Who’s buried beneath the 40-yard line at Bogue Chitto High School?

Published 11:03 am Monday, October 30, 2017

Don’t stand on the 40-yard line on the west end of Troy Smith Field at Bogue Chitto High School.

Those who dare may feel a shove from the ghosts of Bennett Hilliard Bilbo and Chester Bisbee. The men passed away prior to February 1883 and are buried under the turf, said Lincoln County School Superintendent Mickey Myers.

The land was owned by JGH Sasser, who deeded it to the Bogue Chitto Consolidated School with the condition that 15-foot-by-15-foot plot be kept for the graves of Bilbo and Bisbee.

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Sasser had family ties to one of the men and Census records show that the other man had moved to Bogue Chitto from Pass Christian, Myers said.

Somewhere along the line, the plot — and the dearly departed — were forgotten.

The (McComb) Enterprise-Journal,  Fri, Aug 28, 1964

Myers said someone eventually authorized school personnel to construct the football field, and the first game was played atop Bilbo and Bisbee in the fall of ’64.

“Documents indicated the graves are on the 40-yard line on the west end of the field,” he said.

No marker acknowledges their passing, but they have made themselves known on at least one occasion.

“I don’t know if it was Bennett or Chester, but there was a game near Halloween several years back,” Myers said. “The opponent was treading late in the ballgame. There was a gaping hole opened like the Red Sea and the ball carrier was headed for what would have been the winning score but lost his footing where the graves are supposedly located.”

Some nay-sayers attribute it to wet turf.

“Bogue Chitto went on to victory that night,” he said. “Some people speculate that Bennett and Chester may have had something to do it.”

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