Butler County, Alabama

Franklin Cemetery

In the Starlington Community on Co. Rd. 15 one block north of Hwy 106 in the pasture of Mrs. Calvin Sellers.

Submitted by Donna Eldridge

Barbara B. Franklin
(No dates -- marker broken)

J. A. Franklin*
(No dates)

Mary Franklin*
(No dates)

Copied by Rufus Watson, March 1974

*It is believed that this was copied incorrectly and should have been A. J. instead of J. A. Franklin.

*Re: Mary Franklin: see correction in note #2 below in the update by Lisa Franklin.

Source: Butler County Historical Society Volume XVll,  September 1981, Number 3

Cemetery Photos
submitted by: Ted Urquhart

Update on cemetery's condition

Note: I hate to tell you of the extremely sad state of conditions of the cemetery.   The cemetery is just up the road from the intersection just as you said.   It's on the right going north and there's a gate to enter the pasture - but it is in a pasture with livestock and cow/horse/donkey droppings are everywhere!   And they walk over the headstones - and drop!   I went through the gate - I was aghast!   As best as I could tell, there are three graves there.   I also took the GPS coordinates; they are 31deg 40' 34.9"N, 086deg 49' 24.7"W.

No words can describe the terrible shape of this cemetery.   It is so sad that so many people have no thoughts of honoring the memory of those buried in a cemetery.   This is one of the worst I have seen photographs of.   The other one is the Rhodes Cemetery.   There is one big difference between the two: due to total neglect, the Rhodes Cemetery has almost returned to a natural state of nature, overgrown by grass, weeds and trees.   Destruction to this one was not done by nature alone. --Ted, 2/18/2002
A. J. Franklin
Born Dec 4, 1878
Died Nov 9, 1874
Mark Franklin Babe Burkett
B/Died Jul 9 1907
(inscription provided below)

These are the only tombstones that remain in Franklin Cemetery.

Cemetery Update

I have the pleasure of reporting a success story for those of us interested in preserving our cemeteries and honoring our ancestors.   Back in February, you asked me to try to locate the Franklin Cemetery in Starlington; I was successful but I had the unpleasant task of reporting the deplorable condition and abuse of this neglected cemetery.   You posted the photos on your Butler Co web site.

I happened past this cemetery again yesterday (5/25/02) and said "Whoa!" and had to stop.   I do not know who is responsible, but someone or group has since erected three large crosses and fenced off the cemetery from the pasture using what appears from the distance to be PVC pipe.   I took the attached photo from the CR-15 highway side of the pasture.   As I left heading east on SR-106, you could easily see the crosses standing high and proud from the road as you pass the Starlington Church.   I'm not related to the Franklins (that I know of, anyway) but a big "Thank You" goes out to whoever took the initiative to preserve this old family cemetery.

Ted Urquhart

These photos were taken by Ted on May 25, 2002. 
The top photo was taken from the road as mentioned.
The bottom is from the same photo but it has been
cropped to show a closer view of the area.

Update Oct 2002

submitted by: Lisa Franklin
(This is NOT the Lisa Franklin of Tracking Your Roots website.)

1.   A. J. Franklin has been identified as Arthur James Franklin, son of CSA vet Edmond Mark & Elviney "Vicey" Burkett Franklin.   Edmond Mark was the son of Mark Franklin & Nancy Ann Stapelton.   Vicey was the dau of Butler Co pioneers Thomas Burkett & Rachael Herrington.

2.   Mary Franklin is named in the earlier survey in the text at the top and this should be correctly identified as the Mark (Martin) Franklin identified above - b 1 Jan 1800 TN, NC or SC; d 23 Sep 1873 Starlington - parents unknown.   Mark Franklin was a War of 1812 vet:   "Military service:  Bet. 25 August 1814 - 24 April 1819 War of 1812; served as a private in Capt John B Long's 39 US Inf, Capt Wm. Bee's Co 7th US Inf, and Capt David Emanuel Twiggs' Co 7th US Inf (Twiggs made military career and was later General in US Army & General in CSA)".

The marker is broken.   Descendants should be able to successfully submit a request to the VA to have a replacement tombstone provided - would take some work by whoever undertook the effort and cooperation of present property owners to place the tombstone but it's obvious someone has taken some steps to preserve this cemetery earlier this year - tip of the hat to person or persons unknown.

In another exchange, Belinda Jacks provided this interesting account:   "I, too, have been to that cemetery.   My sister and I went there about 20 years ago.  None of the gravestones were visible.  We borrowed a hoe from the property owners and scraped in the ground.  The tombstones were just beneath the surface."

13-17 Nov 2005 Alabama Research Trip by Research Partners Lisa Franklin & Belinda Jacks:

Visited the Franklin Family Cemetery Wednesday afternoon, 16 Nov 2005 & placed orange roses on the grave of Mark (Martin) Franklin, GGGgrandfather of Belinda & Lisa's husband, Bruce.  Took multiple photographs currently being developed.

The 3 burials are located within an area about 10' by 12' enclosed by a pipe fence erected by the present homeowner to keep the cows away from the graves.  I won't give his name as I haven't asked his permission to post it, but we talked to him & he is a wonderful, caring man - the ideal earth-bound angel to protect this site.  The burials are located on a hill within a beautiful field with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.  I've always wished that GGGgrandpa Mark could have been buried beside Nancy here in Louisiana, but Belinda & I were both struck by what a beautiful & peaceful location this is for Mark's final resting place.  Needless to say, Belinda & I were both in tears.

Locations of the burials within the enclosure are provided.  Please take note that the inscriptions on the children's markers "wrap around" from one line to the next.

NW corner:

(carved lying lamb)
N DEC 7. 187
7. 1877 REST IN

{In memory of Babe of B & P Burkett Born Dec 7, 1873 Died Jul 7, 1877 Rest in Peace - - grandchild of Mark (Martin) Franklin and Nancy Ann (Ann) Stapleton Franklin & 5th child of Fernetta Franklin & Bartillo (Bartilla) Burkett}

NE corner:

(flying dove)
4. 1873 DIED
NOV 9 1874
Marker w/initials JAF at the foot of this burial
{In Memory of A J Franklin Born Dec 4, 1873 Died Nov 9, 1874 - - grandson of Mark (Martin) Franklin and Nancy Ann (Ann) Stapleton Franklin & 5th child of Edmond Mark Franklin & Elviney (Vicey) Burkett}

SE corner:
Broken headstone of Mark Franklin cracked & mostly unreadable.  What you can see is the following:

(clasped Hands)
(cracked unreadable area)
SEP 23. 1873
Marker w/initials MF at the foot of this burial
{original inscription read -
In Memory of
(clasped hands)
Mark Franklin
Jan 1. 1800
Sep 23, 1873
Gone but
not forgotten

This is the burial of Mark (Martin) Franklin, husband of Nancy Ann (Ann) Stapleton.  Their children were Morris, Kisiah (Kizziah/Kiziah), Catherine, Edmond Mark, Mary H (Polly), Aurelia (Riller), Fernetta (Fernettia), Mark, Ennis, Adelia (Adella/Dell), & David Twiggs.}

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Page updated 29 Nov 2005.