9 historic graves in Maple Hill, largest cemetery in Alabama + [BONUS] 2 famous Huntsville burials

Maple Hill Cemetery
I took a stroll through Maple Hill Cemetery. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Huntsville is a city that is rich with history and each of these Huntsvillians have contributed. Plus, you don’t want to miss our bonus famous burials. Keep reading to find out who is buried in Rocket City.

Maple Hill Cemetery

Maple Hill Cemetery
Even with a map, it is hard to find the graves! Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

The land for Maple Hill Cemetery was originally bought from LeRoy Pope for $100 in 1822. Almost 200 years later, the cemetery is 100 acres and is the largest cemetery in the state of Alabama.

At the Maple Hill office, I grabbed a map and headed to find notable Huntsvillians buried within the 80,000 graves.

At Maple Hill, you’ll find the graves of five former Alabama governors, five U.S. senators and 10 U.S. congressmen. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what I found.

1. LeRoy Pope

Maple Hill Cemetery
This is my favorite Huntsville story. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

When looking at Huntsville’s history, we should start at the beginning. Pioneer John Hunt settled around Big Spring Park in 1805, calling the area “Hunt’s Station.” LeRoy Pope purchased the land and named it Twickenham. Sound familiar?

The name didn’t go over so well and was renamed in 1811 to pay tribute to John Hunt. Huntsville was born.

Leroy Pope lived in a mansion called Poplar Grove, built to overlook the new city he bought. Can you imagine looking out to the view of your city? You can find the mansion restored in Twickenham Historic District.

Leroy Pope is considered the “Father of Huntsville.”

Fun fact: Before he was president, Andrew Jackson stayed at Poplar Grove.

  • Died in 1845
  • Found in Section 13

2. General LeRoy Pope Walker

Maple Hill Cemetery
His house still stands today. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

The last name is no coincidence. General LeRoy Pope Walker is the grandson of LeRoy Pope. He served as the Confederacy’s first secretary of war.

  • Died in 1884
  • Found in Section 5

3. Maria “Howard” Weeden

Maple Hill Cemetery
Howard Weeden’s art was incredible—check it out. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Howard Weeden was an artist and author from Huntsville. Have you ever heard of The Weeden House museum? Guess who lived there. Howard Weeden herself! You can tour her home and see some of her original art during the week.

Fun fact: “Gone with the Wind” drew inspiration from Howard Weeden’s art and based some costumes off of her portraits.

  • Died in 1905
  • Found in Section 13

4. Dr. William H. Burritt

Maple Hill Cemetery
I love visiting Dr. Burritt’s mansion. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Dr. William Burritt was a physician who lived in a mansion on Round Top Mountain, overlooking Huntsville. When he died, he willed his house to the City of Huntsville. It became Huntsville’s first museum, Burritt Mansion. Head up to Burritt on the Mountain to get a look for yourself.

  • Died in 1955
  • Found in Section 13

5. Jacob Emory Pierce

Maple Hill Cemetery
How interesting is this? Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

How do you get your Huntsville news? Besides The Bama Buzz, of course. In 1910, I bet you would’ve gotten it from the Huntsville Daily Times, founded by Jacob Emory Pierce.

To house his operation, he opened the tallest building (at the time) in Huntsville—The Old Times Building.

During the Great Depression, the Huntsville Daily Times was auctioned off to the Birmingham News, who continued to run the Daily Times and publish all the best Huntsville news.

Fun fact: The word “daily” was dropped since the newspaper wasn’t published daily. It’s now The Huntsville Times.

  • Died in 1952
  • Found in Section D

6. General Samuel H. Moore

Maple Hill Cemetery
I would’ve loved to go to the party! Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

If Samuel Moore’s name doesn’t sound familiar, one of his most prized possessions might. Lily Flagg. You may have noticed her name on Huntsville businesses, street signs, apartment complexes, local brews and even a neighborhood.

Lily Flagg was a jersey cow, but she wasn’t your ordinary jersey cow—she was “Queen of the Jerseys.” She weighed in at 950 pounds. Jersey cows are known for producing dairy and that’s exactly what Lily Flagg did. She was the leading butter producer in the world in 1892, claiming the World’s Fair blue ribbon. Lily Flagg was just as celebrated then as she is now.

Fun fact: Samuel Moore threw an elaborate party to celebrate, he even painted his house butter yellow. Lily Flagg was outside to greet the guests.

  • Died in 1905
  • Found in Section 5

7. Governor Thomas Bibb

Maple Hill Cemetery
You’ll find historical signs by some graves. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Thomas Bibb was the president of the first state senate and served as the second governor of Alabama. He followed in big brother William Wyatt Bibb’s footsteps.

Do you like ghost stories?

Spooky fact: Thomas Bibb’s grave is haunted. He was originally buried at his plantation, Belle Mina. He is still upset about the relocation, so he travels by horse-drawn carriage back home when there is a full moon.

  • Died in 1839
  • Found in Section 5

8. Governor Clement Comer Clay

Maple Hill Cemetery
Clement Comer Clay and his wife died the same year. Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Remember those governors, senators and representatives I mentioned? Guess who was all three. That wasn’t enough for Clement Comer Clay, he also served as chief justice of the State Supreme Court.

  • Died in 1866
  • Section 4

9. Governor Reuben Chapman

Maple Hill Cemetery
How many jobs can one man have? Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Reuben Chapman also did it all. He was a lawyer, state legislator, U.S. congressman, senator and the 13th governor of Alabama.

  • Died in 1882
  • Section 5

BONUS: Miss Baker

Maple Hill In Huntsville
Will you bring Miss Baker a banana? Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Miss Baker, along with Miss Able, flew to space and returned. She went on to live a long happy life. She even got married—more than once. Miss Baker is buried at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Want to pay homage? Leave a banana on her grave or raise a glass at her namesake, Baker & Able.

  • Died in 1984
  • Buried at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

BONUS: Little Richard

Maple Hill In Huntsville
Did you know Little Richard was buried here? Photo via Emily Kent for The Bama Buzz

Richard Wayne Penniman, known by his stage name Little Richard, is buried in Huntsville’s Oakwood Memorial Gardens. Little Richard was influential to rock ‘n’ roll music in the 1950s. He was a famous American musician, singer and songwriter.

  • Died in 2020
  • Buried in Oakwood Memorial Gardens

Huntsville, what famous graves have you seen? Tag us on social @thebamabuzz and let us know.

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Emily Kent
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