The Dr. Oscar Copeland monument located in the Copeland section of the old Salem Church Cemetery in northeastern Itawamba County is one of several large ornate monuments found in this old cemetery’s Copeland section.
Dr. Oscar Copeland was the son of Dr. Thomas and Alice Combs Copeland. Dr. Thomas Copeland owned farms in northeastern Itawamba county and in Lauderdale County, Alabama well before the Civil War (see Volume XXVII No. 2 Summer 2007 issue of Itawamba Settlers for more information about Dr. Thomas Copeland).
Dr. Oscar Copeland, later in life purchased additional lands in northeastern Itawamba County and became perhaps Itawamba’s largest landowner by 1920. He had considerable holdings in Itawamba and adjoining Tishomingo counties and in neighboring Alabama. Below is a transcript of his death noticed that appeared in the January 17, 1924 edition of the Itawamba County News:
Dr. Oscar Copeland Dead
Dr. Oscar Copeland, who lived in the corner of this county, near Red Bay, Ala., died Monday night. He had been in bad health for several years. He was somewhere around 60 years of age.
Born and reared in the piney woods near Salem church, he had become one of the most wealthy men in this section of the county. He practiced medicine for several years in the early part of his life, and with the start he thus secured he began to buy land. When any one wanted to go to Texas many years ago they would always go to Dr. Copeland and get the money for their land.
Most of the land he purchased was bought by people going to him and wanting to sell. He is also a big land holder in Tishomingo County and owns a great deal in Alabama.
Most of us with his means and vision would have done as he did in his dealings.
He made a trip to the Holy Land several years ago and intended to write up his trip and have it published, but we don’t suppose he ever wrote it.
He was a friend indeed to those he liked and made no pretense of admiring those he did not like. That was his disposition, and he could always be placed on any proposition. The last time we talked with him, he told us about losing half a million dollars in a land deal, and we told him he had made enough to do him as along as he lived, and he said he liked to make money anyway.
Interment will be Thursday at Salem Cemetery, the family burying ground. He is survived by a brother, Dr. Jas. Copeland of Red Bay, and many other relatives and friends. Truly he will be missed in that country where he has always been known.