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Emanuel Hyde III tells Johnson Family story

Posted on February 22, 2015 at 7:30 AM


My name is Emanuel Hyde III. I am the great-great grandson of. Israel and Maggie Palmer Johnson. Before Stacy Mcbryde came forth with her discovery of the graveyard, I have spent countless hours researching my lineage. While doing an interview with an older family member, I was told that Zion Hill cemetery where my family was buried was located in the woods near the brickyard and the railroad tracks.

My ancestors moved to Sanford which was at the time apart of Chatham County in the mid 1870s. Israel was a former slave previously residing in Wake County, NC. He was a farmer for years in the Osgood area. Israel also raised and sold livestock. According to archival information, Israel Johnson helped buried several family members in the Osgood community and surrounding areas. My great-great grandmother Maggie Johnson lived with family members until her death. She was also buried st Zion Hill Church cemetery.

Mckinley Johnson was the son of Israel and Maggie Johnson. After recieving honorable dischatge during World War 1 Mckinley lived in Delaware and Michigan. It is said by family members that he would ocassionally return home to visit relatives. On August 31, 1932 Mckinley passed away of Tuberculosis which was a common illness during that time. Tuberculossis, swept across the nation killing countless of people because of the lack of treatment. Mckinley's body was shipped by train to Osgood, where his funeral was held at Zion Hill Church cemetery and he was interred in the church cemetery. Thankfully, the stone that Mckinley's brother Gallowax erected at his grave still stands today. Mckinley sister Delia Womack and her husband Matthew Womack are among the others that are buried in the cemetery known and unknown.

Any other research concerning the Johnson family will be available in my upcoming book. The release date will be announced soon.

Today the Johnson family extends across the globe and it has bern my effort to preserve my family legacy for generations to come. This is a brief sketch of a people who lived, loved, labored and suffered injustice. They knew what it was to be slaved and free. Zion Hill Church was a church they helped built from the ground.

It was where they worshipped God, would sing hymns , recieved education and its cemetery is where the bones of my ancestors rest. The church was used for prayer meetings and as a school house for blacks during the 1930s and 1940s.

The community of Osgood is now and have been the home of my relatives and other African American family for many years. It is my sincere hope and prayer that it remains free from the tons of coal ash that Duke plans to dump and store near the cemetery and the Osgood community.

Thanks again to Stacy Mcbryde and her family for finding, attending and caretaking my ancestors graves.Also, special thanks to Terica Luxton, Claire Pickett and all of the staff of Environmentalee for all you have done and all u will do. Last but not least, Mr. Ervin Foxx and the NAACP and all those who has helped to preserve the cemetery and the Osgood community. On behalf of the Johnson family we say Thank you.

Categories: Gravesite story

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1 Comment

Reply Charasay Powell
12:35 AM on November 24, 2016 
Israel and Maggie Johnson were my Great-Great Grandparents - their son Jonah is my Great-Grandfather! I am so glad that I came across this blog. Very interesting!