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Mount Holly Cemetery Association records

Mount Holly Cemetery Association records

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Finding aid for the Mount Holly Cemetery Association records


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

March 3, 2004

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Mount Holly Cemetery Ladies Association. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Title: Mount Holly Cemetery Association records
Dates: 1776-2014
Quantity: 26.0 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains material related to the history and administration of Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Identification: BC.MSS.98.32
Language: English


Within Series I, minutes, treasurers' reports, and newspaper scrapbooks are arranged in chronological order, biographies and obituaries are arranged alphabetically, and other items are categorized by topic. In Series II, documents are arranged topically and chronologically, and are followed by photographs, official record books, and scrapbooks.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a series of material first accessioned in 1998, and a second series made up of material accessioned approximately ten years later. Each series consists of records of the history and administration of Mount Holly Cemetery, including official record books, minutes, treasurers' reports, biographies, obituaries, journal articles, newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks.

The photographs in Series I, Box 18 are reproduced in the book, Jubilee: Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas, Its First 150 Years, and are numbered in the order presented in the book.

In Series II, items found loose in the official record books and scrapbooks were filed with the documents. This includes several documents recording the transfer of ownership of cemetery lots. As indicated in the container list, some items are extremely fragile.

Series II, Box 15, contains the original register of the sale of cemetery lots beginning in 1843. This same book was used from 1839 to 1842 to record dray and cart licenses for the city of Little Rock. Persons listed as receiving licenses include Nathan Warren, John Pope, Matthew Cunningham, William Woodruff, and others.

Historical Information

Mount Holly Cemetery dates from 1843, when a four-square block site was deeded to the city of Little Rock by Chester Ashley and Roswell Beebe. Enclosed by 11th Street, Broadway, 13th Street, and Gaines Street, it replaced a public burial ground located at Capitol Avenue and Gaines Street. Grave markers with dates prior to 1843 represent re-interments from the Capitol Avenue site.

The March 7, 1843, city ordinance providing for the care and management of Mount Holly Cemetery called for a portion of Lot No. 210 at Mount Holly to be set aside for the interment of African Americans, described in the ordinance as "deceased persons of color." City government supervised the cemetery directly from 1843 to 1877, when a five-member board was appointed. In 1915, the ladies' Mount Holly Cemetery Association was incorporated and continues in the role of administering the cemetery.

The fence built in 1851 was replaced in 1884 by a stone wall, with stone gateposts and an iron gate added in 1933. Structures within the cemetery include private mausoleums, a community mausoleum, a sexton's cottage, a Carpenter Gothic bell house, and a receiving house dating back to 1897, which was restored in 1996.

On March 5, 1970, Mount Holly became one of the earliest cemeteries to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1993, its sesquicentennial anniversary was highlighted by the publication of an illustrated cemetery history, and an index with every name listed. With a total of nearly 5000 interments, the cemetery is the burial site for both prominent and lesser known individuals, including military veterans, governors, judges, politicians, and other historic Arkansas figures, as well as slaves and other persons of color.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Cemeteries -- Arkansas
Mount Holly Cemetery Ladies Association. (Little Rock, Ark.)


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Mount Holly Cemetery Association records, MSS.98.32, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mount Holly Cemetery Association, 1998 and 2016

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