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Cemetery To Receive Marker

FARMERS BRANCH - Farmers Branch will get a Texas State Historical Foundation marker on its Keenan Cemetery, in the 2500 block of Valley View, at 2 p.m. Saturday.
John Plath Green, chairman of the Dallas County Historical Survey Committee, will present the marker.
Keenan Cemetery was started in 1843 when John Keenan, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Keenan, founders of Farmers Branch, was buried there. He was the first white child born to settlers in the area that is now Dallas County.
Others taking part in the dedication will be Mayor George Grimmer of Farmers Branch, Mayor Pro Tem William R. Linn, and Clarence Jones, Dallas County sheriff, who will make the principal address.

The Dallas Morning News - August 14, 1971
Submitted by Edward Lynn Williams

Historical Marker Given To Cemetery

FARMERS BRANCH, Tex. (AP) - The Keenan Cemetery in Farmers Branch, started in 1843, has received a Texas State Historical Foundation marker.
The cemetery started when John Keenan, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Keenan, founders of Farmers Branch, was buried there. He was the first child born to setters in that area which is now Dallas County.
John Plath Green, chairman of the Dallas County Historical Survey Committee, presented the marker recently.

The Baydown Sun (Baytown TX) - August 25, 1971
Submitted by Edward Lynn Williams

 

 

Marker proclaims cemetery's historical value
By Dan Eakin - News Staff Writer
Carrollton Metrocrest - June 6, 1996

For the second time in less than two years, a historical marker will be unveiled on Saturday, June 8, at the Keenan Cemetery near city hall on Valley View Lane.

In a ceremony set for 2 p.m., The Farmers Branch (Keenan) Cemetery Association, in association with the Peters Colony Historical Society of Dallas County, will host the unveiling.

This marker will note some of the history of the beginnings of the cemetery, which has as many as 200 unmarked grave sites dating back to 1843. The marker will also note that the cemetery is one of the oldest in present-day Dallas County.

The cemetery is named after Thomas and Sarah McAllister Keenan, who came here in 1842 when the area was known as Peter's Colony. When their two-month-old son John died the next year, they buried him at the site of what is now known as the Keenan Cemetery.

The area's first Baptist church, known as union Baptist was organized in the Keenan's log cabin in 1846 by the Rev. David Myers. It was his gravesite which was marked in the cemetery with a historical marker last July.

The Union Baptist Church was closely associated with the cemetery; and in a deed executed by John R. West conveying 1.5 acres to the church in 1875 the cemetery was legally set aside.

The cemetery now covers three acres and contains about 600 marked grave sites in addition to the many unmarked grave sites.

Many of this area's earliest settlers and their descendants, and veterans of conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam Conflict, are buried in the Keenan Cemetery.

The public is invited to attend the dedication of the historical marker Saturday.

Last July 29, a Texas historical marker in memory of the Rev. David Myers, a pioneer preacher, was dedicated at his grave site in the cemetery.

Myers is believed to have been the first Baptist preacher to preach in what is now the City of Dallas.

Born in Kentucky on Oct. 15, 1797, he came with his family to Texas in the fall of 1845. His family included his wife Letitia, at least seven single children, some married ones and some in-laws. A daughter was born to them at Red River, where they had been delayed due to bad weather.

On May 10, 1846, he, his wife, and some other relatives and friends organized the first Baptist church in Dallas County and named it Union Baptist. He was elected as the church's first pastor.

Rev. Myers is buried in the Keenan Cemetery. Besides the usual information on a gravestone, one significant addition appears: "He organized Union, the first Baptist church in Dallas Co."

Though he was remembered primarily as a preacher, livelihood for a large family depended on his farming. One record stated that he likely received less than $500 during his entire ministry.

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