Furneaux Cemetery
Bit of Old England In Early Cemetery
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Bit of Old England In Early Cemetery
by Wayne Gard

WINDSWEPT CEMETERY HILL, in Southeastern Denton County, is  as well trimmed this week as a lawn in Devonshire. On Sunday afternoon it will be a Mecca for members of some of the oldest families in Denton and Dallas Counties. They will gather for yearly Decoration Day rites, with the Rev. Leon Turner of Carrollton as speaker.
Veteran of the participants will be Will C. Furneaux, 89, whose home dominates a nearby crest.  His father, William Furneaux, gave the land for the graveyard back in 1884, while William Huskey donated that for a church. But before the cemetery was laid out, Furneaux died at forty-four, on May 6, 1884 and was the first to be buried there.
Today there's no church on Cemetery Hill. Once there was a white frame one with a tall steeple. It was a union church, used in turn by Baptist and Methodists. But about 1925 a cyclone blew the church down, and it wasn't rebuilt. Those who had worshiped there joined other churches in Hebron, Carrollton and Lewisville. But they didn't forget their old burial ground.

FROM DEVONSHIRE, in Southwestern England, came so many of its pioneer families that the area around Cemetery Hiss is still called an English neighborhood. From there persuaded by an agent of the Peters Colony, John and Mary Jackson, the great-grandparents of J. Le Jackson of Dallas, came to Texas in 1848. They are among those buried in the hilltop churchyard.
Their daughter, Fanny, who crossed the Atlantic with them, married William Furneaux, who had come over in 1857. And Eliza Furneaux married a Devon man, Joseph Morgan, who emigrated to Texas n 1867. The three Devon families were intertwined by marriage and proudly had the name of their native shire engraved on their monuments.
The old cemetery covers only seven or eight acres. But, even without a church to support it, it is one of the best kept in this part of Texas. Surrounded by a steel fence, it is landscaped with evergreens and other trees and shrubs and has a solid stand of grass that's kept well mowed.

KEEPING THE GRAVES in good order is the task of the nonprofit Furneaux Cemetery Association, which meets in a tent on the site on the first Sunday in each May. Gray-thatched Will C. Furneaux headed this group for many years. Now his nephew, William H. Furneaux is president and George Jackson is secretary.
After a devotional ser vice to open at 2 p.m. Sunday, members of the association will contribute funds needed for the cemetery and will renew ties that stem from pioneer days.  They are determined to keep the resting place of their ancestors a spot of which even a visitor from Devonshire would be proud.
Greeted from all sides will be the patriarch Will C. Furneaux, whose memory reaches farthest back. He recalls the days when Steel Dust was the talk of horsemen, when herds of Longhorns tramped up the Chisholm Trail and when stories of Sam Bass kept youngsters on the lookout for his brigands. The new land has been good to him.

The Dallas Morning News - April 28, 1954

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