Historical Event Recognizes Early Founders Of Hamilton County

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century, Prudhomme Fort Chapter of Chattanooga, held ceremonies at Jackson Chapel Cemetery in Hamilton County, inside the entrance to Chester Frost Park on Chickamauga Lake.  The oldest known cemetery date at the cemetery is 1810. 

Mary Stagg Johnston, NSCDXVIIC honorary president general, was the speaker at the luncheon held prior to the marking ceremonies.  Other honored guests at the luncheon included Cindy Waters TNSCDXVIIC state president; Cherokee great-granddaughters of Nancy Ward, (prophetess and Tennessee Revolutionary heroine), and dignitaries from other societies. 

Ceremonies at Jackson Chapel Cemetery began with a welcome by Pauline Moore, Chapter
president, stating that the new marker for the cemetery was placed in honor of David and Bernice Pitts Nelson. “Amazing Grace” was sung by Rebecca Hobbs, fifth generation great-granddaughter of Nancy Ward.  Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger brought greetings, recognizing the unique history of the cemetery.  A commentary on the history of the cemetery was given by Lavonne C. Jolley, honorary TNCDXVIIC state president and historian.  Ceremonies concluded with “The Lord’s Prayer”, sung by Tammera Hicks (Tennessee State American Indian Council chairman) with Cherokee interpretation, accompanied with a flute melody by her husband, Jimmy Yellowhorse Webster. 

The history of Jackson Chapel Cemetery states that the land was owned by Cherokees for hundreds of years. The first county seat of Hamilton County was located on the reservation of Cherokee Fox Taylor (grandson of Nancy Ward), land being confirmed to him by the Treaty of 1819; and was later sold to Asabel Rawlings, an early pioneer, who is buried in the cemetery with wife, Phoebe Rawlings. Historic crypts, stones, and arrowhead markers reflect the early founders of Hamilton County.



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