Nichols Cemetery, Hatfield, Arkansas

About five miles West of Hatfield on State Highway 246 on the right between Polk 38 and Polk 151.
SE, NW, Section 8, Township 3 South, Range 32 West
Parcel # 10366

This history of Nichols Cemetery was given to Ruby Martin by Thelma Nichols Owners (Mrs. Raymond Owens), the great grand-daughter of Jim Nichols.

Sam and Jim Nichols came to Arkansas with their father in 1840 from Alabama. They settled in the area which, years later, became the West Valley Community. Sam lived on the land on which the cemetery is now located. Jim lived across the Mountain Fork River.

When Sam first came to this area, he lived in a log cabin across the road from the cemetery site. The log cabin was later occupied by Negro slaves who are buried in this cemetery. There are no markers for their graves.

The father of Sam and Jim Nichols was the first person buried in this cemetery. Thelma does not know the father’s name, but she believes that he died in 1845.

Since the owners of the land had control over who could be buried in this cemetery, the graves of Mowdy, the Greens, and the Negro slaves can be found in the northeast corner.

There were three Cap Nichols. The older Cap Nichols was the first person to live on the land now joining the cemetery. His loved ones here, so the cemetery was used for the Nichols family after that.

Sam was the second Nichols to live on this land. It is his grave that has the wooden grave marker with the following inscriptions.

In Memory of Sam Nichols, W.H.O., Departed this life Nov 30, A15875 (68 years-6 months-14 days)

Sam made his own monument from cedar, ready to be “put up” when he died. Under the engraving he cut into the wood and made a compartment where he placed his personal and lodge papers. He put screws in the cut-out part and put it back into place. A few years ago the cedar monument began to deteriorate and the edges of the papers were showing. Someone removed them. It is believed that Lewis, the next and last Nichols to live on the home place, had possession of the papers at one time.

On July 22, 1944, H. L. (Lewis) Nichols made a deed to J.C. Nichols, Allen Nichols, and Sam Raymond Owens, and their successors for the Nichols Cemetery. The deed was recorded by Arthur Means on July 22, 1944, Book 64, Page 479. The Notary Public was W. N. “Nick” Martin.

As of this writing 8/20/1983, Sam Raymond Owens is the only one of the three named on the deed who is still living.

Thelma Nichols Owens’ grandfather was Anderson Nichols. Her father was Calvin Nichols, her mother was Janie Miller Nichols. Sam Nichols was the father of Cap Nichols who was the father of H. L. “Lewis” Nichols.

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