The History of
Patton Cemetery
Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County, Texas

      Researcher's Note: The following history of Patton Cemetery - sometimes called Yates Cemetery - is written by unknown aurthors. It is reproduced here for its historical content. I have not confirmed the accuracy of the content of this report, however much of this information is "common knowledge" on the Bolivar Peninsula. This report seems to have been written in the 1970 - 1980's. The town of Crystal Beach voted to abolish itself and is now an unincorporated area of Galveston County, Texas.
      The location of the cemetry is on Bob's Road, off State Highwy 87, about 12 miles north of the Bolivar Ferry landing. Turn north on Bob's Road. I visited the site on September 13, 1999, only to find it extremely overgrown with native vines and trees. The only marker found was the one with the inscription: She ws self-sacrificing and beloved by all who knew her.
No other markers were visible, but might be obscured by the dense undergrowth.
      All tables, plates, copies or other type of attachment said to be with this report, are, unfortunately, not.
      For questions, please contact Floyd Hunter, at

  There is a pioneer cemetery on the Bolivar Peninsula, located within the presently incorporated town of
Crystal Beach, Texas. To reach this graveyard, one turns from State Highway 87 between the Ship's Inn building and the new waterslide, onto a crossroad leading toward the intracoastal canal. On the left, about 100 yards away, is a culvert that was established several years ago by the local American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Chapter 1591. There, in a complex of native trees plus some cultivated plants gone wild, one sees several inscribed tombstones, rather randomly situated.
        In 1954, Mr. W. T. Hawes, of the Galveston County Engineering Department, listed the names and data on the six gravestones he discovered while making a survey in that area. (See Table 1.) At present, there are only five stones in position, in various stages of preservation: 1) The Milton Yates marker is erect and well preserved, and the grave is surrounded by a crude fence consisting of four corner metal pipes held together by several strands of heavy wire; 2) The stone of Robert Lyons Shaw is in generally good condition with rather elaborate carved designs, but a small piece of the upper right corner is missing; 3) The Patton gravestone lies flat on the ground and is broken into several large pieces. The inscription is complete and in good condition, except that it gives only the name Patton, aged 46 years, and the death date of July 1, 1872. A separate stone has the initials C. R. P., which probably refers to C. R. Patton; 4) The stone of Lorene W. Blalock is loose at ground base, but the inscription is good; 5) A stone from which the top part that contained the essential date is missing has only the following anonymous inscription: "She was self-sacrificing and beloved by all who knew her." This apparently refers to Johannah Abrahamson or to Lizzie Griscom. (Photographs of the stones presently in the cemetery are shown in Plate I and in Plate II, in which some of the investigators of this cemetery are also seen.)
       The significance of this cemetery has been stressed in several recent publications. In December of 1959, Vernon Lee Dugar, of the Beaumont Historical Society, mentioned the six names.1 The Beach Triton has an inspiring article on "The Pioneer Cemetery," in which the vandalism is lamented.2 (A copy is attached.) Finally, Jerry Wall has published an article regarding the importance of the Patton Cemetery in The Beaumont Sunday Enterprise-Journal.3 (A copy is attached.)
      The cemetery was legally set aside when a hundred-ace tract was sold to Samuel H. Robertson by A. S. Merriman and his wife Therisa (Morgan) Merriman in 1880, and subsequently by Robertson to Charles Steinbach on August 28, 1882. The plat is 30 yards square, consists of 0.19 acres, and is 503.5 feet from the southeast corner of the Jonas Shaw Survey.4 According to A. L. Daniel, of the AARP, the present owner of the land adjacent to the cemetery, Mr. Bob Wicker, has offered to donate a bit of land around a grave that extends beyond the original plot.
       It seems desirable to begin with the history of the Shaw Survey and with some of the relationships of the buried persons to each other, and to note the subsequent changes of land ownership in this area. Before progressing further, this study will deal with the family members of Jonas Shaw, who were closely associated with this cemetery. (See Table 2.)
       Jonas Shaw surveyed a portion of the Bolivar Peninsula in the early 1830s, when Mexico had ownership. In 1836, after the capture of Santa Anna and the routing of the Mexican armies at San Jacinto, Texas became a Republic. It so remained until 1845, when it was made a state of the United States, seceding temporarily with the Confederacy during the Civil War (1861-1865).
       In the 1840 Texas census, Jonas Shaw was listed as having 4620 acres of land under survey, based on a grant, but without final title conferred by the Grant Land Office.5 The land on Bolivar Point was patented to him by the state of Texas on May 12, 1846.6
The area encompassed in Shaw's survey is shown in Map 16 (copy attached). It is a rectangular area completely including the Peninsula from the Gulf to East Bay, bounded on the west by the Samuel Parr Survey, which was made during the same time period, and on the east by the Van Nostrand and Burrell Frank early surveys.
       Jonas Shaw leased 400 acres on the west end of his survey to Edmund Jacques Ridout and Josiah B. Benjamin (of Galveston). The lease was to endure until his youngest son (John M.) was of age, which was nineteen years old, and the charge was one dollar plus one peppercorn per year. Ridout immediately sold his portion of the lease to Benjamin for $50.00. Frank H. Merriman and I. Vansike were witnesses.7
In 1847, Jonas Shaw died and left no will. On November 3, 1848, Martin Dunman, guardian of one of the heirs, Robert Lyons Shaw, filed a petition with the courts for Partition and Division of the estate among the heirs. A committee of three was appointed, namely Pryor Bryan, George Bryan, and Thomas B. Bryan, and the official decision was published on February 25, 1850 (photostat attached).8 A daughter, Mary Ellen (Shaw) Dorsett, and her husband, William Dorsett, were also concerned in the partition. The youngest son, John M., had died in February of 1847. Pryor Bryan was to be the guardian of Amelia (Camelia) Shaw, but she was married in 1849 to Charles R. Patton.9 The three remaining minor children--Franklin D., Walter B., and Julia C.--were placed under the guardianship of Oscan Fausch, clerk of the court. There was also a son, William D., who was no longer a minor, and in 1849 the oldest son, Robert Lyons Shaw, had married his guardian's daughter, Sarah Dunman.10 The widow, Mrs. Amanda Shaw, was to remain administrator of the estate and to have control of her half of it, with the remainder divided proportionately among the other heirs, Mary Ellen Dorsett and her husband were awarded property in the westernmost part of the estate. Debts to Franklin H. Merriman, H. H. Hitchcock, and E. C Franklin were to be paid from the community estate.
In September 27, 1852, the widow of Jonas Shaw, Amanda C. Shaw, died without leaving a will. Her son, Robert Lyons Shaw, was also dead as of March 2, 1852. Probate records showed the estate holdings to be 3204 acres of land on Bolivar Peninsula and one labor of land on Cedar Point. Her oldest living son, William D. Shaw, was appointed administrator of the estate.11
The following pages contain individual biographical sketches of the persons buried in this cemetery.


