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Looking Back on Fairview Cemetery in Greenwood, South Carolina

Fairview Cemetery, Parcel 6856-442-485, Greenwood County GIS. Screenshot by Robin Foster. 

"This is the cemetery that Beverly Vance (1832-1899), my great great grandfather, might have been buried in. I have a 2nd great-grandmother, Jane Smith Johnson McCoy (1834-1919) has a grave here. I always said that when we were cleaning up the cemetery and people were concerned about it staying clean, "Let's find all of the graves and make a record on Find A Grave. At least people can find their ancestors that way." I was right. They even email me today to get an obituary. As I look back, I could not have kept the cemetery clean: Fairview Cemetery. We started with around 70 graves and added 800. Below is the history of when we were cleaning Fairview Cemetery in 2014." -- Robin R. Foster

(Most URLs are being worked on. They lead to Fairview Cemetery )

The first known documented owner of Fairview Cemetery, J. S. Wah ( purchased a parcel of land in 1919 on which Fairview Cemetery is situated.  Until Adopt-A-Cemetery volunteers uncovered headstones and death certificates documenting burials before 1919, it was believed that Fairview Cemetery did not exist until J. S. Wah's purchase in 1919. I found out that used to be Sodom Cemetery.

Some parts of Fairview Cemetery were divided into cemetery lots by Wah and sold.  These deeds are on file and indexed at the Greenwood County Clerk of Court.  One such family plot (Percival) is clearly visible on the front right side of the cemetery.  Undertaker, James T. Percival (1882-1937) and son, Dr. Theo. Percival are interred at Fairview.

Earliest Known Burials

Photo taken by Jim Ravencraft

The earliest burials documented in Fairview Cemetery are:

Prominent people or connections:

The parents, grandparents, and siblings of South Carolina Senator, Frank Gilbert are buried in Fairview. 

If a headstone had not existed for them when headstones were documented in April 2014, we would have no other record of them.  Death certificates do not exist for anyone who died before the time they were recorded in 1915, and we have yet to find funeral home records before 1922.  

Documented Burials

All documented burials for Fairview Cemetery are being added to Find A Grave  Record types that we have researched including death certificates and Blyth Funeral Home records.  A significant number of obituaries of people interred in Fairview Cemetery were published in the Greenwood Index-Journal.  

Check out Obituaries Documenting Fariview Burials


Jane Smith Johnson McCoy (my 2nd great-grandmother)

Rev. George W. Gilbert (d. Nov 1925)



McKinley Gilbert  (1929-1930)

Addison Gilbert  (1926-1959)

Charles J. Gilbert  (1933-1933)

Roscoe Gilbert   (1924-1935)

Military Veterans

Photo taken by Jim Ravencraft, April 2014

Clarence E. Ray


Military Veterans Beneath the

Overgrowth in Fairview Cemetery




A search is to determine the previous owners (before 1919) of the 14 1/2 parcel of land on which Fairview Cemetery is situated.  With documented burials before 1919, it stands to reason that Fairview Cemetery existed as a burial ground before the ownership of J. S. Wah.

According to the probate record for J. S. Wah, ownership of Fairview Cemetery passed to his stepson, Frank Edward Arnold, son of Janie Arnold Wah:

"It is my will, and I do hereby give, devise, and bequeath unto my beloved stepson, Frank Arnold, all of my property of which I may die seized and possessed, be it real, personal or mixed, and unto him, the said Frank Arnold, absolutely and forever." 

(J. S. Wah will (1946); Greenwood County Probate Records; Box 368, Package 14, Greenwood County Courthouse, Greenwood.)

Frank E. Arnold, stepson of J. S. Wah, died one day after an auto accident on May 27, 1953. He left property on Hackett Street to his children and all remaining property to his wife, Louise Norman Arnold.  No will for Louise Norman Arnold has been found, however, ownership of the cemetery would have passed to her heirs unless she left a will stating otherwise.

So far, it has not been determined that a church is or was ever affiliated with Fairview, however, people buried in Fairview Cemetery were members of the following churches according to historical documentation:

Funeral Homes

The following funeral homes were documented as having internments in Fairview:



Parks Funeral Home


Robinson & Sons

Spotlight: Rev. David Timothy MacDaniel (1886-1916)

We started with only the headstone of Rev. David Timothy MacDaniel (1886-1916).  It led to the discovery of his death certificate and probate record where we learned his wife's name, Katie.  Check back to see what more we uncover.

Death certificate for Rev. MacDaniel:

Probate record for Rev. MacDaniel:

This probate record for Rev. David Timothy MacDaniel is on file at the Greenwood County Probate Office.  We learned the first name of Rev. MacDaniel's wife from this record.


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