Section 6 is the historical African American section of the old part of the Decatur Cemetery, located in DeKalb County Georgia.
The purpose of this website is to share the names and stories, when available, of the people buried in Section 6.
About Section 6
Section 6 has fallen into disrepair over time and the majority of grave markers have disappeared, are broken, or are otherwise unreadable. Through consulting a combination of limited cemetery records and grave markers, both now lost and still in existence, it is estimated that there are over 900 people buried in Section 6. Three funeral homes, Cox Brothers, Haugabrooks, and Tyler served the African Americans of Decatur for generations and many of the grave stones bear their names.
The oldest known graves in Section 6 are those of Dorcas Henderson, Simon Read, and Israel Sanford, who all passed away in 1886, followed by 1 year-old Eugenia Carlton, who died in 1887. While it is very likely that there are graves much older than these, incomplete records and missing grave markers shroud the burial site in mystery.
The landscape of Decatur has changed since its incorporation in 1823, and the physical remnants of the historically African American sections of the city have almost entirely disappeared. However, through researching the lives of those who are buried in Section 6, we may keep the legacies of these early Decatur African Americans alive in public memory.
The information we have on those in Section 6 has been gathered from various sources, including census data, city directories, marriage records, historic issues of the Atlanta Daily World and Atlanta Constitution newspapers, and oral history interviews. Research is ongoing, so the information provided is subject to change.
The Section 6 register contains all of the known names, birth and death dates, and burial lot information. Subsequent files will be renamed to reflect the latest date of issue.
In the near future, I hope to provide some of my research findings on individuals including occupation, residence, family connections, and more. If you know any of the people buried in Section 6 and would like to share any details about him or her, I welcome the information.
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Special thanks to:
Cathy Vogel of Friends of Decatur Cemetery for her passion for the cemetery and all of those buried within and also all of her tremendous support and encouragement.
William Davis for his photography, support, and labor to help maintain the graves of Section 6.
Dr. Mary Rolinson for her initial survey and study of Section 6. Without her efforts, any knowledge of some individuals in Section 6 would have been lost forever.
Zack Ray for all of his help with this project.
Laurel Wilson, 2017