The Columbia Cemetery was started in the 1830s on land given
by Rev. Edmund Talbot. It postdates the abandoned Omussee
Creek Church Cemetery located a mile SW of here. A "public
Meeting house," which served as the Columbia Baptist Church,
was built on these grounds in 1834. Richard P. and
Sarah McGriff gave an early land addition on the north end
of the cemetery. In 1859, Nathaniel Ferris Oakley built a new
Baptist Church, which remained on these grounds until 1885.
In 1882, an extension to the north was made on land acquired
from Henry C. and Elizabeth McGriff. Wiley Brooks built the
"summer house" at the cemetery entrance in 1883. A perimeter
wrought iron fence was erected in 1883 and has been extended
over the years. In 1919, a land addition to the west was
acquired from Nora Davis Campbell. In 1932, the Protestant
Episcopal Church gave land to extend south to Church Street,
In 1983, the family of Marion L. and Viola H. Oakley gave a
land addition to extend the cemetery to the west.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
Interred here are some of Columbias first settlers and many
others who shaped the towns long and storied history. Many
elaborate headstones adorn these grounds. The
grave is that of William J. McGriff, an infant who died on
June 10, 1839. Interred here are many soldiers of the
Confederacy including three members of the Columbia Blues who
were killed in the Battle of Seven Pines in Virginia. Many
veterans who served in the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII,
Korean War, and Vietnam War are interred here. Some gave
their life in service to their country. Many former state,
county, and town officials are interred here.
Captain Callie French Tomlinson of showboat fame on the
Mississippi and Ohio Rivers is interred here. Callie was the
first woman in the U.S. to earn both steamboat pilot and
captain licenses. She is honored in two national halls of fame.
In 2013, this became the first cemetery in Houston County
to be listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.