Batesville Magnolia Cemetery Early usage of this cemetery has been traced to the mid 1850s. Residents of the old town of Panola began using the area for burials prior to the railroad construction on higher ground which was the reason Batesville was founded. An early stone was located during the 1992 grave recording, an effort whose results appear in The Panola Historical and Genealogical Society. The report found in the CEMETERIES OF PANOLA COUNTY MISSISSIPPI shows a burial in 1845, and the next oldest in 1849. The first published reference to Batesville Cemetery was in a Panola Star newspaper article dated February 16, 1859, asking citizens to meet at the courthouse to make arrangements “for the enclosure, etc. of our much neglected burial place.” (One must wonder if this aforementioned neglect explains the over 1,000 unmarked graves in the old section in the northwest corner adjacent to Eureka Street.) Because the older section was not divided into lots, a recent project used ground penetrating radar to identify approximately 1,000 graves with no markers. Although some people thought this area was where Yellow Fever victims were buried, research by a local historian found no written record of this being the case. A former caretaker of the cemetery later said that third-generation funeral home operator Dan L. Ferguson, Jr. assured him the old section was “full”. An early newspaper article reported Mrs. Calvin Vance had donated two acres of land and was willing to deed it “as soon as the citizens are ready to receive it,” in 1859. The land was officially transferred to the Batesville Cemetery August 1, 1872 to Lodge #66 of the Free and Accepted Masons who purchased another 3 3/4 acres of land from James W. Bates and managed the cemetery for 14 years. Masons mentioned during period included: F. Moore, M.W. and L.D. Nickel, and R. M. Kyle. On May 12, 1886, lands were sold by the Lodge in trust for the Batesville Cemetery. Additional land was purchased from members of the Westmoreland family in 1922 and 1939. Cemetery lots sales were first traced back to May 21, 1886. Batesville Cemetery is often referred to as Batesville Magnolia Cemetery, the name coming as a result of Batesville Garden Club’s planting of Magnolia trees as memorials. In the 1970s a board was formed to raise money to support a perpetual fund to properly maintain the cemetery for years to come. Decades of maintenance coupled with decreased lot sales, cremations and additional cemeteries have made it necessary to use not only interest, but also a portion of the trust. Those funds are quickly being depleted. Now, almost a half-century later, the funds must be replenished. Therefore, the current board is seeking contributions for continued maintenance.