Sparta Catholic Cemetery
From the Hancock County Courthouse, go two (2) blocks south on Court Street. The cemetery is on the southeast corner formed by Court Street and Hancock Street. It is next to the city oxidation pond. There are only a few depressions and a slab to indicate that the cemetery exists here. What remains of the cemetery is in terrible shape. A few large granite foundation blocks are scattered throughout the shrubs and young trees. An 1869 indenture (see below) speaks of stones set up to mark the boundaries of the one and one-fourth acre lot, and it is unknown whether these scattered blocks or the granite posts around the area are those boundary stones.
GPS coordinates: 33 16' 16.9" N 82 58' 33.5" W
or in degrees only form: 33.27136° N X 82.97597° WSee location on a Google map in a new window
The map opens in a new window. The cemetery will be at the location indicated by a red marker.)
Cemetery Status: Inactive
Predominant race: Both Black and White
The Catholic cemetery and chapel were located on a plot conveyed to the diocese of Savannah by Benjamin Tarpley Harris 11 August 1869 "on the south side of the village of Sparta and on the east side of the road leading from said village to Milledgeville by way of Fairplay." [Source: Indenture between B. T. Harris and Bishop Verot. Recorded in the clerk's office of the Superior Court of Hancock County in Book T page 324, Aug. 12, 1869. A copy of the indenture was sent in 1995 to John Rozier by Tony Dees, then director of the Catholic Archives in Atlanta, who had obtained it in 1993 from the Diocese of Savannah Archives.]
[Forrest Shivers in his history of Hancock says the Catholic church was dedicated in July 1869 and lists the Hancock Journal
, 29 July 1869, as the source.]
The chapel faced west, and the entrance faced Court Street. The cemetery was on the southern side of the chapel.
Indexer or Contributor: John Rozier, Janice Smith, and Susan Smith
Number of persons found: 11
Sheets from an unknown source found in the Catholic Diocese have "front gate" "graves location" and the following names:
Unmarked Grave - Mary Friese
Unmarked Grave - Frank Friese
Located here per Diocese list. Click on Mary Friese to see list of Friese church members. Click for more info.
Unmarked Grave - Victor Friese
Grave pictured with Frank Friese's grave. Located here per Diocese list. Click on Mary Friese to see list of Friese church members.
Unmarked Grave - Joseph Flury, Jr.
Located here per Diocese list. A depression indicates the presence of the grave. Click for more info.
Unmarked Grave - Joseph Flury, Sr.
Located here per Diocese list.
Mrs. Rebecca C. Stephens Salter
w/o R. H. Salter, per list of members of this church. d/o Linton Stephens & his first wife, per John Rozier. Grave has "Rebecca C. Salter, R.I.P" faintly inscribed. Click for more info.
Unmarked Child Grave - child of Congo Laughlin
Located here per a separate sheet from the above, which says, "Colored, Congo Laughlin's child". In the church membership list, Congo Laughlin has wife named Theresa.
Bottom of the sheet says "back fence" and the following names appear.
Unmarked Grave - Richard Sharpe
Located here per Diocese sheet.
Unmarked Grave - Mrs. Richard Sharpe
Located here per Diocese sheet.