St. Mary Parish Fields Overtaking Cemeteries

Raising Cane Around Midway

One of the forgotten cemeteries is Midway Cemetery located in Franklin, St. Mary Parish. Located right alongside State Route 317, most would miss this small treasure. Midway is little maintained, and the newest burial was conducted in 2011. Noted features are the makeshift crosses in place of headstones. Some simply have initials, others have a cross and what appears to be hanging hooks, along with a marble or concrete headstone. Many of Midway’s inhabitants were local farmers with large families. Nettie Hillard, 79, died in 1971 and left behind eight children, fifty-seven grandchildren, and thirty-nine great-grandchildren. Although Acadiana has strong Catholic roots, Mrs. Hillard and her family were Baptist farmers. Multiple denominations in the early twentieth century in Acadiana had many commonalities to include large families to help on the farms.

Midway is one of many forgotten cemeteries not properly cared for by religious customs, family, or otherwise. The site’s location shows the history of a farming community of Baptists with Acadian roots.

Cemeteries like Midway, not situated next to its respective church, are more likely to fall into disrepair. Midway is an open-air museum of Cajun Baptist, farming family history and should not be forgotten.



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