At least 4 cemeteries can be found in the area of McGowin Bridge

Published 12:47 am Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Foshee Cemetery is an area cemetery, which is located in Escambia County about five miles from the border of Covington County. It appears from the dates on the existing headstones that there has not been a burial there in the last 100 years or so. The 13 graves that are marked are mostly for members of the Foshee, McGowin, and Miller families. All three of these had individuals who intermarried, and they were particularly involved in the timber harvesting industry. Obviously, there would have been people buried there whose graves were never identified with an enduring marker, which is evidenced by several sunken appearing sites.

The cemetery is located a short distance from the unpaved Bristlecone Road, which leads east from Marietta Road. Marietta Road leads east off US Highway 29, south of Andalusia. Marietta Road is also known as County Road 53, which leaves 29 just south of Mile Post 21 and a bridge. The paved stretch of Marietta Road ends after a short distance at a three-way stop. The unpaved portion continues after one turns right, and the unpaved road straight ahead from the stop sign becomes Poley Creek Road.

There is a red gate next to the road that allows entrance to the trail that leads back to the cemetery. But first, one must cross a gas line right of way before reaching the burial sites. The cemetery proper is surrounded by a wooden post and rail fence structure that encloses an area of about 40 to 50 square yards. In addition, there is a wrought iron fence enclosing four graves of the Mancill and Miller families.

Those graves that are marked are presented in the following order. Five graves, left to right, in the first row are for Samuel Foshee, b.1869, d. 1869; Nancy Foshee, b. 1869, 1869; Mary Ann McGowin (wife of William Foshee), b. 1832, d. 1874; William Foshee, 1828, d. 1882; and Parker D. Foshee, b. 1877, d. 1882. A short row of two graves and behind the front row are for James Stewart Foshee, b. 1792, d. 1860; and Martha N. Parker, b. 1787, d. 1839. Martha was the wife of James Foshee and appears to be the first to be buried in the cemetery.

There are the four graves surrounded by an iron fence that lie behind and to the left of the first two rows. The four graves are for James Mancil, b. 1834, d. 1894; and his wife, Margaret D. Miller, b. 1843, d. 1891; Cherry Ann Miller, b. 1817, d. 1887; and James Edward Miller, b. 1869, d. 1870, son of T.R. and M.E. Miller. Then, there are two graves about the center of the back row of the cemetery. They are for Peter McGowin, b. 1833, d. 1863; and (unreadable name) next to Peter, b. 1870, d. 1875.

A couple of significant notes are that Samuel Foshee and Nancy Foshee were twins who were born on January 26, 1869. Samuel died that day, but Nancy lived for six days. Among the 13 graves are two for Confederate Veterans. William Foshee served as a sergeant in Company I, 6th Alabama Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A. Peter McGowin who died during the War Between the States in 1863 served as a private in Company B, 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

A cemetery referred to as the Sam McGowin Cemetery is described as being located in the same general area. A census of the graves was recorded and submitted to the Tracking Your Roots website ( by Lygia Cutts. The information for it is available for viewing on line. Lygia describes this cemetery as being located “just off County Road 53, Marietta Road, in Escambia County.”

The identifiable graves include the following: Herman Austin McGowin (1887-1942), AL 42 INF; Nancy F. Blacksher, died 1893 at 29 years old; Infant daughter of Sam and Madge McGowin, b.&d. 1900; Henry Grady McGowin, s/o Samuel L. and Ada McGowin (1889-1890); Ada McGowin (1861-1894); Samuel L. McGowin (1859-1928); Madge F. Parker, 2nd wife of Samuel L. McGowin (1873-1912); Joseph H. McGowin, s/o S.L. and Ada McGowin (1892-1928); Ada Laurie McGowin, d/o S.L and Ada McGowin, (1893-1928); Lilly Leonard ? (1860-1882), grandson of J and M.M. Blacksher, “A Young Soldier;” Elijah Blacksher, d. 1866 at 14 years old; Lawrence H. Blacksher (1880-1881), s/o J. and Mrs. S.F. Blacksher, Jr.; three unmarked infants; John W. Blacksher, d. 1866 at 3 months of age; and one unmarked grave.

Another McGowin Cemetery in the area is one called McGowin Ferry Cemetery. It has in past years been recorded and submitted to Tracking Your Roots by Lygia Dawkins Cutts. She describes the location as being “at the intersection of County Road 43, Brooklyn Road, and US Highway 29. She also stated that it was established in 1961 “In Memory of PaPa and Mama by Durant, Ernestine and Pat.”

The identified graves in this cemetery include the following: Elbert L. Nettles (1911-1991); Ernestine McGowin Nettles (1911-1987); Agnes Moore McGowin (1891-1968); James C. McGowin (1882-1968); James Thaddeus Sheppard (1909-1980); and Durant McGowin (1909-1988).

A fourth cemetery near McGowin’s Bridge is named McGowin Cemetery. It is located a short distance from the bridge near the junction of County Road 43 and US Highway 29. It is on private land and is well maintained and easily accessible. Hopefully, it can be covered in a future column.

The information on the Foshee Cemetery was compiled and recorded by Bruce Kelly Veasey who discovered it while checking on the gas line in that area. As a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Kelly was especially interested in the graves of the two Confederate Veterans buried in the cemetery. Appreciation is expressed to him for collecting and sharing this history.

Anyone who might see any error in the above information is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or e-mail:

He would also appreciate hearing from anyone who has information on other old cemeteries in the area, especially those within the boundaries of Covington County.