Our City of The Dead – RosehillPublished 9:00pm Saturday, December 28, 2013
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Have you visited Rosehill lately? I know, you’re asking, “Why would I want to visit a cemetery?”
That’s a good question. A cemetery can be a gloomy, sad place, but it can also be a quiet, peaceful place and it is a perfect place to start finding out about your family and the history of a town.
Before I got into genealogy, I was walking through Rosehill and saw a grave with the name James Homer Adams engraved on it. I made the statement that that person had the same name as my dad. Later I found out that the person buried there was my grandfather and surrounding him in the plot was my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandmother plus aunts and cousins.
Yes, in Rosehill there are many surprises to be found and many interesting stories about the people buried there.
Shortly after you enter the cemetery from the main entrance you will see a large white marble tombstone with the Cooper name on it. Buried in this plot is Inman W. Cooper, president of Whitworth College for 23 years. Also buried in this plot is his father Preston Cooper, the founder of Cooper’s Wells, a “health spa” that was located in Hinds County. He was a Methodist minister.
The Rev. Cooper, died in 1858 and was originally buried in Meridian, but it was requested by his son, Inman, that his body and that of his mother and a grandchild be moved to Rosehill. This was done in 1927, two years after Inman Cooper’s death. The Rev. Cooper’s metallic coffin conformed to the body and had a round piece of glass located over the face and 69 years after his death his face was almost perfectly preserved. Pictures were made for the family.
Continuing on into the cemetery you pass many people that lived their entire lives in Brookhaven and contributed much to the great town it is. There are at least 500 soldiers, our hometown heroes, from all of the wars buried here. Thirty-two of these soldiers were unknown Confederate soldiers that died at Whitworth and originally buried there.
Another interesting person interred here is Tyhe Soogaard, a native of Denmark. He was the Danish consul to New Orleans and Louisville, Ky., for many years. About 10 years before his death in 1930 he bought land in Lincoln County and was the founder of the Danish colony at Soogaard, a community named for him. This colony raised peaches on a commercial scale. Tyhe Soogaard also translated into English the works of Danish writers for American magazines.
In the Jewish section lies Zollie Daniel. He was a merchant here in town and had taken a Saturday off to visit friends in Bogue Chitto. That evening as he reached the train station he had his mind on catching the Northbound passenger train when around a curve came a freight train that knocked him about 50 feet down the track killing him almost instantly. Mr. Daniel was 47 years old and had lived in Brookhaven for 25 years.
And, last but definitely not least, is Amanda Sims Boswell. Mrs. Boswell was the wife of John J. Boswell and a woman ahead of her time. She loaned her husband some money that she had inherited from her father. He had promised to pay her back with interest. He didn’t. She sued and she won. He died in 1871 and had not yet returned her money, so she sued his estate – woman ahead of her time for sure. Amanda Boswell ran the Boswell house for many years and is given credit for the naming of Rosehill.
In the very near future a historical marker will be placed at the front entrance to Rosehill, but first some landscaping is planned by the city. Watch the papers for a date and plan to attend.
Sue Dorman is a local historian who lives in Brookhaven. You can contact her through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.