Burns Cemetery


The Burns Cemetery is a mid-1800s cemetery located on or near Kia Kima Scout Reservation. Little is known about Burns Cemetery, and the actual location is disputed.

Burns Family

John W. Burns was an early farmer in the area, having been born in 1812 in Fayetteville, Tennessee. He moved to Madison County, Alabama, then Itawamba, Mississippi, before arriving in Fulton County, Arkansas.

The 1860 Federal Census lists the Burns household as having 11 members: John W. Burns (age 43), Mary Burns (44), Elender Griggs (36), William Burns (23), George Burns (18), James Burns (16), Sarah Burns (14), John Burns (12), Henry Burns (9), Mary Burns (7), and Joseph Burns (6). Comparing with earlier censuses, there are inconsistencies on some of the ages.

The Cemetery

Several gravestone-project websites list the following description, but after consultation with project volunteers, it is uncertain where the description originated.

The Burns Cemetery is an abandoned cemetery that has no tombstones, only rocks. It is on land owned by the Boy Scouts and is known as Kia-Kima Scout Camp. It is located in Section 35, Township 20N and Range 6W. The cemetery is located about 300 yards northeast of the mess hall. There is no information regarding the names or numbers of people buried in the cemetery.

In around 2015, a family came to camp during the off-season and installed the marker where they believe the graves are located. This location does not exactly match the directions in the above description. The marker is located approximately 180 yards north of the northeast corner of the old dining hall. It is located just inside the treeline, south of the road that leads to East Shower, west of Crazy Wolf Campsite.

The contact information for the family was not preserved, so we have been unable to contact them for more information.

Whether the marker is in the correct location is uncertain. There is another possible site for the graves approximately 240 yards away that is more accurate to the description above.

This other site has several rock piles varying in size. Overgrowth in the area has made identifying all the piles difficult, but there appear to be at least three. One is at the base of a tree while the others are scattered about. The largest is about 5ft in diameter. Each rock pile is about 2ft to 3ft in height.

Although incorrectly reported as being on Kia Kima property, this other site is on private property.

Burns Cemetery