Milam Street, Shreveport
Confederate soldiers, merchants, clergymen, mayors, and
many of the city’s early settlers inhabit the graves in
Oakland Cemetery. Located on the edge of the former St.
Paul’s Bottoms, Oakland Cemetery was created by an
ordinance on July 20, 1849, although burials had been
occurring on the land since 1840.
Most burials took place on private burial grounds or in
churchyards, but Shreveport had no churchyard burial
ground within the city limits. In 1847 Mayor Lawrence
Pike Crain, leading the Shreveport City Council, decreed
that all people buried within the city limits of
Shreveport had to be buried in the southeast corner of
the city graveyard.
Some bodies were moved here from an earlier graveyard at
the corner of McNeill and Fannin Streets.
Jews escaping the anti-Semitic feelings came here from
Europe in the 1840s. In 1859 the Hebrew Mutual
Benevolent Association bought one acre of the cemetery
for $160 and dedicated it as the first Hebrew cemetery
in the city.
Simon Marks was the first Jewish person buried here.
(Dunbar “Grave”) Also in the Jewish section are most of
the founders of Hebrew Zion, now B’nai Zion.
As more room was needed in the Jewish section, land on
Texas Avenue near Fairfield Avenue was purchased and
dedicated as the Hebrew Rest Cemetery, which serves as
the second oldest Jewish cemetery in the state.
The Reform Jewish community later established a third
Jewish cemetery within Greenwood Cemetery.
Sometimes different families are represented in the same
plot because during the yellow fever epidemic of 1873
there was no time to plan individual plots.
The Susan Constant Chapter of the Colonial Dames XVII
Century presented a marker, which designated the mound
marking the graves of hundreds of victims of the yellow
Oakland Cemetery sold plots until 1930.
In 1970 the Shreveport Beautification Foundation
restored the cemetery and managed upkeep. Seven years
later it was placed on the National Register of Historic
citizens buried in Oakland:13
Cane, who was the wife of William Bennett and later of
his business partner, James Cane, owned most of the
land that became Bossier City. She was one of the
first white women to settle in Shreveport. The city
and parish jointly erected the monument to her in
Clark, a free woman of color before the Civil War,
owned houses on McNeill Street, which she rented to
black and white families alike.
Smith, the son of Amanda Clark, was the first black
doctor in the city.
Legardy was Shreveport’s first black councilman.
Harris, the founder of the Shreveport Times,
was buried here in 1917.
- Dr. W. C.
Dunlap, who was called to Shreveport in 1868 to serve
the Presbyterian congregation, oversaw the
construction of the Presbyterian church at Travis and
Edwards Streets in 1870.
- Fr. Jeane
Pierre, Fr. Levezouet, and Fr. Queremais were buried
here originally, but were later moved to St. Joseph
- Rev. J.
Franklyn Ford served the Presbyterian congregation
from 1850 until 1856, and the first church structure
was built on the west side of Market Street under his
- Dr. W. S.
Perrick served the Baptist congregation from 1885
until 1897 and founded the Genevieve Orphanage in
1889, naming it for his daughter, who accidentally
swallowed and subsequently choked to death on the eye
of a china doll.
Leon D. Marks, a hero of Vicksburg during the Civil
War, was buried here, with the entire Confederate
general staff attending his funeral.
Nathan Goldkind, gambler and businessman, was killed
at a local saloon during a card game; his tombstone
bore the name of his killer, who was tried but not
McCune, who ruled the red-light district in the early
1900’s, was buried here in 1920.
William Walton George, John N. Howell, Joseph C. Beall,
Lawrence Pike Crain, John M. Landrum, John W. Jones,
John L. Gooch, Aleck Boarman, Martin Tally, Col.
William Rabun Shivers, Moses H. Crowell, Simon Levy,
John O. Sewall, Dr. Joseph Taylor, Col. Samuel J.
Ward, Richard T. Vinson, and Reuben McKellar.
cast-iron covers are found in this cemetery as well.
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