Dr. John Erskine was buried in Elmwood Cemetery on September 17, 1878. Dr Erskine was a native of Alabama. He and his older brother moved to Memphis in the 1850s to practice medicine. He served as a surgeon during the Civil War.
Returning to Memphis after that, he became interested in public health and was appointed the city health officer. He was one of the 110 doctors who tended to the sick and dying during the deadly Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878.