Crain Graveyard

Researchers who have contributed information on this cemetery are Jackie and Denny Adams, Stephanie Denton, Jane Lands, Elaine Logan, Mike, Linda, and Stu Rawlings, S. Renee Schaeffer, and William Talley.

Crain Cemetery lies along the old Clover Road mentioned in various early histories of Hillsboro, now known as Hwy 111. It is situated between Hillsboro and Poplar Plains, just south of Evans Road in Fleming Co., KY.  Adjacent to the cemetery was the Old Locust Meeting House.

For information about the Crain Cemetery, call Elaine Logan at 606-876-2121. Anyone wishing to make a donation on behalf of the cemetery may make their check or MO to: Crain Cemetery and mail to Jane Lands, 5657 Watson Rd., Hillsboro, KY 41049.

Original sources:
Martha Harlan Day Royse 1940 lists of Crain burials.
William Talley 1950 lists of Crain burials.

Current 2011 edit:
In collaboration with Jackie and Denny Adams, Stephanie Denton, Jane Lands, Elaine Logan, Caren Prater, Mike and Linda Rawlings, Stu Rawlings, and others.

Cemetery Listing

From various photographs and from the hard work of many, this lists the names and dates for headstones uncovered at Crain's Cemetery and a list of probable stones yet to be found as of November 2010.  The list is alphabetized by last name.

The sign on the site today is: "Crain - Gone but not Forgotten"


Allis COLEMAN, born August 30, 1855, died November 9, 1871.

W. C. CONWAY, born March 15, 1851, died February 27, 1879.

Eleanor CRAIN, born 1761, died January 27, 1819, age 58.

Elizabeth CRAIN, born 1750, died September 13, 1825age 75 years, 11 months, 5 days.

James CRAIN, born 1776, died August 3, 1845,age 69 years, 6 months and 13 days.

John CRAIN, died October 13, 1821 (years broken off).

Rhoda, consort of J. CRAIN, (born 1784) died April 18, 1847, age 62 years, 8 months, 15 days.  Footstone “RC”.

Samuel CRAIN, Sr., (born 1744) died March 25, 1830, age 86 years and 15 day.  Footstone “SC”.

Amanda (Nee EMMONS), wife of B. Dearing, born November 13, 1816, died March 18, 1872 (stone maker’s mark is ‘Zimmerman’)

B. D. DEARING, born July 4, 1806, died May 19, 1891 (stone maker’s mark is Garnett & Co., Hillsboro KY.).

Elisha Dearing, born March 6, 1846, died January 8, 1870.

St. Clair DEARING, born October 7, 1845.

Emily EMMONS, daughter of Joseph and Susan EMMONS, born February 11, 1839, died August 13, 1839, age 6 months 2 days.

Infant daughter of Joseph & Susan EMMONS, Born January 15, 1830.  No age or date of death on headstone.

Infant son of Joseph & Susan EMMONS, Born January 25, 1829.  No age or date of death on headstone.

James W., son of J. and Charlotte (Nee HOLMES) EMMONS, born June 17, 1810, died July 24, 1836 26 years, 1 month, 7 days.

Joseph EMMONS, born June 27, 1806, died June 22, 1868.

Joseph B. EMMONS, born December 31, 1845, died April 10, 1865.

Joseph B. (Belt) EMMONS, (son of St. Clair) born May 31, 1815, died May 7, 1861.

Luisa (Louisa) EMMONS, born May 19, 1857, died December 18, 1859.

Alice EMMONS, (Nee BOWEN) wife of St. Clair Emmons, born March 28, 1796, died December 16, 1874.

Robert B. EMMONS, son of Joseph and Susan EMMONS, born July 26, 1833, died April 10, 1840, age 6 yrs., 8m., 14 d.

St. Clair EMMONS, born May 28, 1794, died December 9, 1858.

Susan (Nee BOWEN) EMMONS, (wife of Joseph EMMONS) born April 7, 1807, died August 14, 1893.

William E. EMMONS, son of J &S Emmons, born Aug. 25, 1851

Unidentified Emmons infant, died March 27, 1851, 5 mos & 3 days

Mary Jane, daughter of Robert and Nancy EVANS, born February 23, 1839, died age 9 months 21 days.

Nancy (nee RAWLINGS, daughter of Thomas RAWLINGS and _SAUNDERS) EVANS, consort of Robert EVANS, born November 2, 1819, died September 28, 1840,age 20 years, 10 months, 26 days.  Footstone “NE”.

Elizabeth, consort of William D. FOUDRAY, born April 23, 1792, died March 18, 1843,age 51 years, 6 months, 5 days.

Infant son of D. R. and S. A. HEDGES, died March 16, 1842, age 13 days.

