Welcom Ussery was born in 1807 in Montgomery County, NC. He came to Hardeman County, TN before 1839 with his wife, Henrietta and children along with three brothers. He settled in the area known today as Grand Valley Lakes. The creek crossing his land was is known as Ussery Creek. He made a mill pond on his land and established one of the first mills in the county. The mill was also the polling site for the 7th district in the county for many years, he was a man with many talents. Besides a Millright, he was an accomplished woodcrafter making furniture and caskets among other things. He became a prosperous planter as well.

On the farm land, Welcom established a family cemetery where he was buried in 1859. His wife and two children can be identified by headstones. There is also an unmarked indentation for a grave that may have been a 3rd child. The cemetery is south of Ussery Creek and 1.5 miles north of old Enon Church Road surrounded by sand gullies. In 1850 Censes listing the children of Welcom and Henrietta Ussery were John D. Ussery who had married Elizabeth Bailey on February 17, 1848 in Hardeman County, TN and in his own home; Francis Marion who was born in 1830 and died in 1862, stone in cemetery; Sarah J. who married William A. Cardwell February 12, 1857. William S. who was born 1841 and died in 1860, buried in cemetery, and James S. who married Armida­­, probably in MS, and had two daughters at home in 1870 census for Hardeman County, TN. Welcome Ussery left a will probated at May term, 1859 in Hardeman Co.,TN.

From this document and a survey of census records, marriage records, history of Hardeman County, TN came this conclusion. His wife Henrietta died in 1863. The cemetery stones furnished the additional information. The Sign “Ussery Cemetery of Grand Valley Lakes” was the culmination of many hours of volunteer work by the Grand Valley Lakes Women’s club. These Women held fish frys, ice cream socials, and barbecues to raise money to preserve the cemetery and erect the sign. The hill where the sign now stands was cleared and terraced by numerous volunteers under the supervision of Bob Cheatham, Keith Gale, and John Payne. The gravel road around and above the hill was built with a number of donations including special help from Warner Ross. Work on the project began after past superintendent Keith Gale asked the women’s club to take it on and help to restore and preserve this little cemetery. Gale had rediscovered it several years ago. Residents had been fascinated with the cemetery due to its historical significance to the area. Plats on the cemetery are available for purchase.