No Man's Land
In four public lots known collectively as "No Man's Land" lie the remains of at least 1400 victims of the Great Yellow Fever Epidemics of 1873, 1878, and 1879. Memphis lost over 8500 citizens to the disease and 2500 of these rest in Elmwood.
At the peak of these outbreaks, Elmwood was required to handle over fifty burials a day. Due to the sickness and labor shortages, many bodies were piled above ground, awaiting burial. Persons from all levels of society were interred in trenches in an area formerly reserved for paupers and unknowns.
By 1878, half of Memphis' 50,000 citizens fled the city. Yellow fever struck ninety percent of the remaining population, killing 5100. The epidemic so decimated its population that Memphis became bankrupt in 1879, and was declared a Taxing District of Nashville.
In commemoration of all forgotten victims who perished in the epidemics.
Robert Kaplan, MD
Christine Mroz, MD
Jim D. Taylor