This cemetery was apparently a family cemetery on a plot of land owned by John W. Measles of Lavaca, Sebastian County, Arkansas since the first person buried there was John’s son Emil who died in 1891 at the age of twenty-two. How long it remained a private cemetery is unclear since there are several other people buried there who may or may not be related to the Measles family.
At the entrance is a sign which reads “Measles Memorial Public Cemetery.” The First Baptist Church of Lavaca is nearby and it appears that some of those interred in the cemetery were members of that congregation. What caught my eye, of course, was the somewhat unusual cemetery name, specifically the surname “Measles.”
After a bit of research, I’ve concluded that “Measles” was not the original spelling of this family name, nor am I certain how the name was originally spelled, although I’m leaning toward “Mizell”. As the article unfolds you’ll see the various spellings, but first some information about John W. Measles and his family.
NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Please check out our new site: www.digginghistorymag.com. Samples are available by clicking magazine image. Regular monthly issues currently available for only $1.99. – Updated 1/20/18.