HISTORY OF RAYMOND

 

Raymond, a place of history, a place in the heart, and a place of promise is a theme that runs through present-day Raymond. 

 

Raymond's place in history cannot be ignored. This small city is being preserved to showcase its more than 175 years.  Native Americans, early settlers, and abundant wildlife were here in the young years of our country and state. Old sunken road beds remain to show their footsteps and wagon tracks.

 

Hinds County was established in 1821 and named in honor of General Thomas Hinds.  The county was carved out of a tract of deep country ceded to the United States by the Choctaw Indians on October 18, 1820.  On February 4, 1828, the Mississippi legislature provided for the selection of three commissioners to select a site for the courthouse and jail for the county, and to locate the same either at Clinton or within two miles of the center of the county.  According to local lore, the commissioners determined the center of the county to be on Snake Creek. They selected a site just above the bottom land of the creek to be the county seat.  They named the site Raymond for General Raymond Robinson of Clinton who gave up his prior claim to the land. On January 17, 1829, an act was passed by the legislature directing that the courts of the county should be held at Raymond, and that all books, records, and papers belonging to the respective offices should be removed to that place. The young town grew and prospered as a seat of justice for the county.

 

Thirty-three years later Raymond became one of Ulysses S. Grant's victims as he marched his army through Mississippi to capture the city of Vicksburg.  On May 12, 1863, 12,000 Union soldiers of General James McPherson's XVII Corps met the 3,000 Confederates of General John Gregg's brigade in the Battle of Raymond.  The Union victory influenced Grant to change his scheme of maneuver and march to Jackson to rout any remaining Confederates.  After the battle, local citizens helped care for 1,000 wounded men from both armies as they were hospitalized in private homes, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and the brand new Hinds County Courthouse.

 

Raymond not only tells its story through the town's beautiful homes, bed and breakfast inns, historic churches, and other landmarks, but through its progress as well.  Today, the town embraces Hinds Community College, Mississippi's largest two-year college, as well as Eagle Ridge Conference Center with an 18 hole golf course. Riggs Manor Retirement Community offers a tranquil environment for a secure, comfortable lifestyle for seniors. The Hinds County Gazette, one of the state's oldest weekly newspapers, has been published locally since 1844-45.

 

Come to Raymond and experience all it has to offer from its earliest beginnings to its present existence.  Visit the Hinds County Courthouse (1857-1859) which exemplifies impressive Greek Revival architecture.  Take pleasure in shopping for unique gifts, on and off the Square, and dine at one of our restaurants.  Drive in to Raymond and uncover a place of history, a place in the heart, and a place of progress.



DISCOVER: A PLACE OF HISTORY

We all come from the past,
and children ought to know
What it was that went into their making,
to know that life is a braided cord of humanity
stretching up from time long gone,
and that it cannot be defined by the span
of a single journey from diaper to shroud.
Russell Baker
Growing UP

The Raymond Cemetery

Cemeteries have been called open air museums,
 filled with history and irreplaceable artwork. 

Cemeteries are repositories of unique genealogical, historical, religious, cultural, societal, and medical information that may not be recorded in any other format.  They are places in which the average citizen has an  opportunity to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.  They are sources of humor, pathos, and folklore.  They are habitat for birds and wildlife in the green spaces that they create.

                                                  Jeanne Robinson,
                                                  Oregon Historic Cemeteries Association.

 

The City of Raymond takes great pride in being the caretaker of the several cemeteries that comprise a whole, known as the Raymond Cemetery. We request the cooperation of all citizens who have an interest in the Raymond Cemetery in so maintaining and beautifying it that it may always be a source of inspiration and comfort to everyone.

 

 The Raymond Cemetery is comprised of the Historic Raymond Cemetery, the Confederate Cemetery, The Garden of Love and The Garden of Olivet (also known as Odd Fellows Cemetery), and the Garden of Eden.  The Garden of Love, Garden of Olivet, and Garden of Eden are the only areas presently open for burials.

 

HISTORIC RAYMOND CEMETERY

 

The Historic Raymond Cemetery contains the remains of some of the earliest settlers in Hinds County.  The cemetery is located between Dry Grove Road and Port Gibson Street, with vehicular entrance from Dry Grove Road.  A pedestrian gate is located on Port Gibson Street for entrance to this cemetery and the Confederate Cemetery.  Mary Collins Landin in her book, The Old Cemeteries of Hinds County, Mississippi, From 1811 to the Present, lists the earliest marked grave as 1832.

 

CONFEDERATE CEMETERY

 

The Confederate Cemetery contains the remains of 140 soldiers that died during the Battle of Raymond, or afterwards as a result of injuries sustained on the day of the battle, May 12, 1863.

 

An ornate iron fence and gate, announcing Confederate Dead, surrounds the Confederate Cemetery.  A newspaper article from the files of Mary Gillespie Adams, dated 1910, states that the ladies of the local UDC chapter were selling ice cream to raise funds to “finish paying for the handsome iron fence erected around the confederate lot.”

 
In 1933, a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) was responsible for the installation of 71 unmarked tombstones.  In 1987, new gravemarkers were dedicated to 109 dead soldiers that had been identified as being buried in the Cemetery.  Roger Hansen, a member of Stanford’s Mississippi Battery, is credited with researching state and national records to find the names of 109 of the soldiers buried here.

 

 GARDEN OF LOVE AND GARDEN OF OLIVET/ODD FELLOWS

 
The Garden of Love (west side of North Drive) and Garden of Olivet (east side of North Drive) contain the original Odd Fellows Graveyard. According to old records, about 1857, Naomi Lodge No. 17, I.O.O.F. (Raymond Odd Fellows Lodge) purchased from Maj. N. H. Bradley the land on the southeast side of Dry Grove Road, now known as Odd Fellows Cemetery. The Odd-Fellows Graveyard was surveyed and drawn by T.J. Adams, CE, March 1890. (Bradley, 1813-1894, and his family are buried in the old section of the town cemetery near the grave of Steven D. Miller.)  Adams’ hand drawn map is located in Raymond City Hall.

The beginnings of the Independent Order of the Odd-Fellows in Raymond dates back to about 1840.  Ruffner Lodge at Raymond was chartered by the Grand Lodge in Natchez.  Through mismanagement, however, Ruffner Lodge fell into disrepute and soon surrendered or lost its charter.  In 1845 Naomi Lodge No. 17, I.O.O.F. was chartered with I. Hunter, W. S. Ritnour, Allen Patrick, Daniel Knapp, and George W. Harper as charter members.  The Lodge was successful and continued its regular meetings from 1845 until it was plundered of its furniture, jewels, books, etc. by Grant’s army in 1863, after having sustained a fire in 1858.  It remained suspended from 1863 until 1878 when, by dispensation, it was reorganized with proper officers and fully reestablished.         

 From The Founding of Raymond, A History of its Early Citizens, 1830-1860 by Oliver V. Shearer

GARDEN OF EDEN

 

The Garden of Eden (1961) is located below the Garden of Love and Garden of Olivet, on the south side of West Drive.  The May 1953 Minutes of the City of Raymond record the property for this “new” cemetery was purchased by the City of Raymond from Gaddis Farms for $500.00 cash.  “Improvements” listed as filling and grading to the cemetery were undertaken by the City in March 1961.  These improvements most certainly included the filling of a large ditch through what is known as Garden of Olivet. 

 

In 1961, the Gardens were surveyed by R. C. (Dick) Prassel and a new map was drawn by  Wallace M. Wall.  This map is located in Raymond City Hall. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Copyright 2005, City of Raymond, Mississippi
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