What do a beloved educator, popular composer and the mother of a famous actress all have in common?

The answer can be found by walking through three cemeteries located in Spartanburg.

Mary H. Wright, (1862-1946) an educator and community leader, is buried in Cemetery Street Cemetery. William “Singing Billy” Walker, (1809-1875) composer and inventor of the "shaped note," is buried in Magnolia Cemetery. Elinor Trimmier Woodward Carter, (1903-1992) mother of actress Joanne Woodward, is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

History buffs will learn about these people and their final resting places during a cemetery tour conducted by the Spartanburg County Historical Association. Tours will be given of all three cemeteries on Saturday. There are different times for each tour.

"Cemeteries are full of history and information," said Jeff Willis, director of archives at Converse College and board member of the historical association. "There are a lot of stories in cemeteries."

Willis will give the tour of Oakwood Cemetery. When he gives the tours, he tells people about the community leaders and stories behind the people buried there.

Some of the mill founders include John H. Montgomery and Dexter Converse, who also founded Converse College. Both men were prominent community leaders.

But not all of those buried in Oakwood had a positive influence on the community. Paul Johnson and Ray Coleman were convicted in the 1928 handgun slaying of a payroll clerk in Spartanburg County. They were executed in 1930, according to "Legal Executions in North Carolina and South Carolina: A Comprehensive Registry, 1866-1962" by Daniel Allen Hearn.

"Paul Johnson and Ray Coleman are buried in Oakwood," Willis said. "I believe they are buried side by side. I always like to tell that story."

A few miles away on the south side of town is Cemetery Street Cemetery. The cemetery was opened as an extension of Magnolia Cemetery for African-Americans.

"It is the oldest black cemetery in the city," said Brenda Lee Pryce, who will lead the tour of the cemetery and is the founder of the Southside Heritage Coalition. "The Charleston and Western Railroad bought 11 acres and reburied people on Cemetery Street. The land was deeded to the city from 1908-1910. By 1926, all of the people had been moved to Cemetery Street."

In addition to Wright, several early community leaders are buried in the cemetery. One of those leaders was Tobias Booker Hartwell. He came to Spartanburg in the 1880s and was a founder of Silverhill United Methodist Church (Silver Hill Memorial United Methodist Church) and was a leader in developing public education for Spartanburg.

"There are some families who have plots in the cemetery and are still being buried there," Pryce said. "We are working to find out how many people are actually buried there. We know some of the graves belong to slaves. This is important history that we have to make sure is recognized."

Magnolia Cemetery is within walking distance of downtown. The cemetery was established in the early 1800s. Some of the vintage grave markers give the cemetery a creepy feeling.

Businessman and community leader Jesse Cleveland donated 2½ acres of land for the cemetery in 1838. Thirty years later, the graveyard was enlarged. Some of the old trees and heirloom shrubs remain today.

Walker's grave is surrounded by a fence and is easy to find. He was the composer of many tunes making up the hymnal, “The Southern Harmony.” Others buried at Magnolia include Wofford College former president and faculty member James Carlisle (1825-1909) and former U.S. Congressman John Hamilton Evins (1830-1884).

"Cemeteries are a good place to remember the past," said Brad Steinecke, archivist, and historian for the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. "You can walk through the area and remember old people. It is a tangible connection because you are standing over the bones of people from the past. It is an emotional place."