On April 21, police investigated over $290,000 worth of damage found at the 173-year-old Mount Holly Cemetery in downtown Little Rock.
Someone had vandalized life-size marble likenesses of Pearl Reed Basham, who died in 1886 at age 6, and her sister Martha Parma Basham, who died the following year at age 5, snapping the statues off at the ankles and pushing them off their bases. An over 100-year-old marble “mourner” statue overlooking the graves of the girls’ parents, Confederate soldier George Leftridge Basham and his wife, Julia Parma Beall Basham, had also been pushed off its base and was split into three large pieces.
A marble cross at the graves of Moorhead Wright, a Spanish-American War veteran and prominent Arkansas businessman who died in 1945, and his wife Hildegarde Wright, was also knocked down, broken into two pieces on the ground.
Four other grave markers and two flags at the 8-acre cemetery were damaged as well, police said. There are no suspects.
Steve Adams, cemetery sexton, says it’s unclear how much it will cost to repair the broken monuments, adding that “they’ll never be perfect,” and the cemetery must underwrite the repairs itself.
Mount Holly Cemetery has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970. Eleven Arkansas governors, 14 state Supreme Court justices, 22 Little Rock mayors, and five Confederate generals are among those buried there, according to Mount Holly Cemetery.