Tag Archives: Laurel Bluff Community

“Poisoned” Tombstone

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Located South of Kingston in the Laurel Bluff Cemetery in the Laurel Bluff Community is the tombstone of L. Mart Plemons, who was born June 7, 1873, and died on May 10, 1902. On his tombstone is the inscription of “Died from poison administered by his wife.” About a month after L.M. Plemons’ death, his widow remarried. At this time, questions began to be raised about the cause of his death. An inquest was performed over the body and it was concluded that he had died from arsenic poisoning. It was suspected that he ate fruit for breakfast which had been laced with arsenic. His widow and her second husband were charged with first-degree murder and placed on trial. They were found guilty but the conviction was overturned. In March 1903, they were again tried and found not guilty by a jury trial. It might be that his family saw this tombstone as a way to express their verdict.

Laurel Bluff Cemetery

Originally Written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, May 2014.