SPRING CREEK CEMETERY
GILLESPIE COUNTY, TEXAS

Compiled by Frederica Burt Wyatt - 1999

Curator Kimble County Museum

P. O. Box 271 Junction, TX 76849

Email:  fwyatt30@cebridge.net

(this was updated July 27, 1999)

The  little  cemetery  situated  near  the banks  of the  placid stream know as Spring Creek near  Harper in western Gillespie County is an important link in the  history  of the  Texas Frontier.   A number of graves are unmarked, and some are known only  to  God.

Perhaps the beginning of this burial  spot  was  the  result  of a tragic incident during the War Between the States.   In 1862, Colonel James Duff's Confede- rate  Regiment overtook and  hanged  four  men who would not disavow their allegiance to the United States.  The victims were Sebird Henderson, Hiram Nelson, Gus Tegener, and Frank Scott.  They met a brutel death by beating and hanging.   The bodies  were tossed  into nearby  Spring Creek,  and  their womenfold and children buried the victims here.  A grim reminder of the inci- dent is a granite monument erected at the mass grave.

At least five  persons slain  by  Indians  during  Depredations  across  the  hill country  are  interred  in  this hallowed spot.   Those  martyrs  of  the frontier included Eli  McDonald,  Gillet  "Gilead"  McDonald  Taylor,  Elizabeth Frazier Joy,  Atwilda Joy McDonald,  and Peter  Hazelwood.

FRONTIER TIMES,   June 1927,  Volume 4,  Number 9,  chronicled  recol- lections of Monroe McDonald  on  page 4,  and  we  quote  in  part:  "Getting togeather what help we could,  my  father and  I  had  the  bodies  (Elizabeth Frazier Joy and Alwilda Joy McDonald)  taken  down to Spring Creek  and buried.  There is a little graveyard there, and in it we laid them to rest."

FRONTIER TIMES,  May 1927, Volume 4,  Number 8:   In his story, "The Tragedy of the Pedernales",  Leonard Passmore related on page 6:   "Mr. Mc- Donald (Monroe) took the corpses (Eli McDonald and Gillet Taylor) down to Spring Creek and buried them in a little vale on the west bank of the stream --a plot afterwards set apart as a public cemetery." In continuing his article,  Mr. Passmore told on page 7:  "The last time I saw this frontier mother  (Hannah Axley Taylor, wife of Matthew Taylor) was down on Spring Creek  in the  autumn of  1891....she died a few years after- wards  on  Little  Devil's River  and  was  buried  in  the  cemetery  at Spring Creek."

FRONTIER TIMES, "Memories of Lafe McDonald" gave this bit of insight: "Hut Taylor (William Hudson Taylor), hearing the wagon....went  with the others and loaded the corpse (Peter Hazelwood) on the wagon, and  he was taken down to the Spring Creek and buried".   Hazelwood had  been  slain by Indians in a confrontation in October, 1873.  Thus  Caroline Taylor  McDon- Hazelwood lost two husbands (Eli McDonald and Peter Hazelwood)  to the taming of  the Texas Frontier.   Caroline and  her children  were  held captive eight months (1864-65) by  the Indians.   One son  (Eli, Jr.) was  born  while the group was in captivity.

The cemetery is located on Survey No. 147,  Original  Grantee,  Joseph  Mc- Cormick.  Reference is mad to the  cemetery  in a deed dated August 3, 1880 from L. M. McDonald  to E. Maier.   A  later deed dated November 6, 1901, conveyed two acres of  land for the cemetery.  Grantor was L. M. and Hester Ann McDonald, grantee was the Methodist Espiscopal Church North.

NOTE:  The dynamic heritage of this area intrigued me, and I began a search to establish the identity of those who are at rest here.  Much of the history of Spring Creek has been written,  but I found little information  about  the  little cemetery.  From  all evidence,  the  last  burials  were  before  the turn of the century.  This compilation is the result of data gathered hither and yon. It is my desire that this cemetery, a spot that hold the secret of much hill country history, will not be forgotten by futer generations

Frederica Burt Wyatt P.O. Box 271 Junction, Tx 76849-0271
 
 

