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March 20, 2018
History of Helping Hand Cemetery Club

The established date for the Helping Hand Cemetery Club was December 17, 1913.
The Helping Hand Cemetery Club was re-established June 2017and maintained by family members whose loved ones are interned on the property located on Main Street about a mile from the Southampton Courthouse with its back end extending to the Nottoway River. In a very short time, there are over 30 charter members listed whose generous funds are used strictly to improve and sustain the property. This milestone action was spearheaded by Alton Darden, the first president of the newly established club.
In old ledgers dating back to 1921, over 174 members, mostly with family connections, were accessed a fee of 10 cents per month which was later raised to 20 cents per month. The records indicate ailing members of the Club were paid 50 cents per week for sick benefits with a notice from the doctor which was later raised to $1.00, 50 cents for the loss of a family member, donations to a school in the community and payments were collected for burial plots costing $25.00 per person.
The Trustees of the Helping Hands Society Club, a charitable organization, were J.M. Scott, J. N. Darden, J. W. Ridley, C.W. Brown, C. T. Ricks, J. T. Taylor and Thomas, conveying $5.00 to Solomon Stephens and his wife Bossie, for the consideration of the deed for the cemetery.
These same gentlemen were also trustees to the Macedonia Baptist Colored Church, plot #136, where the original burials occurred until it reached its capacity.
The cemetery was designated as lot #91, Deed Book #40 in the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of Southampton County Virginia.
The deed was presented, certified and added to the records on September 25, 1914 and was delivered to J. M. Scott on December 23, 1913.
There are 470 plus known internments in the cemetery which are listed on the Find A Grave® website (https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2156787).
There are plans are in the making to honor veterans interned at the ceremony, to honor longtime caregivers, hold Mother’s Day ceremonies, erect a newly design name sign and plans to hold a celebration to mark the location as a historical site
.
The club is accepting members to be a part of this historical experience. They may contact any of the following Trustees:

Alton Darden - President - amd18084@aol.com (313) 414-9430 MelvinJohnson-VicePresident–mel_johnson@msn.com (757)879-4141
Maurice Darden - Membership Chair – modarden@aol.com (919) 632-3166 Gail E. Lover - Secretary, Parliamentarian – glover8311@aol.com (619) 264-6454
Presented by Gail E. Lover, Secretary

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