In the site meant for six sat only two markers, bearing the names Rufus F. Yeargan, 1855-1935, and Mary E. Yeargan, 1857-1929. The remaining four were donated by the family shortly after their discovery.
“We decided, being as fortunate as we are, that others were not,” Yeargan said. “So we decided to donate this back to the city for, as they described it, indigents, stillborn children and veterans who might not be able to take care of themselves in that regard.”
The Yeargans have lived in Memphis for several years. His parents lived out their lives in Alexander City, where they are buried.
His grandparents had lived in Sylacauga but moved to Clanton. They were the original purchasers of the plot after Yeargan’s great-grandmother died.
“My great-grandfather and great-grandmother were sharecroppers,” he said. “When the Depression hit, they were out of work and moved in with my grandmother and grandfather, Luther and Agnes Yeargan. During 1929, my great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth passed away. And Granddaddy bought this plot intended for the family members that might have need of it.
“As it turned out, these were the only two.”
Yeargan described himself as a retiree who plays golf “and hangs out with grandchildren.” Lois Yeargan is semi-retired, running her own cosmetics business.
Yeargan and his sister, Terry Jackson, discovered the deed for the plot after their father died in February at the age of 96. They both agreed the best use for it would be to give others a place to rest in peace.
Mayor Sam Wright thanked the Yeargan family and welcomed them back to the Sylacauga area. The Yeargans also credited city clerk Patricia Carden and city attorney Edwin Livingston with the transfer of ownership.
“We know from the way we were raised in a Christian and compassionate environment, and well-disciplined, I might add, that this would be the wishes of my grandfather and my father,” Yeargan said. “It is our pleasure to give these back to the city for the intended use, for persons who may not have the wherewithal to do this on their own.”
Contact Matt Quillen at firstname.lastname@example.org.