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Greenwood

Greenwood Cemetery
 130 Stoner Avenue  
 

The New City Cemetery, as it was known from its beginning, began as a ten-acre tract at the corner of Market Street and Stoner Avenue.  Formerly the sight had been part of the Stoner Plantation, but even further back in its history, the land held a Civil War military hospital as well as the first charity hospital. The name changed in 1905, and the site has grown to over seventy-acres.1

The cemetery features burial sections for Greeks, Jews, blacks, union members, veterans, masons, and a specific section for Confederate veterans. The Confederate section is the site of Battery 4, one of the twelve that was located in the area during the Civil War. 2 At least one Civil War casualty is buried here. Richard McDonald was killed at the Battle of Norfolk and moved to Greenwood.  Three graves in the Confederate veterans section mark the oldest surviving veterans; William Townsend, who died in 1953 at the age of 107, was one of the six surviving Civil War veterans of the world. 3 A single cross stands in the center of Pauper’s Field, the section for those given free burial. No markers stand here, as those interred are buried with only the numbered graves. 4 Another section bears a tombstone inscribed “LSUMC” for the ashes of people who donated their bodies to science. 5

The cemetery, which was dedicated in 1892, bears the graves of four Shreveport mayors: Jerome B. Gilmore, Andrew Currie, Samuel A. Dickinson, and John McWilliams Ford.  Historian J. Fair Hardin’s and philanthropist R. W. Norton’s graves are also found here, as is the grave of the founder of what is today Christus Schumpert Medical Center, Dr. Thomas Edgar Schumpert, who died of typhoid.  Bush Jarratt, who was the city’s last official hangman, and Ben White, Shreveport’s last steamboat captain, along with businessman W. K. Henderson, Sr. and his son,
W. K. Henderson, Jr., who served as owner and announcer of KWKH radio station, are buried here.
6

Milton Taylor Hancock’s tomb is one of the most notable – and oldest – in the cemetery.  People remember Hancock as the inventor of the first modern disc plow in the early 1890s.  Senator Thomas C. Garret, later lieutenant governor of Louisiana, helped Hancock patent his device, and when Hancock Plow Company was chartered in Shreveport in 1893, Hancock was on his way to being one of Shreveport’s first millionaires. By 1900 the plow was the largest selling plow on the American Market, and factories were set up in Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, California, Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee; a factory was established in New Orleans, but never in Shreveport.  But his invention is not the only reason he is remembered. In 1892 Hancock and his wife, Nina, saw the death of their four-year-old daughter, Ethyl.  She was buried in a cast-iron coffin that was placed in the tomb.  Inside the tomb was a chair, which Nina would sit in each evening when she visited Ethyl and read her bedtime stories. In 1903 they lost their 24-year-old daughter, Irene, who is also buried in the vault. The Hancocks moved to Los Angeles, California with their son, Milton Hancock, Jr., who was their only surviving child. On June 29, 1905 sixteen-year-old Milton, Jr. was serving as chauffer for his father in their automobile, which was still a new invention.  A dairy wagon that ran in front of the car was struck and Hancock was thrown from the car window and dragged 125 feet to his death in one of the first automobile wrecks in the country. He was buried in the vault with his two daughters; his wife and son never moved back to Shreveport. 7

In 1996 members of the Susan Constant Chapter of the Colonial Dames XVII Century dedicated a plaque honoring the cemetery.  8

 

 


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Parish of Caddo 2004©

Images provided by LSUS Archive and website content written by Monica Pels