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  • Old German Cemetery: Around the turn of the century the little town of Kirksville, Louisiana was nestled in hills between Kentwood, Louisiana and Osyka, Mississippi. The rural area is off of Hwy. 51 about 500 yards from the Louisiana/Mississippi border. The nearest town is Osyka, MS. The town bordered the railroad and was approximately 500 yards inside the Louisiana border. Today, the only known remnant of the town is a cemetery located just off Hwy. 51 in Tangipahoa Parish, north of Kentwood, Louisiana, just before reaching the Louisiana/Mississippi border. There is a green sign for the German Cemetery Road. After turning, the road forks and the cemetery is to the left. The cemetery has a large iron gate at the entrance and large cedar trees near the gate. A portion of the graveyard has a brick fence around it. The fence is crumbling. The graves inside of the fence have been sadly neglected, being taken over by the forest. This portion of the cemetery is presumed to be Jewish, as many of the tombstones have Hebrew epitaphs. Non-Jews used the area outside of the brick wall for burials. In more recent years, residents of Osyka, Mississippi have used the unfenced area for burials. The oldest marked grave in the cemetery bears the date August 1860.
    Apparently, Kirksville had a large Jewish population, but there are no records or information about why so many would have settled there or what might have become of their descendants. Possibly, there was a large sawmill at Kirksville. The demise of the sawmill and also relocation of the railroad roundhouse may have had something to do with the disappearance of inhabitants. Many of the graves are unmarked. Some of the tombstones have crumbled. Others have been vandalized. Most of the older graves bear death dates no later than 1908. Thus, presumably, the town died out at about that time. According to a lady who keeps the grass cut in the outer area of the German Cemetery in what used to be Kirksville, LA, this cemetery is not locked either. It is not possible to use a lawn mower in the walled Jewish section of the cemetery. However, in recent years [late 1990s] groups of young people from Jewish summer camps have gone in to clean it up periodically. The list of burials for Kirksville is incomplete as some of the graves could not be reached because of overgrowth of weeds, etc. Source: Carol Monahan, 4628 Fairfield Street, Metairie, LA 70006, (504) 456-2801. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2009 13:50
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