Survey and photos submitted by: Angela Boynton Cassidy
This cemetery is on private property off of McNair Road, which runs
between U.S. Highway 27 north of Havana, FL, over
to Fairbanks Ferry Road about 1 mile west of the Concord crossroads. From U.S. Highway 27 north of Havana, turn
right on McNair Road, and the cemetery is on the left side, down a lane behind a locked gate. From the gate it
is approximately 365 striding steps across an open space, then down a power line right-of-way, and through a canopy of
trees. A gap in the opening of trees on the left leads to the cemetery, which is about 700 square feet in size. It is enclosed
in an old wrought iron fence inside of a chain link fence. Seven graves are outside of the fence, and 13 are inside.
Venice Walsh, of Havana, FL, maintains the cemetery, where his great-grandparents, Early and Lou Thompson Laing
are buried. The cemetery is surrounded by planted pines and is probably on timber company land.
On maps this cemetery is shown as the Thompson Cemetery. Since the murder of the two Burns ladies who lived across
the road, it has become known locally as the Thompson-Burns Cemetery.
|Landscape views of the cemetery
|Outside of the fence:
Double stone, fairly new, which obviously replaced an older one:
Early E. Laing, born Feb. 18, 1826, Died Oct. 29, 1867.
Lou A. Laing, born Oct. 14, 1837, Died May 13, 1915
Though their mortal bodies molder in dust, their souls shall rest in peace with God.
|Outside of the fence:
J. W. Merritt, Masonic Emblem, b. Apr.3, 1839, d. Mar. 5, 1892 (This is Johnathon William Merritt.)
Margaret Ann (Dykes) Merritt, 1st wife of J. W. Merritt, b. Jan. 28, 1840, d. Mar. 5, 1876
Rhoda Angeline MARSH MERRITT DORTCH , b.Feb. 13, 1857, d. Jan. 3, 1944 (2nd wife of J. W. Merritt) Note: Rhoda made widow's Confederate Pension Applications under her name, Rhoda Marsh for Jonathon's service, and under the name Rhoda Dortch, for the military service of her second husband, David Dortch, who is buried in the Barber Cemetery in Concord.)
|Lillie E. Merritt, 1881-1980|
|Wyett H. Merritt, Sgt. U.S. Army, WW I, b. Sep. 15, 1887, d. Jun. 16, 1978 (no stone, just a rusted funeral home marker, to the right of Lillie E. Merritt as you face her monument)|
|Inside the fence:
Mary A. F. Burns, b. Jan. 10, 1843, d. Aug. 19, 1936, Her memory is blessed. Beside T. L. Burns.
|T. L. Burnes, b. Sept. 18, 1847, d. Oct. 3, 1910. Beside Mary A. F. Burns.|
|Emma Burns, Daughter of T. L. & Mary Burnes, b. Sept. 10, 1874, Sept. 30, 1891. (Barely readable anymore, tall headstone in center row of cemetery.)|
|John B. Burns, b. July 1, 1852, d. Oct. 30, 1872. Asleep in Jesus peaceful rest, whose waking is supremely blest.|
|Billie Burnes, son of T. L. & Mary Burnes, b. Aug. 2, 1867, d. Jan. 2(or 3), 1868. (Child?s stone to the right of John B. Burns.|
|John H. Burns, b. Aug. 12, 1818, d. May 11, 1864. (To the left of Annie Burns)|
|Annie Burns, b. Apr. 8, 1816, d. Nov. 8, 1894. A tender mother and a faithful friend. (To the right of John H. Burns.)|
|Sophronia S. Chester, b. Oct. 28, 1848, d. Dec. 4, 1928. (First wife of Franklin Chester, who is buried in the Concord Cemetery)|
|Nancy E. Burns, b. Jan. 1, 1857, d. Apr. 14, 1934.|
|Double Stone: FINKLEA
Andrew Thomas Finklea, b. Apr. 22, 1862, d. Mar. 13, 1940
Alice Lenora Finklea, b. Mar. 26, 1872, d. Mar. 22, 1958
Tis not the whole of life to live, nor all of death to die.
|William L. Finklea, son of A.T. & A. L. Finklea, b. ___ 25, 1905, d. May __ 1907 (child?s stone, barely discernible)|
|Eva G.(barely discernible, the G could be a C), Dau. of A. T. & A. L. Finklea, b. Dec. 30, 1898, d. Oct. 23, 189__.|
|Photos of Persons buried in this Cemetery
Alice Lenora Burns Finklea, Holland Perkins, & old Mrs. Burns
Alice Lenora Burns Finklea, left, with parents
Lenora Burns Finklea and brotherTommy
|Newspaper Article about the Murder of the Burns Women|
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