Columbia in Houston County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Columbia Cemetery was started in the 1830s on land given by Rev. Edmund Talbot. It postdates the abandoned Omussee Creek Church Cemetery located a mile SW of here. A "public Meeting house," which served as the Columbia Baptist Church, was built on these grounds in 1834. Richard P. and Sarah McGriff gave an early land addition on the north end of the cemetery. In 1859, Nathaniel Ferris Oakley built a new Baptist Church, which remained on these grounds until 1885. In 1882, an extension to the north was made on land acquired from Henry C. and Elizabeth McGriff. Wiley Brooks built the "summer house" at the cemetery entrance in 1883. A perimeter wrought iron fence was erected in 1883 and has been extended over the years. In 1919, a land addition to the west was acquired from Nora Davis Campbell. In 1932, the Protestant Episcopal Church gave land to extend south to Church Street, In 1983, the family of Marion L. and Viola H. Oakley gave a land addition to extend the cemetery to the west.
Interred here are some of Columbias first settlers and many others who shaped the towns long and storied history. Many elaborate headstones adorn these grounds. The oldest marked grave is that of William J. McGriff, an infant who died on June 10, 1839. Interred here are many soldiers of the Confederacy including three members of the Columbia Blues who were killed in the Battle of Seven Pines in Virginia. Many veterans who served in the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War are interred here. Some gave their life in service to their country. Many former state, county, and town officials are interred here. Captain Callie French Tomlinson of showboat fame on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers is interred here. Callie was the first woman in the U.S. to earn both steamboat pilot and captain licenses. She is honored in two national halls of fame. In 2013, this became the first cemetery in Houston County to be listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
Erected 2015 by the Friends of Columbia and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites. A significant historical date for this entry is June 10, 1839.
Location. 31° 17.62′ N, 85° 6.868′ W. Marker is in ColumbiaTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 West Church Street, Columbia AL 36319, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Columbia, Alabama (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Columbia Jail / Columbia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Columbia Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Columbia Elementary School Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Columbia Methodist Episcopal Church, South (approx. 0.3 miles away); Purcell - Killingsworth House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies (approx. 1.2 miles away); Omussee Creek Mound and the Ancestors of the Creeks (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 15, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 15, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 194 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 15, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.