Erased: Jacksonville’s Mount Herman Cemetery

Converted into a community center, parking lot and park, Jacksonville's Mount Herman Cemetery may be one of the oldest and largest African-American cemeteries erased from existence.


The remains of the Fagins family plot that was once a part of Mount Herman Cemetery.

The headstone and grave of Thompson Williams was saved and included in the construction of West 6th Street during the 1950s. Williams’ grave was preserved by city leaders because he died during an attempt to save a white woman.

The headstone of Thompson Williams lies in the middle of a sidewalk on West 6th Street.

Mount Herman Cemetery was developed around Standsell Creek. The creek and cemetery were rumored to be covered with dirt for the construction of Emmett Reed Park. Today, the low lying area of the park marks the path of Standsell Creek.

Standsell Creek still flows, several feet below Emmett Reed Park.

*The playscape at Emmett Reed Park could possibly be constructed on top of those who remain buried at Mount Herman Cemetery. *

Throughout the park, chunks of concrete and random headstones can be found.

The broken headstone of Lettie King has been placed next to the Fagins family plot.


Article by Ennis Davis, AICP with research by Adrienne Burke, AICP, Esq. Contact Ennis at