PO BOX 616
MICANOPY, FL. 32667-0616
Submitted by George Guy

Haynes Memorial Historical Cemetery History

      Haynes Memorial Historical Cemetery was established at or about 1876. Haynes Cemetery was always known has the “colored” cemetery of Micanopy, Florida. There are two beautiful cemeteries located in Micanopy; The Downtown Micanopy Historical Cemetery established in 1876; as well as the Haynes Cemetery established in 1876. Haynes Cemetery, however, is located within the County of Alachua, along highway 441, South, in Micanopy, nestled in a quiet, serene and rural area. Both cemeteries were owned and partially operated by the Township of Micanopy.

      Mr. Haynes, to whom, the Haynes Cemetery is named was the grave digger for both the Micanopy Historical Cemetery and the Haynes Cemetery. It is all edged that Mr. Haynes was born and raised in slavery and was of a mulatto skin complexion; which seemed to infer he was bi-racial; but considered “colored” in those days…Little is known of Mr. Haynes because he is all- edged to have died early in life; leaving his past a mystery today.

      Mrs. Joan Cobb, a wife of one of the Trustees from the Micanopy Historical Cemetery donated a portion of the Haynes Memorial Cemetery (Section “C”). Mrs. Cobb and family owned this land and was later deeded to the Franklin family after WWI or about 1918. The Franklin Family, whose ancestors were also Trustees of the Micanopy Historical Cemetery Association and owners of the Franklin Crate empire, which during the  Great Depression was the sole employer of rural Alachua County; in those days, was instrumental in deeding the last two sections. The Franklin family provided many jobs in the lumber milling and manufacture of wooden crates for the North Central Florida and South Georgia areas.

      During the early days, following WW I, Mr. Haynes was paid $1.00 per month to dig graves at both cemeteries. He was paid by the Micanopy Historical Cemetery Association. So, Negroes and whites buried their own deceased persons in separate but equal cemeteries in Micanopy, Florida. Both cemeteries glow with the natural beauty of very large live oak trees and azaleas; to create that picture perfect landscape in Micanopy, Fl..

      On or about 1951, Rubin Kelly, a loyal employee of the Franklin Crate Co., and the Board of Trustees from the Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist decided to form a cemetery association to bury Negro family members. The association was made up of several founding families: The Woodard Family; The Paton family; The Stewart Family; The Kelly Family and Rochelle Family. The Township of Micanopy, whose commissioner was Mr. Carson Roberts, deeded over to the Haynes Memorial Cemetery Association, sections “B” and “A” in 1964; due to the smaller portion of the current cemetery land; at that time, Haynes Cemetery was only section “C”. Negroes deaths were growing after WW II and the space in Haynes was filling up so the Franklin Family recommended this land be deeded to Haynes cemetery Association at Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, in Micanopy, Florida. The Haynes Cemetery Association, later years grew. The president for many years was Mr. Rubin Kelly; the secretary and historian was Miss Ida Mae Paton; the treasurer was Mrs. Luella Flournoy and her sister Mrs. Ruth Lee Jones. Both Mrs. Flournoy and Mrs. Jones father was Mr. Rubin Kelly. During those days every family performed daily maintenance and coordinated burial with local Negro funeral directors, such the Chestnut Funeral Services, owned and operated by the Chestnut family from Gainesville. Miss Paton and family kept records of births and deaths and was known to have an excellent memory; after all, Miss Paton was the lone elementary school teacher of the Negro School. That Negro School is now called the Strobles Center; part of the Micanopy Charter School, today, located on Seminary Street and CR235, Micanopy, Fl..

      In 1997, it was Miss Paton’s dream that the cemetery association grow and become a tax sheltered entity. Through the efforts of Rev. Stanley Strobles, then the only Black Micanopy Township Commissioner, in 2003, the Haynes Memorial Historical Cemetery Association was made a legal Not-For-Profit 501 (C3) corporation of Florida. Currently, the H.M.H.A., sponsored programs to celebrate its veterans’ buried beside their families at this historic cemetery. In 2005 there was a celebration to salute all the veterans of WWI, WWII, Korean War and Vietnam Conflict at Haynes cemetery. Through the efforts of Micanopy Township, the Micanopy Historical Commission, grant monies were given to the Haynes Cemetery Association to restore security to the cemetery with new gates, lights and a highway sign at highway 441 and Memorial Lane. 

Haynes Memorial Historic Cemetery