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Photo courtesy of Joe Miller

Annual Cemetery Cleaning - First Weekend of June

They took the cleaning of the cemetery as an active project and set the date of June 6th, 1909 as the first date to be observed by the W.O.W. lodge. Which should answer the question of, "When was the first 6th of June?" I have the authority of S.S. Alcorn on this date as best he can remember. This day has been diligently observed since that time with the work beginning as early as anyone can get there and continuing until the plot is cleaned, usually until noon. Dinner on the ground has always been quite an occasion with plenty of food for everyone. In later years, meeting old friends, visiting and reliving the past thorugh the dinner hour is a great pleasure. Some kind of a program is conducted in the afternoon . At the first 6th the W.O.W. lodge had charge of the activities. The marching team in their caps and robes performed at the cemetery then marched over to the school building in formation. ( Note - The marching team carried an ordinary poll ax over their left shoulder which was covered with tin foil. Kay Brantner, a child at the time made mention of this note as the one thing that attracted his attention. Flora Jones got very scared and pale while holding up the human skull is the incident I remember. ---Georgia Martin Pace).    Jewel Alcorn, daughter of Seth Alcorn, gave the Woodman Unveiling, "Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud". Flora Jones spoke a piece and held up a human skull. Luera McClain was the first program chairman ever to be appointed. This custom has been kept through the years to prepare some form of program. The instigator and promotor of this project of the lodge, Uncle Seth Lambert, was the leader for years until his death.

On election years there is candidate speaking, readings given by young and old, grouping singing by the crowd. This program is always opened and closed with prayer. In later years, as the organization has grown, being kept active by the community and the old timers. After the lodge became inactive the tradition and work goes on. A business session is held in the afternoon. A collection is takened up for the purpose of the different projects of work. This was started during WWII when so many of our men and boys were in the armed forces there would not be enough help to get the work done and some one had to be hired to finish up. Butler Manning was given this job.

In later years most every one moved away. The churches had to disband. The Baptist tabernacle was donated to the cemetery association for a meeting place. Some repair was necessary on the building and funds were made available through donations. There is a movement pending to have this building moved near the cemetery and have it remodeled as a memorial chapel. The first vote did not carry. Very few of the group understood the question at the time, so were not prepared to vote either way for or against. I hope to be able to add another chapter to my story next year about this work having been completed.

A map has been made of the cemetery to the scale of one inch to one foot, with as many of the graves being identified by name in their proper location as possible. Some will probably never be identified, but I am still working on it. If any one here can identify an unmarked grave, will you please do so. Don´t think because you know who the unmarked grave is that ever one else does. But if it is marked on the map, it can be located in later years after we are gone. Thanks.

Source: Dickens County History...its Land and People © Dickens Historical Commission; Printer: Craftsman Inc. Lubbock, Texas 1986
More photo's by Ron Brantner
Red Mud Cemetery

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