.

Four neatly squared markers of native stone read:

"Amanda E. Pikle (sic) was Born 4 Sept.1839 and Died 20 Nov.1841."

"Nancy J. Pickle was Born 16 July 1840 (died) 8 Dec. 1844."

"Caroline F. Pickle was Born 19 Mar. 1843 and Died 21 June 1849."

"Pickle. A Still Birth. 8 Apr. 1845."

Another headstone reads: "Sacred to the Memory of Eliza Tyrrell wife of Henry Tyrrell and Daughter of Majr. A. Hamilton, who departed this life August 23, 1818 Aged 17 years."

Another: "Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Margaret Hamilton, Consort of Major Andrew Hamilton Who was born on the 6th of August, 1782, and Died on the 4th of November 1822, leaving a Husband and ten children to lament their irreparable loss, and an extensive circle of relatives and friends, who will long appreciate her worth."

During the slavery period of the 1800's many faithful slaves shared a burying ground with their masters. One such testimonial to the devotion of master to slave can be found at Pickens Cemetery. In one corner there is a grave marked simply, "Aunt Jemima."

According to the June, 1933 issue of The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the names of the Revolutionary War soldiers who are buried at Pickens Chapel are:

James Dickson, John Hamilton, Peter McMahan, Alexander Oliver, Benjamin Smith, Joseph Smith, Charles Wilson, William Wilson, James Watson, Robert Henderson, Job Smith, Laban Mauldin, Rucker Mauldin, John Arial, Samuel Barr, Edward Boggs, Micajah Hughes, Hampton Smith, Joshua Smith, Mead Smith, Capt. James Anderson, Robert Pickens, Michael Smith, William Wadle, John Wilson, Michael Dickson, John Dickson, Mathew Dickson and William McMurray.

The cemetery is, indeed, rich in history.
    — Submitted January 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable PersonsWar, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 4,158 times since then and 216 times this year. Last updated on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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