Milton Yates was born on August 2, 1812 in Mobile, Alabama, and he died on September 9, 1847. He was married to Maria Pierce, who was born in South Carolina in 1820.12 They moved to the Bolivar Peninsula in the 1830s and had three children: Felix G., born in 1838; Amanda, born in 1840; and Thomas, born in 1845.13

Yates, a Justice of the Peace, performed the first marriage ceremony on the peninsula.14 He fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and received Bounty Warrant #693, 320 acres in Harris County patented to him on September 17, 1844, for service in the army from June 6 to October 1, 1836.15

In the 1830s Yates surveyed 400 acres on the Bolivar Peninsula where he was living. This site was about fifteen miles from the western tip of the peninsula, of an oblong shape, half of which faced the Gulf of Mexico; it was opposite the wreckage of the Cessila in the Gulf. There is also a Yates Cove on East Bay, which is shown on maps. He hoped to obtain a warranted title as soon as a patent could be obtained from the government. A tithe bond to the land was made to A. Wynn and W. Lawrence on April 1, 1839, but the legal record was not filed until October 4, 1856.16 In the meantime. H. J. Offett won a suit against Milton Yates in Judge A. F. James' court, and the sheriff seized the 400 acres for auction. A. Meckle paid four dollars for the land on August 17, 1845.17 Judge James subsequently purchased the 400 acres from Meckle for six dollars.18

In Probate court, under Judge William H. Rhodes, on April 18, 1848, the widow, Maria Yates, was made administrator of the estate of Milton Yates, upon her entering into bond on the sum of $3,100 and taking oaths prescribed by law.19 She filed bond with William L. Dorsett, husband of Mary Ellen (Shaw) Dorsett, and Luke O. Bryan, brother of Solomon O. Bryan, who was to become her husband. Appraisal of the estate was made by Dorsett and O'Bryan, her securities.20

Maria Yates married Solomon O. Bryan on December 27, 1489.21


Robert Lyons Shaw was born on May 5, 1829 in Louisiana and died on December 6, 1852. He married Sarah Dunman, who was born in 1833 in Texas.22

