Dils Cemetery in Pikeville, Kentucky, is one of the most interesting cemeteries I’ve visited. First, to get to the cemetery, you must climb three flights of steps – the cemetery is on a hill – and once you are at top of the steps, the land slopes ever upward.
On each side of the summit, the ground slopes downward, making it difficult to photograph all the gravestones, especially as it was raining when we were there. I don’t like taking photos while raining, but sometimes it cannot be helped. We were on a strict schedule!
At the top of the steps is a stone marker – ‘Colonel John Dils purchased the property in 1871 on which this cemetery is located. He was the colonel of the 39th Kentucky Infantry in the Civil War. In addition to Colonel Dils there are several Civil War veteran buried here with the original Union military markers. The cemetery is listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places as part of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud District and has been changed little since 1871. It is the final resting place of several participants in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. Buried here are Randolph McCoy, the famed leader of the McCoy family, his wife Sarah, their daughter Roseanna, their son Sam and his wife Martha. The cemetery is the first known racially integrated cemetery in Eastern Kentucky. 130 of the 500 graves, many of them unmarked, are African American.’
Many of the graves were very difficult to read. Time has not been tender.
Pocahontas, daughter of John and Ann Dils, born September 23, 1850, died October 28, 1852. ‘Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.’
Col. John Dils, Jr., born September 15, 1818, died August 11, 1895. Ann Dils, born October 22, 1820 – ?. ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.’
Mother, Anna Williamson Dils, December 23, 1865 – July 28, 1928. Father, John A. Dils, November 7, 1858 – ? ‘Gone, but not forgotten.’
Lavinia G., daughter of J. and A. Dils, born March 11, 1853, died April 23, 1871.
Mary E., daughter of J. and A. Dils, born December 8, 1845, died March 1, 1878.
Sarah McCoy, 1829-1894. Randolph McCoy, 1825-1914.
Frank Waller, March 15, 1845 – March 22, 1916. Gone to a better land.
Thomas H., son of John M. and Martha Fidler, died May 17, 1883, aged 22 years, 9 months, 7 days.
Martha Jackson McCoy 1858-1942. Sam McCoy, 1857-1921.
In loving memory of Lucy Fouts Meade, 1854-1917.
In loving memory of John Marion Meade, World War I Veteran, died 1919.
John S. Johnson, 1868-1946. Minerva 1878-?
Sergeant Solomon Johnson, Co. C. 39 Ky Inf
Mary E. Johnson born February 16, 1848, died October 25, 1900.
Father, Thomas A. Huffman, December 12, 1850 – December 17, 1916.
George W. Syck, January 4, 1839 – October 10, 1915. CO D, 39th KY Inf, 1861-1865. Amanda Syck, September 9, 1842 – ?
Sarah A. Syck, 1857-1930.