It's been a couple of years since our visit to Bean Cemetery, a remote graveyard that is the final resting place of several early Itawamba families who settled in the remote hills and hollers between the Cardsville and Carolina communities. Maybe this fall we can schedule another visit to the cemetery, which can only be reached by a long walk or by four-wheelers, on private property.
I came across the photos of the grave markers of Mr. and Mrs. William Barrett recently, and thought to myself that they have to be among the oldest folks buried in Itawamba County. And note when they died - in the 1850's, during the first twenty years of our county's history. It is somewhat uncommon to find such well-preserved tombstones from this time, mostly because not too many families had the funds to erect grave markers for their deceased loved ones. Itawamba County was largely a frontier territory, still being settled.
Who were the Barretts? I found the following information in the 1986 publication Itawamba County, Mississippi Families (1836-1986), Sesquicentennial Edition, as submitted by Mildred Barrett McMillen.
William Barrett and his two sons were in Itawamba County by 1836 when their names appeared on the Tax List for that year. Census records indicate that the sons were born in South Carolina, and it is believed that perhaps the Barrett family came from South Carolina via wagon train with several of the neighboring families of this area. It should be noted that William Barrett would have been around 70 years of age when he moved to Itawamba County to start a new life with his family.
Milly, wife of William, was actually Amelia; her maiden name is not known. Also buried in the cemetery with William and Milly is their son Joseph W. W. Barrett who died in 1856, and who apparently never married. Another son, Samuel Wiley Barrett, is believed to be buried in Bean Cemetery in an unmarked grave along with his wife, Eliza Caroline Elmore.
Samuel and Eliza married late in life, and had two children, Joseph and Callie who were orphaned in 1871 in the lean, post-Civil War years. Callie married and moved to Texas while Joseph married a daughter of Herman Frank and Mary Ann (Sheffield) Moore, Rebekah Frances Moore, and had several children whose descendants continue to live in Itawamba County.
Here is the William Barrett family in the 1850 census:
Itawamba County, Mississippi
William Barrett 84 VA farmer
Samuel W. 47 SC farmer
Joseph W. 39 SC farmer
Eliza E. 36 SC
Neighbors: Hezekiah Thorn, William Beene, Daniel Black