History and Notables

Magnolia Cemetery in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, was officially established in 1884 as a privately-owned cemetery.  The first gravesite is dated July 4, 1884 for Francis Rebecca Chappel.  The City acquired the cemetery in the early 1900s.

Notable individuals interred here are:

  • Florida Governor Sidney J. Catts, first person to win a state-wide election in America as a prohibitionist and the first Florida governor to campaign in an automobile.
  • Perry L. Biddle, one of Robert Ripley's favorite American oddities who, at age 90, could hold on to a pole and stretch his body straight out. Ripley referred to Perry Biddle in his syndicated newspaper drawings as "The Human Flag."
  • Wallace Bruce, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as his consul general to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Bruce is also known as a famous author from New York and the longest serving president of the Florida Chautauqua.
  • Tom Big "Em" Stockman, slave from "(A)Ngolo Africa who died in 1936 and who had fathered 136 children, according to slab over his gravesite.  Researchers believe he may have arrived in America in 1860 as a slave on the last illegal slave ship to America called The Clotilda.