LISTING OF GRAVES

 
Bell, Julia E. (wife of C. B.) 1848 1876
Chesser, Joseph Manley 1870 1886
Fairchild, Infant of Erastus & Cynthia 05-24-1889 05-24-1889
Fairchild, Infant of Erastus & Cynthia 08-00-1898 08-00-1898
Fairchild, Willie E.Vonzzyl (dau. of Joseph & Etna) 10-10-1915 10-21-1915
Garcia, Clara "Clarisa Adiline" (married IsaacJacob Banta 03-21-1858 & married Eusebio "Joe" Garcia 10-0501871) 1843 1892
Hazelwood, Peter Thomas (married Caroline Taylor 11-24-1868) no date 10-00-1873
Heicken, John no date no date
Henderson, Sebird no date 1862
Joy, Elizabeth Frazier (wife of Wiley) no date 12-05-1864
Knox (Nox), Martha E. Hall (first wife of Douglas) 03-14-1864 05-30-1884
Lee, Calvin Curtis (son of A. & G.C.) 1886 1887
Maner, Phoebe Eppes (wife of W. A) 1845 1893
Maner, William A. 1825 1893
Maner, Daughter of W. A. & Phoebe no date 1893
McDonald, James Eli, Sr. (married Caroline Taylor 11-28-1856) 1836 08-08-1864
McDonald, Joseph 1815 ?
McDonald, Lewis Martin, Jr. 07-26-1866 12-23-1888
McDonald, Mahala Alwilda Joy (first wife of R. Lafayette "Lafe" wed on 04-10-1864) 02-16-1845 12-05-1864
McDonald, Pleasant Aughty (dau. of M. A. & L. E) 1881 1884
McDonald, (seven children of Allen & Mahala) no dates no dates
McDonald, Thomas 06-04-1803 1870
Nelson, Hiram L. (husband of Olive McDonald wed on 08-09-1855) no date 1862
Reed, Lena (daughter of L.D. & L.A.) 09-15-1891 ?
Schnerr, Louis, Jr. no date 1894
Scott, Charles Franklin "Frank" (wed Mary Ann McDonald on 09-16-1855) no date 1862
Silvers, Angeline "Angie" Banta (wife of James) 10-05-1865 10-11-1890
Strong, Mary Ann Elizabeth McDonald (wed John Strong 01-11-1866) 1850 1872
Taylor, Elizabeth Banta (wife of Matthew M. Taylor 1861 1888
Taylor, Gillet "Gilead" McDonald (wife of James Thomas) 1843 08-08-1864
Taylor, Hannah Axley (wife to Matthew) no date aft 1891
Taylor, Letha Ann (dau. of J. W. & Permelia) 03-07-1895 03-07-1895
Taylor, Matthew Modglin 01-25-1802 08-001880
Taylor, T. T. 12-12-1869 01-05-1870
Tegener, Gus no date 1862
  Possibly the following persons are buried here, but there is a lack of sufficient documentation.
 
Banta, Isaac Jacob 1835 07-16-1855
Fairchild, Amos "Hez", Sr. 1825 186?
Hazelwood, Charles 07-15-1872 1897
Lacey, Mary Matilda (married James Harvey McDonald) 09-01-1838 11-21-1894
Silvers, James no date 1895
Solomon, Godwin no date no date
Strong, Mary Ann Elizabeth McDonald (married John Strong 01-11-1866)  1850 1872
Taylor, Amanda Jane (daughter of W.H. & G. L.) 08-30-1875 08-30-1875
Taylor, James (son of Zadock & Margaret) ca 1854 ?
Taylor, Mary Elizabeth (daughter of James & Samantha)  1872 1882
Taylor, James Monroe (son of James & Samantha) 04-00-1881 11-00-1881
Taylor, Zadock "Zed" no date no date
West, John C.  1840 ca 1895
  B I B L I O G R A P H Y

Anderwald, Joyce McDonald - Family Lineage Charts

Deed of Records of Gillespi County, Texas

Harper  (Texas)  Centennial  Committee, 1963,  HERE'S HARPER, pp 2-13

Harper (Texas) The Sesquicentennial Committe, 1986, HERE'S HARPER II pp. 173, 327

Hunter, J. Marvin, FRONTIER TIMES

Kimble Historical Commission,   FAMILIES OF KIMBLE COUNTY, VOLUME II, 1998, pp. 130-132

McCullough, Jerry - Family Files - Banta, Taylor, McDonald

Pharis, Doris,  The Joseph McDonald Family, Vol. II, FAMILIES OF KIMBLE COUNTY, Kimble Historical Commission

Rigler, Frank, McDONALD and TAYLOR FAMILIES, (The Highlander,                                    Marble Falls, Texas), 12 Nov 1972

Wilbarger, J. W., INDIAN DEPREDATION IN TEXAS, 1889, pp 648-649

Wyatt, Frederica Burt, On-Site Visit to Spring Creek, 1996

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