Special Collections Curator and Town Historian, Andy Poore, collects oral histories about the Town of Mooresville, and along with his intern and Social Media Specialist, Travis Sherrill, have compiled and shared some of these with us. Here’s one about Willow Valley Cemetery- enjoy!
Willow Valley Cemetery is the first official cemetery of the Town of Mooresville. Willow Valley Cemetery was founded in 1885 when the Town of Mooresville purchased land from Mrs. Rachel Summro Moore, widow of John Franklin Moore, who was the namesake of the Town of Mooresville. The cemetery land was purchased in honor of Mr. John Franklin Moore. John Franklin Moore died four years after the town was incorporated and was laid to rest at the back of his property that joined his son-in-law, John Robert McNeely’s property in what is now Willow Valley Cemetery. Mr. Moore had allowed some of the people to utilize the back of his property as a burial ground until the town could officially create a cemetery. The drive way to the left of Mr. Moore’s grave was the original end of his land. Many of the graves on the left of the drive way are people who were allowed to be buried at the back of Mr. Moore’s land as none of the churches in the town had cemeteries of their own. Many of the graves, now unmarked date back to before Mooresville was incorporated as a town. One such grave is that of Samuel Dingler, who died in 1855 and was a veteran of the War of 1812. The cemetery contains examples of 1920’s monuments as well as other fine granite monuments and examples of cemetery architecture. Most of the granite was brought from local quarries in Iredell County and the state of North Carolina from places in the state such as Mount Airy and Granite Quarry. Willow Valley Cemetery is one of three cemeteries owned by the Town of Mooresville.