Robert Lyons was the eldest son of Jonas and Amanda Shaw. He was placed under the guardianship of Martin Dunman, who was born in Louisiana in 1804, during his father's land survey in the late 1830s. When Jonas Shaw died in 1847 leaving no will, M. Dunman appealed to the courts, in the name of his charge, for partition of the estate. The estate, which was considered familial property, was left under the guardianship of the widow, Amanda Shaw, except the portion for the married daughter, Mary Ellen Dorsett, and her husband, William L. Dorsett. In the meantime, Robert Lyons married his guardian's daughter in 1849. When Robert Lyons Shaw died in 1852 his estate was probated.23 His widow, Sarah (Dunman) Shaw, was remarried to William reeves, who was born in New Jersey in 1816.24 He had been a boarder in her father's house on the peninsula.25 In the meantime, Martin Dunman had acquired much property, especially that deeded to him by the Burrell Franks survey. When Dunman died in 1854, he left much property to his widow, Elizabeth, and she left to the Reeves. When the latter moved to another county, they sold much of their property on the peninsula.


Charles R. Patton was born in Alabama in 1826, and he died on July 1, 1872. He was married to Camelia (Amelia) L. Shaw, the daughter of Jonas and Amanda Shaw, who was born in Texas in 1832.

In the 1850 census, Charles r. Patton and his wife Camilia were listed as residing on the Bolivar Peninsula.26 They had been married on December 12, 1849. Camilia's inheritance, after the death of her mother in 1852, is shown in probate records.27 Julia C. Shaw, a sister of Camilia, was born in 1844; she sold 200 acres of her inheritance to Charles Patton and his wife.28 The couple later sold portions of it to Samuel L. Smith and to E. McConico.29

No records of Charles R. Patton's estate was found for the period following his death in 1872.

Charles and Camilia had three children: Lizzie, who was born in 1853; William C., who was born in 1859; and Fannie, who was born in 1865.30 Lizzie apparently did not marry and was living with her brother's family in 1900.31 No further record of Fannie was found. William C. married Izora Morgan, who was born in 1872, in 1889.32 Her father was Oliver Morgan, born in 1845, who bought land on the peninsula from Sarah and William Reeves.33 William and Izora had five children: Charles, who was born in 1890; Pandy, who was born in 1893; Ward, who was born in 1894; Earl, who was born in 1898; and Jessica, who was born in 1899. Amelia Shaw, who was born in Texas in 1845, was also listed as an aunt living with the family in 1900.34

William C. Patton, on April 9, 1894, signed over a right-of-way for the Gulf and Interstate Railroad to pass through 100 feet of land that he owned and to erect a station there called Patton.35 There is a map of the town of Patton in 1896. The sale of lots in 1897 is described in Galveston County Records.36


Lizzie e. Griscom Was born on April 22, 1853 in Texas and died on May 2, 1880. She married M. S. Griscom, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1848, in 1875,37 and their daughter, Sidney, was born in Patton in 1877.38

Lizzie E. O'Brien was apparently the daughter of Luke O'Bryan, who was born in Louisiana in 1830. They were married in 1852.39 Luke is listed in the 1850 census as living in Galveston, with his father, George Bryan, who was born in Kentucky in 1789, and the latter's third wife, Nancy Millard, who was born in 1830, and their children.40 In the 1870 census, Luke and Mary O. Bryan are listed with their four children, of whom Lizzie (Elizabeth) is the eldest.41

The presumed father of M. S. Griscom, George L. Griscom, was first listed in the Galveston City Directory of 1872, where he was listed as a clerk at T. H. McMahan & Company at 151 E. Strand.42 He resided at 17th and Postoffice. In the directories of 1875 and 1876, George L. Griscom was listed as a clerk for Charles Nichols, owner of a feed and produce establishment at 4-6 E. Strand. His residence was given as 11th Street between Avenues J and K.43

A presumed relative, Mannie D. Griscom, was married to Reid C. Nuchols in 1871.44

In 1872, George L. Griscom purchased, for $2,000.00, 237 acres of land from the Jonas Shaw Survey on the Bolivar Peninsula. Julia C. Shaw was the seller, and Camilia S. Patton was a witness to the sale.45

On February 13, 1876, George L. Griscom was appointed the first postmaster of the town of Gabion, a name that was changed on June 2, 1893 to Port bolivar.46 George L. Griscom filed a deed of Trust on his Bolivar land with A. J. Johnson, resident of the peninsula, on August 15, 1881, for a $200.00 promissory note for M. S. Griscom who was "justly indebted to Ferdinand Bischoff of this amount.47 On September 1, 1882, he filed a similar promissory note, this time for $400.00.48 Coincidentally, Andrew J. Johnson was appointed postmaster at Gabion on October 8, 1879. He was replaced by George L Griscom on February 1, 1882, and Griscom relinquished the post on October 10, 1883, to Joseph Atkins.49


