Rock Springs Methodist Cemetery
Township 10 South, Range 1 East, Section 16
Location: Seven miles Northeast of Blountsville on Highway 231, then one-half mile West on Highway 278 and one-half mile Southwest on County Road 6, Blount County, Alabama
Decoration Day: 2nd Sunday in May
(© 2003 - 2006 Robin Sterling)
The land on which Rock Springs Church and cemetery lies was apparently first homesteaded by James M. Sterling, a grandson of early Blount County pioneer, Silas C. Sterling.
Deed Book X, page 482 of Blount County Records reads,
Know all men by these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of one dollars to us in hand paid by Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, us do grant, bargain, sell, and convey to the said Methodist Church the following described real estate, to wit: one acre of land in the South East quarter of the North East quarter of Section 16, Township 10 of Range 1 East beginning near the Western boundary line of said SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 at a hickory bush, thence due East seventy yards to a stake, thence due North seventy yards to a stake, thence due West to a stake on said line, thence due South to the beginning, situated lying and being in the County of Blount and State of Alabama. To have and to hold to the said Methodist Episcopal Church South forever. And we do for ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators, covenant with the said Methodist Episcopal Church South, and its assigns that we lawfully seized in fee simple of said premises; that they are free from all incumbrances; and that we have a good right to sell and convey the same as aforesaid that we will, and each of our heirs, executors and administrators shall warrant and deferred the same to said Methodist Episcopal Church South and assigns forever against the lawful claims of all persons so long as the same is kept up and used by the said church for church and school purposes. Given under our hands and seals this the seventh day of June 1886.
Signed by James M. and Mary M. Sterling
James M. Sterling was a son of John Gibson (Jackson) Sterling and Nancy Mallaby. Born about 1837, James was a member of Captain Arnold's Company D of the 26th/50th Alabama Infantry and was wounded in the Battle of Chicamauga, Georgia. After the war, James married Mary Malcenia Smith, daughter of Garland and Elizabeth Alldredge Smith, on 18 Mar 1866 in Blount County. In the late 1800s, they sold off all the property they owned and moved along with several of their Blount County neighbors to the Collin and Grayson County area of Northern Texas. James lived until 1918, and collected a Confederate pension through the State of Texas. Mary died in 1917. James and Mary Sterling are buried in the Van Alstyne Cemetery in Grayson County, Texas.
With the exception of one, all of James and Mary's children moved to Texas. The lone exception was Luther W. Sterling who died before the rest of the family moved. Luther married Clara C. Smith in 1891. Luther died just over a year later and is buried near the front of Rock Springs Cemetery. Luther and Clara had one son, Luther Garland Sterling, who grew up and lived in Blount County. Luther married Ola Murphree in 1912. Luther and Ola are also buried in the Rock Springs Cemetery.
The Rock Springs community was also the site of a school. Local residents say the original school was down the road a little farther West of the cemetery. Another school was built near the present site of the church. Some pictures of the school are hanging on the wall in the community center across the road from the church.