Grave could be moved to make way for new Walmart
Posted May 20, 2015
Hope Mills, N.C. — The owner of land that includes the burial site of a Civil War soldier wants to sell the property to make way for a Walmart Neighborhood Market.
The remains of John Pridgeon, who died in 1903, is one of three on the property.
"The way they buried people back then was with pine boxes that would deteriorate," said Gary Kepley, Pridgeon’s great-grandson. "I'm sure there is not a whole lot left in the ground and there is just no way of moving that in a respectful manner."
The owner, who name has not been revealed, said he wants to pay to have the graves moved to a cemetery.
Lonnie Player, the property owner’s lawyer, said the owner has met all state requirements for removing the graves.
"He does not want to be viewed as callous in any way, shape or form," Player said. "But the family has manifested absolutely no interest in the cemetary."
When Pridgeon's widow died in 1966, Player said the family found the burial grounds so overgrown that they buried her in a Hope Mills cemetery.
Kepley said that is where Pridgeon's remains would be interred, although he would like to see the current site cleaned up and fenced off.
A funeral home would remove the graves in a "dignified fashion," Player said
Cumberland County commissioners voted unanimously this week to delay a decision on moving the graves until June 1.