Johannah Abrahamson was born on July 7, 1834, and died on June 13, 1902, in Patton, Texas. This report deals mainly with the latter facts regarding Johannah since her origin remains obscure. The 1880 census lists William Abrahamson, who was born in 1840, a planter on the Bolivar Peninsula; his wife Johannah, was born in 1840; Raffell was born in 1866 and Louisa in 1868. The latter two children were surnamed Gomez.50

Johanna made a will on November 23, 1901, mentioning two children, Joseph and Alexander Gomez, each of whom was to receive a dollar in cash. The will also tells of Rev. Louis Davis, from whom she held a note for $200.00, payable at 10% interest, which was applicable on 100 acres of land in the Jonas Shaw League. The note was dated September 7, 1899.51

When Johannah died on June 13, 1902, her husband, August Abrahamson, was made executor of her will, and the transactions was filed on May 23, 1903.52 Two lots were mentioned in the settlement, #69 and #71, in Section 1 of Galveston Island.

August Abrahamson of Galveston County had purchased land from N. F. Henderson of Navarro County on September 15, 1880.53 The price was $418.50, of which $50.00 was paid in cash; and a promissory note with vendor's lien was retained for 368.50, half payable in one year and the balance in two more, with interest at 10%. The 139½ acres, located on the Bolivar Peninsula, running from the Gulf to the Bay, was adjacent to the west boundary of land in a survey made by M. J. Dorsett in the division of a part of a league and labor of land granted to Jonas Shaw. On April 4, 1894, Abrahamson granted 100 feet of his property in the Johan Shaw League to the Gulf and Interstate Railway for trackage usage.54

August Abrahamson is listed in the 1882 Galveston City Directory as residing at 3627 Avenue Q.55 There is a record of the marriage of August Abrahamson and Fannie A. Sanford on October 31, 1908.56

Aleckson Gomez, screwman, resided at 902 Broadway, according to the 1091 Galveston City Directory.57 Attached to this report is a copy of the obituary of Alex Gomez, who died April 29, 1933, at his home in Galveston at 1015 9th Street.58 He was born in New York City on March 5, 1863, and came to Galveston in 1880. Survivors included his wife, Pauline; a brother and sister-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. B. Luitich; and a sister-in-law, Mrs Joseph Gomez. He was Justice of the Peace of Council B for fourteen years, until his retirement in 1923.

The City Directory for 1876 lists Marc Gomez, shoemaker, who had a business and residence at 19th and Market.59 In the 1870 census, the following people are shown as living at the same address:

Gomez, Arturo; born in 1826 in France; a bartender
Bonnet, Daphne; born in 1838 in Louisiana
Bilat, Julius; born in 1838 in France
Gomez, Louisa; born in 1858 in New York
Gomez, Alex; born in 1860 in New York
Davis, Bill; born in 1842 in Maryland
Davis, Francis; born in 1836 in France.60
Louisa Gomez was married to Francis Flindner on March 2, 1891.61 Baldo Luitich was listed in the 1908 City Directory as a mailing clerk, residing at 907 Broadway.62


Lorene M. Blalock was born on July 8, 1912 and she died on December 27, 1913, in Patton, Texas. She was the daughter of William Blalock and Nora (Hines) Blalock. The family had recently moved from Walla Walla, Washington at the request of G. W. Hines, Nora's father, to manage the hotel in Patton, which he had recently purchased. Reportedly, the explosion of a bomb under the hotel room where the baby slept caused her death. The bomb was supposedly laid by rum-runners after Mr. Blalock refused to cooperate with them. The incident is described by Mrs. Gladys Meynig, older sister of the baby, in The Beaumont Sunday Enterprise-Journal of August 17, 1975. Reporter Jerry Wall wrote the article, "Tragedy on Crystal Beach is recalled " {sic}, about the incident.63

In 1894, William C. Patton, the son of Camilia and Charles r. Patton, deeded a portion of his land to the Gulf and Interstate Railroad, where a station was built.64 The site became known as Patton, and the town lots were sold. The hotel was built in the 1880s, and the station had been built near it. The 1915 hurricane destroyed these structures.


1 "Patton Cemetery," Yellowed Pages. Texas Geneological and Historical Society Quarterly Publication, I (Feb. 1971), 11.

2 "Pioneer Cemetary" [sic], The Beach Triton, Aug. 1970.

3 Jerry Wall, "Beach Cemetery Needs Help," The Beaumont Sunday Enterprise-Journal, 17 Aug. 19175, p. 7-A

4 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 43, pp. 11-12.

