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
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.