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The forgotten gravesite of Elvis Presley’s twin brother

Mississippi is full of intriguing gravesites, from prominent people such as William Faulkner and Robert Johnson to Civil War soldiers, and several gravesites of everyday people with fascinating stories behind them. 

There is, however, a forgotten Missisispppi gravesite that rarely ever gets visited.

Elvis Presley’s gravesite is located in Tennessee, at Graceland. However, most Elvis fans and Mississippians know that he was born and raised in Tupelo. What many don’t know is that Elvis had a twin brother. 

Elvis Presley’s mother, Gladys, was expecting twins when she gave birth in the Presley family home, a tiny shotgun house in Tupelo, on January 8th, 1935. Gladys first gave birth to a boy named Jesse Garon, who would have been Elvis’s older brother, but sadly, he was stillborn. Thirty-five minutes later, she delivered Elvis, who was healthy.   

 The Presleys mourned the loss of their oldest son while simultaneously welcoming Elvis into their humble home, now a famous historical site. 

The Presley family was impoverished and couldn’t afford a coffin, so Jesse was buried in a shoebox and laid to rest at Priceville Memorial Gardens, on Feemster Lake Rd. in Tupelo. Jesse’s final resting place is next to the graves of his great aunt, Susan Presley, and great uncle, Noah Presley.

Marked by a tiny headstone in this rural cemetery, many people don’t even know this gravesite exists. Jesse’s grave is marked; however, the headstone contains no name. 

Another gravesite marker pays tribute to Elvis’s twin brother at Graceland, but interestingly enough, Jesse’s name is misspelled at the Graceland Memorial. 

Elvis and his parents are buried at Graceland, leaving many to wonder why Jesse’s grave hasn’t been moved there too. Many say it’s because the body is simply too fragile to relocate.

Many Presley family members have passed away, which means Jesse’s gravesite doesn’t get many visitors, and with its inconspicuous location and form, not many people know that it’s there.

Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll, never forgot about Jesse. According to many of the legend’s biographers, Presley was deeply affected by the loss of his brother.

Clinical psychologist Peter Whitmer, the author of The Inner Elvis, says that the singer frequently visited his late twin’s grave when he was in Mississippi. And according to Vernon Chadwick, author of the book In Search of Elvis, “the fact that Presley grew up without his twin likely had a major influence on his personality and informed his drive to be a performer.”

Photo by George Kalinsky

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