5 Clifford White, ed. The 1840 Census, Republic of Texas (Austin, Texas: The Pemberton Press, 1966, p.52).

6 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book L, pp. 429-30.

7 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book A, p. 472.

8 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book J. pp.287-95.

9 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book A, p. 133.

10 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book A. p. 115.

11 Probate Records of Galveston County.*

12 Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas: The Lineage and Members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (Dallas, Texas: Huggins Printing Company, 1974), II, 118.

13 United States Bureau of the Census, 7th Census, Galveston County, 1850, p. 804.

14 Yellowed Pages. Texas Geneological and Historical Society Quarterly Publication, V (Aug. 1975), 157.

15 Thomas Lloyd Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas: 1835-1888 (Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1967), p. 706.

16 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book L, p. 704.

17 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book F, p. 253.

18 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book F, p. 289.

19 Probate Records of Galveston County, Book 2, pp. 75-75.

20 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 26, pp. 186-87.

21 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book A. p. 124.

22 United States Bureau of the Census, 7th Census, 1850, Galveston County, p. 793.

23 Probate Records of Galveston County, Book 1, pp. 68-93.

24 Marriage Records of Galveston County. *

25 United States Bureau of the Census, 7th Census, 1850, Galveston County, p. 803.

26 United States Bureau of the Census, 7th Census, 1850, Galveston County, p. 802.

27 Probate Records of Galveston County, Book 2, p 237.

28 Deed Record of Galveston County, Book Y, p. 358.

29 Deed Record of Galveston County, Book Y, p. 290.

30 United States Bureau of the Census, 9th Census, 1870, Galveston County. *

31 United States Bureau of the Census, 12th Census, 1900, Galveston County, Patton Beach, p. 4.

32 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book I, p. 426.

33 Deed Record of Galveston County, Book X, p 412.

34 United States Bureau of the Census, 12th Census, 1900, Galveston County, Patton Beach, p. 4.

35 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 131, p. 336.

36 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 153, pp. 586-90.

37 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book E, p. 674.

38 United States Bureau of the Census, 10th Census, 1800, Galveston County, Bolivar, p. 6.

39 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book _, p. 44.

40 United States Bureau of the Census, 7th Census, 1850, Galveston County, p. 804.

41 United States Bureau of the Census, 9th Census, 1970, Galveston County. *

42 Galveston City Directory, 1872, p. 71.

43 Galveston City Directory, 1875, p. 155, and Galveston City Directory, 1876, p. 71.

44 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book E. p. 120.

45 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 11, p. 348.

46 Mrs Ruby Ewing, A recent postmistress in Bolivar, supplied this information, taken from an official list of postmasters of Port Bolivar (sheet attached).

47 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 39, p 603.

48 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 40, p. 450.

49. Ewing.

50 United States Bureau of the Census, 10th Census, 1880, Galveston County, Bolivar, p. 4.

51 Probate Records of Galveston county, Book 44, pp. 209-13.

52 Probate Records of Galveston county, Book 52, p. 515.

53 Deed Records of Galveston county, Book 35, pp. 420-21.

54 Deed Records of Galveston county, Book 131, pp. 350-51.

55 Galveston City Directory, 1882. *

56 Marriage Records of Galveston County, Book T, p.390.

57 Galveston City Directory, 1901, p. 112.

58 "Funeral Rites for Alex Gomez Today," The Galveston Daily News, 30 April 1933, p. 18.

59 Galveston City Directory, 1876, p. 69.

60 United States Bureau of the Census, 9th Census, 1870, Galveston County. *

61 Marriage Records of Galveston county, Book X, p. 57.

62 Galveston City Directory, 1908, p. 2?1.

63 "Tragedy on Crystal Beach is recalled" [sic], The Beaumont Sunday Enterprise-Journal, 17 August 1975, p. 7-A.

64 Deed Records of Galveston County, Book 131, p. 336.

* More specific information cannot be given for this note because the original researcher is deceased and the source can no longer be verified.
     This is the end of the quoted report. Some spelling has changed since this was first written. Also, to the best of my ability, I have typed exactly as the original report ws photocopied. Misspelled words/names were not edited or verified.
     One additional grave was placed in this cemetery. It is the infant son, Edward David Naylor, born 25 July 1982, died 16 December 1982. Child of Frances Orlena Naylor and James Dodge Naylor.
      During the early 1990's a group of people vandalized this cemetery and some of the grave markers were stolen. The markers were later recovered by the Port Arthur, TX. Police Department. As of this date, the markers have not been returned for placement in the Cemetery. If/when they are returned, this will be updated. As well as if any new burial information comes to light.                                                                               FLOYD HUNTER.

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