|Hinchey Warren grave pictured far left.|
One of the most interesting and remarkable men from Conecuh County’s early history was Hinchey W. Warren, who was born in Burke County, Ga. in 1787.
He moved to Conecuh County in 1818 and settled about one mile east of Sparta, where he died years later. Warren, a War of 1812 veteran, is said to be the great-grandfather of U.S. President Warren G. Harding and is also rumored to have hidden a chest of gold in Shipp’s Pond during the Civil War.
Several years ago, I read that Warren was buried in the Warren Family Cemetery, and I presumed that this cemetery was on private property and off limits to the public. However, a few weeks ago while at the library in Evergreen, local historian Sherry Johnston informed me that the Warren Family Cemetery was actually next door to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. In fact, Warren’s grave is just a few steps off of County Road 87, which is also known as the Jay Villa Road.
I'd placed a visit to this grave on my "bucket list" several years ago, and last Thursday afternoon, I took a few minutes to ride down to this church, which is a little over seven miles from downtown Evergreen, to spend a few minutes looking around this old cemetery. Records show that between 12 to 15 graves are in this graveyard, but most of them now are marked by old stones and faint depressions in the ground.
The cemetery does contain a few marked graves, including the grave of Hinchey W. Warren, but all of these are in bad condition. If you go there yourself, you’ll see three slabs to the right of the remnants of an old wrought-iron fence, and these graves are the final resting places of Warren, his wife and son.
When I got there last Thursday, Warren’s grave was almost entirely covered with dead leaves and sticks, but when I cleared it off, I discovered something interesting. According to the broken slab over his grave, he “departed this life February 28th, 1855 in the 68th year of his age.” This pretty much blew the Civil War gold story out of the water since Warren would have been dead six years by the time the war started in 1861.
All of the graves in the Warren Family Cemetery are in bad shape and are hard to read, especially the grave of Hinchey Warren. I read somewhere that it’s been said that grave robbers damaged his grave while looking for buried “treasure” and other supposedly hidden valuables. Whether or not that’s true, I do not know.
Hinchey Warren did have a son named Hinchey Warren Jr., and I considered that he may have been the Hinchey Warren who sank a chest of gold in Shipp’s Pond to keep it from falling into Yankee hands during the Civil War. With that in mind, I looked into records that revealed that Hinchey Warren Jr. actually died in the 1850s, that is, well before the start of the Civil War.
I’m not sure where Hinchey Warren Jr. is buried but Hinchey Warren’s only other son, John Quincy Adams Warren, is buried beside his father. John Q.A. Warren, died at the age of 30 on April 4, 1856, a little over a year after his father passed away.
Apparently, John Quincy Adams Warren was a unique character himself, but that is a story for another day. With that said, I’ll wrap this thing up again for another week, but, in the meantime, if you get the desire to do some rambling on your on, you might want to check out the Warren Family Cemetery for yourself. It’s definitely one of the more unique cemeteries that I’ve been to in Conecuh County.