For many years the black people of Gallatin were buried in an isolated cemetery about a mile south of the town square. There were actually three cemeteries in close proximity there.
The first one, on the north, was considered “Potter’s Field” for the destitute and abandoned; the second one on the south, Elmwood, was reserved mostly for African Americans, and a third, to the west, was the “Herndon Family” burial plot. It is noteworthy that Joe Jump, who was hanged in Gallatin along with his partner in crime, John Smith, in one of the last public hangings in Missouri, is allegedly buried in the Potter’s Field cemetery area. All three burial grounds have been virtually inaccessible in recent years and the cemeteries have been badly neglected. The last burial in any of the cemeteries there occurred in the 1960s.
Ironically, the main road into the cemetery area was at one time an extension of Main Street, Gallatin, which entered it from the north. There are occasional movements to clean up these burial areas to open the cemeteries to visitors.