MITCHELL CEMETERY (SITE)

MITCHELL CEMETERY (SITE)

street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1829
/ Modified in
1843
,
1862
/ Demolished in
1961
Neighborhood: 

 

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Last updated

  • Tue, 04/27/2021 - 6:48pm by SteveR

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street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1829
/ Modified in
1843
,
1862
/ Demolished in
1961
Object Type: 
Object Subtype: 
Neighborhood: 

 

View north west, January 18, 1961 (via UNC)
 
View north west, January 18, 1961 (via UNC)
 
 
View north west, December 1931 (via UNC's Daily Tar Heel)
 
 
The Mitchell cemetery was originally located behind the First President's House, built in 1795 and demolished/moved in 1913 when Swain Hall was constructed on the property.
 
Elisha Mitchell came to Chapel Hill from Connecticut in 1818 to assume the position of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. Maria Sybil North of New London, Connecticut joined him following their marriage in November 1819. They had seven children. The family occupied the house from 1818 to 1857, when Mitchell died in a fall from the mountain that is now called Mount Mitchell in his honor. Originally buried in Asheville, his grave was later relocated to the mountain.
 
Two graves at the house were those of Elisha and Maria's children: Matthew Henry and Henry Eliot, who each died at 6 months old. The others were those of two of their grandchildren. Richard Henry Ashe (who went by H"enry"), who died in 1862 at age 16, was the son of Mary Pheobe Mitchell, eldest of the four Mitchell daughters, and the lawyer Richard J. Ashe. The other was Richard Mitchell Grant, who died in 1862 at age 4 from croup/diptheria, the son of Eliza North Mitchell and Richard S. Grant.
 
According to Kemp Battle, Nicholas Marcellus and Caroline Lee Hentz's son, Nicholas Hentz, Jr., a "sprightly son of three or four years old...fell from a chair and was instantly killed by the fracture of a bone in the neck. He was buried in the garden of Dr. Mitchell's residence" likely in 1830 according to an account by Collier Cobb (the senior Hentz was a professor at UNC between 1826 and 1833).
 
The Mitchell family graves and marker were removed in February 1961 under the supervision of UNC Professor/archaeologist Joffre L. Coe, to the Old Chapel Hill Town Cemetery. If Nicholas Hentz was indeed buried at this cemetery, he was not relocated with the others and may still be in his original grave (as it may be intact behind Abernethy Hall). And/or, his grave may have been destroyed when the ell of Abernethy Hall, shown in the background of the photographs, was built in 1923, or the rear addition to Swain Hall was built in 1961 with its accompanying parking lot.
 
 
Known burials:
 
Ashe, Richard Henry (b. 1847 - d. 20 Jan 1862)
 
Grant, Richard Mitchell (b. Mar 1858 - d. 17 Oct 1862)
 
Mitchell, Henry Eliot (b. Feb 1843 - d. 01 Aug 1843)
 
Mitchell, Matthew Henry (b. Oct 1828 - d. 23 Apr 1829)
 
Possible burials:
 
Hentz, Nicholas Marcellus, Jr.  (b. - d. circa 1830)
 
 
 
Thanks to Steve Davis at UNC's Research Laboratories of Archaeology for providing the archaeology document.
 

 

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