This is article is compiled from several newspaper articles published in the Hendersonville Times-News and written by Jennie Jones Giles.
The Bryson Family Cemetery off North Mills River Road, one of the oldest in the county with graves dating to 1811, was endangered. A housing development was to be built near the cemetery.
In this case, the out-of-state developer made certain the cemetery was known to homeowners and shown on deeds. There is also a clear access right of way to get to the cemetery within a wooded area, with a small parking area at one resident’s driveway.
But, despite the efforts of the out-of-state developer, no descendants or volunteers have maintained the abandoned cemetery.
The graves are scattered throughout a 30 by 60 feet area.
William Bryson moved from Lincoln County to settle at the fork of North and South Mills River.
“The family graveyard is on a small knoll above the forks,” a descendant wrote in the Henderson County Heritage Book.
He and his wife, Susannah Bogle, are buried in the wooded cemetery, along with several children and their spouses.
On a walk through the cemetery about 19 stones were counted. Many have legible headstones.
The earliest burial was 1811, the grave of “Sus” Bryson, wife of William.
According to family tradition, Bryson fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War. But, there is no Revolutionary War marker at the site.
One son, William Jr., married Sarah Jones, the daughter of early pioneer John Jones. They had 10 children. They are buried in the cemetery, along with J.N. Bryson, 1817-1852; Robert Henry, 1812-1859; George Clayton, 1796-1837; and many others.
The cemetery is protected from dense undergrowth by many large trees. If the saplings were cut and the ground raked and probed, it is possible that more stones could be found. It is likely that many stones have disappeared beneath more than 100 years of layers of leaves and soil. If this were accomplished, the rows of the cemetery could be distinguished.