Lewis Johnson Family Cemetery
Located in the Garret Community, Pittsburg Township, Johnson Co., AR, Sec. 29 - T9N - R22W, this small cemetery is part of Lewis JOHNSON's orignial preemption land entry, (patent issued in 1844.) It is the burial place of Penninah JOHNSON, wife of Lewis, the family of John T. JOHNSON, Sarah M. Johnson CAROTHERS, the daughter of Lavinia Jane Johnson BLACKARD, and at least six of Hannah Susan Johnson FARMER's children. (A Johnson Co. cemetery location index and some maps inaccurately place this cemetery well within Sec. 20. In fact, the major part of the cemetery is in Section 29 with several burials across the line into Section 20.)
Unkempt, a place to toss bottles and cans, overgrown with honeysuckle vines and out-of-control ornamentals, the cemetery was invisible from a few feet away. With the removal of underbrush, it emerged as a prime example of the transitional cemetery often found in the Upland South. Marked burials range from 1858 to 1955. The majority of graves are indicated by native fieldstone, several with stone copings. There are seven commercial tombstones in this cemetery. Penninah JOHNSON's grave is surrounded by a native stone, brick, and mortar structure and topped by a single stone, approximately five feet by nine feet by six inches thick. The inscription on this stone appears to have been professionally incised.
Decendants of the Johnson family have reclaimed this historic cemetery from decades of neglect. Clean-up work has been done by descendants of the Johnson and Zachary families, with assistance by Boy Scout Troop No. 149, and their troop leaders, Wallie Shaw and Howard Verweibe.
Improvements to the cemetery include removal of dead trees and overgrowth, and the planting of bulbs and flowering shrubs. A family cemetery association has been formed for the purpose of preserving and maintaining the burial place of the Lewis Johnson Family.
An annual clean-up and memorial observance is held on the 2nd weekend in October. Contact Harryette Graham to be placed on the mailing list or to send contributions for maintenance.