Levi HEDGES, born November 24, 1775, died April 1, 1847, age 68 years and 27 days.

Louesa M. HEDGES, born Feb 3, 1844, died Oct. 14, 1846.  Footstone “LMH”.

Roseanna (nee RIBELIN) Hedges, born 1780, died September 29, 1848, 68 yrs, 27 days.

William J. HEDGES, son of D. R. and S. A. HEDGES, born 1840, died February 16, 1843, age 3 yrs.

Asonath HUNT departed this life June 14, 1823.

COL. John Tipton HUNT, born 1762, died March 15, 1829 age 67 years.

Mary HUNT, born 1791, died September 6, 1830,age 39 years, 5 months, 10 days.

Alice McROBERTS, born March 2, 1848, died Aug. 4, 1881, wife of James McROBERTS.

Edmund H. McROBERTS, born January 22, 1873, died May 5, 1873, son of T. R. and M McROBERTS.

Mary F. daughter of W. & C. McROBERTS born June 11, 1868, died August 24, 1873.

Sarah (Nee RAWLINGS) McROBERTS, born 3 July, 1808, died August 21, 1873.

Fleming F. NORTHCOTT, son of J. B. and Louisa NORTHCOTT, born Oct. 8, 1856, died July 10, 1860.  Footstone “FFN”.

Louisa NORTHCOTT, (nee EMMONS) born March 16, 1826, died April 21, 1860.

Louellen OWENS, wife of Aaron OWENS, born July 14, 1838, died May 25, 1867, aged 28 yrs., 10 mos., 11 days.

Ellie PARK, born June 12, 1860, died June 8, 1861.

Infant daughter of _____ PAYNE.

Infant sons of Pressley and Elizabeth (Bowen) RAWLINGS.

Barbara A. RAWLINGS, died August 1826, aged 5 years, 3 months.

Cephus A. RAWLINGS, son of A. & S. Rawlings, born July 15, 1857, died March 23, 1858, age 8 months & 8 days.

Lydia A. RAWLINGS, died August 1826, aged 8 years, 6 months.

Marcellus Rawlings, son of A. & S. Rawlings, born March 5, 1852, died Jan 13, 1853, age 10 months & 8 days. 

Mary J. RAWLINGS, born 1813, died May 13, 1840, age 26 years, 10 months, 4 days.

Pressley RAWLINGS, born 1793, died April 1, 1848, age 54 years, 9 months, 20 days.

Russell P., son of N. (Northcott) and A. E. (Alice E. LEWIS) RAWLINGS

Sarah A. RAWLINGS, born 1834, died March 31, 1840,age 6 years, 4 mos, 5 days.

William C. RAWLINGS, born 1824, died August 1826, age 2 years, 2 months.

Robert RICHARDSON, died July 13, 1819, age 10 months, 3 days.

John W. RIGGS, born May 31, 1798, died January 21, 1867.

Rhody Ellen SHIELDS, born August 22, 1844, died August 26, 1844.  Footstone “RES”.

Emily WILLIAMS (nee RAWLINGS), born June 16, 1817, died November 02, 1880.

Infant daughter of J. H. and A. J. WILSON, born July 14, 1877, died July 21, 1877 (listed in the 1950 index as ‘JAMISON’).

Unknown footstone - L. E. & E. P.

2 small possible headstones in the NE corner of the cemetery, could be ‘field stone/ headstones’.

Unidentified headstone 3Y.


Several names purportedly buried at Crain’s Cemetery per earlier accounts including information based on the William Talley index in 1950 still to be found are listed as follows:

Annie L. DEARING, infant daughter of M. I. and L. DEARING, born May 9, died October 1, 1877.

William I. DEARING, born March 26, 1852, died November 23, 1877.

Barbara A. RAWLINGS, wife of William RAWLINGS Sr., died 1814 or 1815.

William Pressley RAWLINGS, Sr., born March 9, 1735/36, died October 20, 1814.

Alonzo WILLIAMS, born February 12, 1812, died February 16, 1864.

Historical Context

The following notes suggest relationships based on some research, as yet largely not documented.

There is one multi-name monument at Crain cemetery:

Five names are on the same stone -
J. B. Emmons, born December 31, 1845, died April 10, 1865.
Luisa Emmons, born May 19, 1857, died December 18, 1859.
John W. Riggs, born May 31, 1798, died January 21, 1867.
Ellie Park, born June 12, 1860, died June 8, 1861.
Joseph B. (Belt) Emmons, (son of St. Clair) born May 31, 1815, died May 7, 1861.

Joseph B. (Belt) Emmons married Pollie Riggs (not commemorated here). John W. Riggs may be Pollie Riggs' father.

