*CHURCH FRONT,  - Jefferson County, Arkansas |  *CHURCH FRONT - Arkansas Gravestone Photos


Saint Marys Cemetery
Jefferson County,

Front of St Mary's Church.

In 1838, Sr. Agnes Hart and several Sisters of Loretto came to Arkansas to start a school at what was the first St. Mary’s on the Arkansas River. Since the area was prone to flooding, the school and church was moved to Plumb Bayou in 1869, several miles inland on the eastern part of the Arkansas flood plain. Sister Agnes didn’t survive but one more year and was buried in 1839 at the original St. Mary’s church site. When the church was moved, Sr. Agnes’s body was exhumed and was found incorrupt even though she was buried without a casket (she was buried on a bed of roses).
St. Mary’s church has been at the current site since 1869. The exterior facade was bricked in 1927 and the interior ceiling was dropped and covered. During some point, the statues were removed and apparently given away or lost. Recently, some Eucharistic vessels were found as well as a crucifix that was carved by Chief Saracen, a local Indian chief who converted to Catholicism in the early 1800’s and apparently known by the St. Mary’s sisters and priests. Chief Saracen is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery. The cross located above the entrance is thought to be original to the church and was covered in copper to protect it from woodpeckers.
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Contributed on 12/12/10 by richard110
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Record #: 426556

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Submitted: 12/12/10 • Approved: 12/29/10 • Last Updated: 9/9/12 • R426556-G0-S3

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