|Household of Ruth Cemetery
Pearl River County, MS
With appreciation to Helen Clunie for sharing the info & photos on this page.
|"Strangers have bought the VanZandt place and I wonder if they know
Of the little plots upon the hill, where sad white roses grow. . . . ."
-- Mary Elizabeth Mahnkey
|The Household of Ruth is the women's auxiliary to the African American Odd Fellows order. It was
organized in 1857 for the admission of the wives or women related to men in the Fraternal Order of
Graves of historical significance lie within this cemetery. They include members and families of the
Household of Ruth---some of whom were former slaves. "Household of Ruth #2334" is on a crest on
all of the stones. This national organization continues to be active today. The Board of Trustees of
the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has awarded a Certificate of Historical Significance
to the cemetery. (See letter below.)
What's left of the cemetery now rests within a residential development. An unknown number of the
tombstones were destroyed during the development's construction and there are now streets and
homes built over many of the graves. As you can see by the photos below, what's left of the
graveyard is in a critical state of disrepair.
The property was originally owned by Daniel Smith, who donated the land to the organization; the
earliest death date on the remaining tombstones is 1908. The once ornate iron fence was donated by
prominent local physician, Dr. Horne in the early 1900's.