By Laura Bentley
Zion Presbyterian Church circa 1847, Located at 2322 Zion Road, Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee. I want to start with a brief history of the church itself. The original building was built from logs in 1807 by a group of Scots-Irish families who had moved to the area from South Carolina. This building was used until a small brick building was constructed in 1813. The present day church was built in 1847 in the Greek Revival Style. A slave gallery was provided for the slaves who were members of the church. In 1880 stained glass windows produced by the Tiffany Company were installed.
The cemetery contains over 1500 grave and you will see a small section of graves in front of what may be the Sunday school building. This area only contains a few marked graves and almost certainly many, many unmarked burials. Many of the founding members of the church are buried in the larger cemetery with a large number of Frierson’s interred here. The main cemetery has a large concentration of graves, all beautifully marked and clustered together. Here you will find obelisks and box tombs and many old headstones with lots of personal details provided. Buried here are 10 Revolutionary War, 10 War of 1812 and 55 Civil War soldiers. A note of interest is a monument to “Daddy Ben”, a slave who survived three hanging attempts by the British when he refused to give information on where his master was hiding.
From the Revolutionary War you will find Captain William Littlefield who died on November 1, 1822 at the age of 70. Also David Matthews born circa 1763 in Ireland and died on February 10th, 1855. He was the last Revolutionary soldier to die in Maury County, Tennessee. Major John D. Fleming is resting here, he was a soldier of the War of 1812. Resting for eternity here are Civil War soldiers Col. Duncan Brown Cooper and Samuel R. Watkins.
Other interesting monuments you will pass by are the ones for a child named Alice that simply reads “Little Alice Sleeps Here”. Another for a young mother who lies beside four of her children who died along with her in a tornado on the night of March 24th, 1835. Her name is Mrs. Sarah N. DeGraffenreid and she was born in 1796. Her children who died along with her are Francis G. b. 10/22/1815, John R. b. 6/1820, Thomas L. Age 2 years old and a six week old infant. Also take the time to read about a remarkable woman who took in several orphan children.
If you visit this beautiful church and cemetery that is set back in the country be sure to take your time and bring your camera.