J. B. Emmons and Luisa (Louisa) Emmons are children of Joseph B. (Belt) Emmons.

The Park infant likely related in some way to these Emmons's or possibly to the Riggs clan.

It appears that at or after the passing of John W. Riggs someone made the investment to have a nice monument created to replace earlier grave markers of this sub-clan that might have been less well commemorated at the times of their original burials.

Here are clues for individuals:

James Crain:
May be married to Rhoda Crain.

Elizabeth and William Foudray:
Foudray who founded Foudraysburg, later named Hillsboro.

Col. John Tipton Hunt:
John and Mary 'Polly' Denton Hunt, buried at Huntsville, Randolph County, Indiana, were the parents of Rev Wm Basil Hunt. Basil Hunt built the dry goods store in Hillsboro in 1836, only the second structure after Wm Foudray's hattery and residence cabin built in 1829. Basil Hunt also employed many locals for the wheat harvest during the 1830's and 40's and also purchased some 1000 acres in Huntsville Indiana during the 1830's eventually following most of his children and his mother to Randolph County in 1855 where his days ended.

Mary Hunt:
Mary Ricketts wife of Basil Hunt who was the son of Col. John Tipton Hunt. 

Sarah R. McRoberts:
Nee Rawlings, daughter of Thomas Rawlings and Mary Ann Tribbey, wife of Alexander McRoberts. 

Barbary A. Rawlings:
Barbary Rawlings, wife of William Rawlings Sr., is likely to have passed away between February 22, 1814 and October 10, 1815. The August 1826 DOD data point carried forward by others as purportedly showing on William and his wife’s headstone by William Talley and others, may have inadvertently been taken from the William C. Rawlings and Barbara A. Rawlings headstones in error. The Will of Wm Rawlings Sr., drafted on February 22, 1814 and probated in October 1814, contains a provision numbered ‘eighthly’ that ‘after the death of my wife Barbary my land be divided among my heirs in the manner that this Will directs the personal estate to be divided’.  The sale of the homestead real estate occurred on October 10th 1815 to William Baker with the deed signed by the heirs in the manner that the Will directed without Barbary’s signature however.  There is also an expense paid for two coffins in this final estate settlement of William Rawlings Sr. and the date of a female being 45+ in the 1810 census supports her DOB as being about 1755.

Cephus A. Rawlings & Marcellus Rawlings:
Cephus A. and Marcellus Rawlings are buried side by side and are the children of Anthony Rawlings, the son of Pressley and Elizabeth Bowen, and Susan (Walton), the daughter of Job Walton and Barbary (Rawlings), dau. of Wm Rawlings Jr.).  Anthony and Susan are buried along the rear fence line of Eden’s Chapel Graveyard with their son, Henry, and grandson, Clifford.  Susan’s mother and father are also buried at Eden’s Chapel.

William Pressley Rawlings Sr.:
Information may be confused with William C. whose headstone is found at Crain's.

Headstone Imagery

The headstone pictures have been provided by Stephanie Denton, Elaine Logan, Mike Rawlings, and other contributors. This provides some interesting imagery perspective on the history, including what happens to old cemeteries when they are forgotten, and the real (archeological) fruits of all the people out there digging and cleaning and deciphering in the modern day. It helps leave a collective pictorial-information record, as near as most folks will ever get to being there on the ground helping with the rediscovery work.

From an article dated June 3, 1976 from the Flemingsburg Gazette:

A Letter to the Editor

Dear Jean [Denton]:

The recent articles in the Gazette covering Rev. War soldiers and other historical items have been interesting to me and I am clipping them for my files. However, in the May 6 issue I was appalled to learn that the old CRAIN GRAVEYARD between Poplar Plains and Hillsboro had been destroyed. The article, written by Mrs. Lee OWENS, explains that the old graveyard had been removed. That is terrible. In that graveyard are the remains of some of Fleming County's foremost pioneers. The ancestors of most of the Crains in Fleming Co. are buried there, as well as Col. John HUNT. Several members of the RAWLINGS, MCROBERTS, DEARING and EMMONS families are buried there.

I copied most of the stones in this graveyard the day before the big blizzard in November, 1950. I think that Mrs. Leo Royse also made a copy of the stones once. It is fortunate we made copies or all would be lost now.

I cannot understand how the community could have permitted this to happen with so many of the descendants of the people still around in the county.

I am enclosing a copy of the stones as I found them in 1950 and you may publish them if you wish. Incidentally, I believe that Fleming Co.'s first Methodist Church was at Stockton Station, near the Flemingsburg Stockyards, rather than the one beside the Crain Graveyard.


Bill Talley
William M. Talley
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec

Updated 24 May 2011