Mystery at Hite Cemetery

Photos by David Bowlin.

Hite Cemetery near Biggers in northeast Randolph County, one of the county’s oldest and largest rural cemeteries, contains a long standing mystery.

Pictured is the tombstone of little Johnnie Hite born 1828, died in 1830.  The inscription at the bottom says “He was buried before he died”.    The meaning of this inscription has been debated locally for many years.  Surely the child wasn’t buried alive, but that’s what the inscription seems to indicate.  The grave is at the NW corner of the cemetery in the Hite family plot.

Hite Cemetery contains a log cabin, built in 1860 by the African-American slaves belonging to planters living on the rich farmland in Cherokee Bay—the land lying between the Black and Current Rivers.  The cabin served a dual purpose as a church and a school for the community.

The cemetery contains a significant number of vintage Woodmen of the World monuments, some of them highly decorative.

To reach Hite Cemetery, take U.S. Hwy 67 north of Pocahontas about 8 miles.  At the Biggers turn off, turn right on Hite Road.  The cemetery is a short distance to the southeast.