Hallowed Places

 

HISTORY OF HILL COUNTY 1853-1980

Published by Hill County Historical Society
1980

Pages 42-42

Cemeteries

Most churches had their own cemeteries and there were many small family cemeteries. Many cemeteries over the county have been disturbed by the installation of lakes. Mrs. Odette Bottom of Abbott has made an exhaustive study of the county cemeteries, those that have been lost and those that have been removed because of the lake water encroaching on the cemetery. She gives the following account:

Eugene and Odette Kennedy Bottom and Milford and Mayvette Kennedy Willis started in November 1975 listing the cemeteries and graves in Hill County. Three years later we had them listed, arranged in alphabetical order and typed--82 cemeteries. Some small family plots, others with thousands of markers.

For some, all that was needed was lots of paper, pencils, and clip boards, probe for stones that had fallen and was covered with dirt. Boxes and boxes of chalk to read the old and worn markers. In one cemetery, we wrapped our legs with newspapers because of grass burrs.

Some were easy to locate with the aid of a map of Hill County. Others we had to have help to find. Mr. Ellis Bailey helped locate the ones near Itasca. John and Martelia (Watson) Cochran went with us in the Irene area. After 3 attempts to find Steiner Valley Cemetery. Mr. Ray McNeely led the way.

Some of the small family plots are no longer there. The Stembridge Cemetery that dated back to 1850 and had 5 graves (some say seven) has been demolished, the markers all moved. It was located on the Joe Mikeska farm southwest of Abbott.

Abandoned cemeteries:

Burris....................................west of Malone

Rienzi....................................northwest of Malone

Zollicoffer.............................near Irene

Walling Family.....................near Brandon

Eureka...................................north of Hillsboro

Copperhead...........................west of Aquilla

Simons...................................near Bethel

Neglected cemeteries, where only a few lots are cared for:

Abbott

Jessie-Chatt

Scott’s Chapel.......................southwest of Aquilla (off FM 1304)

Rockwall................................southeast of Itasca

There is a small cemetery near Latham Springs (formerly known as Offield Springs) that has one marker left. Others have been destroyed. The lone marker is that of Millerville Jeter, who died in 1866. Some of the old timers in the area say the other graves are of the Elliott family.

 

Lone graves-----I found these graves with the help of letters and too many phone calls to list:

Last Name First Name Born Died Other Information
F. A. Vaughn 1852 Nov 10, 1879 w/o W. M. - The marker has been moved and ground plowed over. We found the marker in weeds along a fence row.
Haire   Mar 2, 1788 Apr 25, 1861 Born in York District, South Carolina. This grave is in a pasture on Mrs. R. D. Mash’s farm north of Hill Jr. College.
Mayes Victoria   1900 Died on a train about 1900. Grave is located on the Howard farm. Information was given to us by Larry Wright.
Cash Mary C.   Nov 7, 1876 Age 32, wife of Eli Cash. Grave is on a farm southeast of Rockwall Cemetery, southeast of Itasca. There is another grave beside this one, unmarked, said to be Mrs. Cash’s Mother.
Bottoms Josephine Nov 6, 1888 Nov 6, 1900 Located off HCR 1303 in field on the G bar H Ranch, owned by Linda (Griffin) Hasselstrom. Her Mother’s name was Harriet _________.  Mrs. Ruby Schulze helped us find this grave.
Stubblefield John Nov 1, 1804 Apr 3, 1877 Born in Orange Co., Va. Grave is east of Itasca on the Turner (Couch) Ranch.
Butler Mrs. A. P. Oct 13, 1851 Jun 7, 1904 Daughter of Jesse Butler Guiwn. Grave is in a pasture east of highway 933, between Aquilla and Whitney. Another grave beside this one, Mrs. Tine Hart says a small Mexican boy is buried there.
Shields Janus Sep 14, 1855 1869 Son of Thomas and M. J. Hooker. Grave is in a field northeast of the Prairie Grove Cemetery southwest of Aquilla.
Nolan Philip   Mar 21, 1801 Born in Ireland, first came to Texas and established residence at Nacogdoches in 1791. When killed, he was a resident of Natchez, Mississippi. Killed near Blum, Texas  by Spaniards and buried by his Negro slaves, Caesar and Robert. His death aroused a wave of indignation that led to the Independence of Texas.

There are other lone graves scattered about the county but do not have markers.

Moved Cemeteries:

Cemeteries moved when Lake Whitney Dam was constructed: (From the records of U S Army Engineer, Fort Worth District.)

Captain Wilson, DeGraffenreid, Walling Bend, Towash (white), and two small Shuler Cemeteries were moved to Whitney. Towash (colored) was moved to a new location east of Whitney.

Allen Bend, Cedron Creek, Powell, Pogue, and Kimball Bend were moved to a new Kimball Cemetery, across the Brazos River into Bosque County, also a small Beasley Cemetery with no identifiable graves.

Fort Graham South and West , these were two small cemeteries near the larger Fort Graham. G. W. Webb, Benson and Phelps were moved to a plot just west of the Steiner Cemetery (in poor condition- but fenced) separate from Steiner Valley.