Live Oak Cemetery

It's a must see in Selma...Live Oak Cemetery. Film consultant and Selma promoter, Edie Jones says people from all across the country and even foreign countries come to Selma...just to see the cemetery.

It's historic...and some say it's haunted. "There is documentation to that effect," said Jones.

Live Oak Cemetery is one big history lesson waiting to be told. Alston Fitts, a local Selma historian, took us on a tour.  He pointed to the moselieum of William Rufus King, the only U.S. Vice President sworn into office on foreign soil is buried here. "His lifelong ambition was to be Vice President," said Fitts, "A curious career choice."

The cemetery is the final resting spot for dozens of civil war soldiers and general John Tyler Morgan. While Morgan's towering monument dominates the main entrance of the cemetery, the town's biggest Civil War hero - General Edmund Pettus - lies beneath a plain and simple marker. Fitts says that's the way General Pettus wanted it...and nobody argued with him...even in death.

Ben Turner, a freed slave, who became a wealthy businessman and a U.S. Congressman is buried here, too. "The first bill he introduced was to reinstate the civil rights of 50,000 Confederate soldiers," said Fitts, "And it eventually passed just before he left Washington."

And perhaps the most beautiful monument looks down on the grave of Elodie Walsh.  When she died, her grieving husband, Colonel Theodore Walsh, had a full size statue of the young woman made in Italy. When it arrived months later, the colonel sent it back saying his late wife was much prettier. According to Fitts, the sculptor then re-worked her face and set the statue back.  This time it passed the colonel's muster and looks down on her grave until this day.

What makes Elodie Todd Walsh unique is that her older sister, Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln.  Elodie spent the entire Civil War in Selma. Fitts says he can't imagine what it was like for her to have lived in Selma, "a town that despised Lincoln." Fitts said, by the end of the war it appeared the townspeople had forgiven Elodie for her brother-in-law.

Live Oak Cemetery is located on Dallas Avenue, also known as State Higway 22, six blocks west of Broad Street.