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Oakland


Oakland Cemetery
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. 1 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. 2 Some bodies were moved here from an earlier graveyard at the corner of McNeill and Fannin Streets. 3

        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. 4 Simon Marks was the first Jewish person buried here. 5 (Dunbar “Grave”) Also in the Jewish section are most of the founders of Hebrew Zion, now B’nai Zion. 6

        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. 7 The Reform Jewish community later established a third Jewish cemetery within Greenwood Cemetery. 8

        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. 9 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 fever epidemic. 10

        Oakland Cemetery sold plots until 1930. 11 In 1970 the Shreveport Beautification Foundation restored the cemetery and managed upkeep.  Seven years later it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.12

 Notable citizens buried in Oakland:13
 

  • Mary 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 1906.
  • Amanda Clark, a free woman of color before the Civil War, owned houses on McNeill Street, which she rented to black and white families alike.
  • Alphonse Smith, the son of Amanda Clark, was the first black doctor in the city.
  • Alfred Legardy was Shreveport’s first black councilman.
  • Albert 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 Cemetery.
  • 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 ministry.
  • 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. 
  • Colonel Leon D. Marks, a hero of Vicksburg during the Civil War, was buried here, with the entire Confederate general staff attending his funeral.
  • Immigrant 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 found guilty.
  • Annie McCune, who ruled the red-light district in the early 1900’s, was buried here in 1920.
  • Mayors 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.
  • Six cast-iron covers are found in this cemetery as well.

 

 


References


                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                          



 
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