Stories From
Natchez City Cemetery

The Turning Angel

There is a statue of an angel at the front of the cemetery that, as you approach from a particular angle, appears to turn to greet you. This has been the subject of Natchez legend throughout the years... but the thing about it is, this legend is true. Because of this, the statue has been dubbed, "The Turning Angel". In this case, there is a logical explanation. If you read the inscription on the stature, it says: "Erected by the Natchez Drug Company to the memory of the unfortunate employees who lost their lives in the great disaster that destroyed its building on march 14, 1908." The five girls who were killed are buried under the watchful gaze of the angel. The Natchez Drug Company commissioned the statue, and the artist carved it in such a way to form an optical illusion. Approaching the statue from the correct angle makes it appear to turn as you grow nearer.

Buried Sitting Up

One rather large monument off of Steamboat Street in the cemetery is inscribed as, "Sacred to the memory of Rufus E. Case, who died at Wallenstein, La, November 29th, 1858. Aged 31 Years & 8 Months. Thy Will Not Mine, O Lord" The monument is in three tiers - three boxes really, stacked on top of each other. According to the book Historic Natchez City Cemetery, the reason behind this is that Rufus wanted to be buried in his rocking chair, facing his Louisiana home. A child in his family had died before him, and so his rocking chair was positioned beside the young one's grave, and the tomb was built around him.

Afraid Of Thunderstorms

Florence Irene Ford (Sept 3, 1861 - Oct 30, 1871) died of yellow fever. Her family was distraught over her death, but her mother was especially devistated. She had a special coffin constructed for her daughter that had a glass window to display her body. Furthermore, when the grave was dug, Mrs. Ford had a set of concrete steps constructed so that she could descend them and look into the grave through a special glass windown that she had the workmen install. Because her daughter was terrified of thunderstorms, every time it would rain Mrs. Ford would descend the stairs and sit there by her daughter's coffin, separated only by the thin glass wall. She could also gaze at her deceased child through the glass of the coffin. After the mother's death, the glass wall was covered by concrete to prevent vandalism, but today you can still descend the steps to Florence's grave.

The Name Says It All...

According to the book Historic Natchez City Cemetery, Louise was a prostitute who worked in a brothel down Under the Hill after the Civil War. There are many colorful stories about the poor girl; that she had become stranded in Natchez and was forced into such a life just to survive, or that her fiancee abandoned her in town without any means to get by, and prostitution became her only way of life. In any case, she died of tuberculosis and was buried in the city cemetery with the simple epitaph, "Louise the Unfortunate".

...and there are many, many more. Visit the cemetery for yourself for an enjoyable afternoon!

Return To Our Website