Some residents of Geneva County expressed their outrage after the Samson Community Cemetery got a new arrival. The property, located off Columbus-Holley Highway, was deeded for a black cemetery in 1925.
Reverend James Ruttlen, vice-president of the Samson Community Cemetery, stated that Wayne Troublefield’s family had requested months ago that he be buried at the cemetery.
Apart from a number of bi-racial individuals buried there, it is believed that Troublefield is the only white man buried at the cemetery.
Rutten stated that some black residents expressed their outrage at this turn of events.
He said, “Everything now is integrated. Even heaven and hell is integrated. You know, there’s no more black and white. It’s all the human race, and we have to love each other and show love, compassionate, toward each other no matter what, which is great. I was very excited when I got the call he was wanting to grant his wish to be buried into this cemetery. Well yes, a lot of people are upset about it, you know, but we can’t change the way people feel.”
Ruttlen said that with the help of volunteers, he keeps the grass cut at the cemetery. However, the controversy of burying a white man at an African American cemetery has hurt him spiritually.
He has plans to resign as vice-president of the Samson Community Cemetery board.
“At this time, to take the pressure off me, to take the stress off me, just step down, I will be resigning,” he said.
WDHN News reached out to Troublefield’s family, but they declined to comment on the matter.