Gravestones at the Palarm Bayou Cemetery
Jim Carter lives next door to the old graves.
Samuel Danley died when he was only 22 months old.
On a windy hill above the Arkansas River is a stone wall. Against it rest tombstones that date back to 1837.
The Palarm Bayou Cemetery is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. And the ten souls who rest here are not only true pioneers, but a testament to the hardships of the pioneer life.
"They were in the Arkansas Territory and then helped form the state. But here they are; their final resting place is in just terrible disarray, " says Synnova Inscor, one of a handful of folks hoping to reverse some of the toll that time and vandals have taken here.
Buried here is Emzy Wilson. He brought his wife and two sons to the territory from Kentucky.
By 1828, his general store in Little Rock was a success. Son Daniel ran a hotel in the downtown.
Also resting here is Benjamin F. Danley, elected sheriff of Pulaski County in 1848, a state legislator and lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army.
Inscor has researched these lives lived so long ago, and hopes other will appreciate their significance.
Inscor says, "It needs to be a place where people can actually come and feel the history. And feel the state. They need to see this and experience it."
"And when we actually came up on the mountain we saw how beautiful it was, I mean, just the view, it's unbelievable, " says Jim Carter, who built his home next to the cemetery two years ago.
And though he and the family appreciate it's history, there have been stories of a man in old military regalia lurking about.
Carter explains, "The contractors have actually seen things, heard things and, we've been told, would not work up here after dark. And by the time the sun set, they were gone and did not want to meet the general that lives here and is said to walk around the mountain."
A close examination reveals the tragedy of pioneer life.
Wilson's son Daniel died from an illness only one month after the birth of his son. He was the first buried here.
Daniel's brother Robert drowned a few years later in a canoe accident on Cadron Creek.
The Danley family knew tragedy as well. Benjamin's only son, Samuel, died before his second birthday.
Carter says, "We've already contacted the historic preservation department which will help us find people to restore the headstone to their original condition or as close to original as possible."
Now that homes are being built close by, Carter hopes the vandalism will stop and lasting repairs can be made here, a show of respect for the sacrifices and triumphs that marked the lives of these true Arkansas pioneers.