Old Whitney Cemetery

(Also Know as Touchstone Cemetery)

  Old Whitney is located in Whitney on HWY 22 and FM 933 by the old rodeo arena. View Map.
      This cemetery of approximately 5 acres was given to the city of Whitney by a Mr. Touchstone. No information on how many graves were there nor why the 2 or 3 graves were not moved when the rest were moved to Whitney Memorial Park. About the '60s most of the land was turned into a rodeo facility. A small area on the southwest was left and fenced. Highway 22 also runs across the northwest end. Inside a chained link fence is an area set off by a pipe fence. Inside the pipe fence is a monument, a rose bush, and a foot stone. The footstone has the initials JPR . The tombstone is barley legible and is for a Paschal Hawkins.
click to enlarge picture
click to enlarge picture

Mrs. Bottoms shows this as follows:

SURNAME FIRST NAME BORN DIED NOTES
Hawkins P. Feb 18, 1835 May 1897 Rodeo Arena in Whitney

Lake Whitney Views November 1995

A little Tombstone on city property at the Highway 22 and FM 933 intersection south of Whitney was identified by Frances Adams of Whitney as being that of one of her mother’s little brothers, John Presley Riddle, The gravestone and a larger one for Paschal Hawkins are all that remain of what was purchased by a group of men in 1882 to become a burying ground for Whitney. Mrs. Adams says another Riddle child is also buried on the plot of land.

Mystery Gravestone Identified

EDITORS NOTE: After seeing the article on Whitney’s burying ground in the September issue. Frances Adams of Whitney came by to provide some information on the small tombstone which included only the three initials, JPR.

One of two gravestones in the fenced area on Highway 22 next to the old rodeo grounds is that of John Presley Riddle, who was born Nov. 1, 1897, and died Dec. 17 of that same year.

The baby and his brother, Blufered Andrew Riddle, are both buried there, said Frances Adams of Whitney, but only one of the Riddle markers remains. Her mother, Lillie Estelle Riddle, was an older sister of the two boys, the children of Ada Matilda and John Wister Riddle.

Mrs. Adams, formerly Frances Braziel Fugitt, said her grandfather purchased the land to bury the two babies, (Blufered Andrew was born in October of 1900 and died in 1901.) She has been told that her grandfather planted the rose bush which is still growing near the graves, now enclosed by a metal fence. Her Riddle grandparents and three other children were buried in DeGraffenreid Cemetery and later moved to Whitney Memorial Park.

With her mother and husband, Frances used to keep the two little graves on Highway 22 clean and neat, but her health has kept her from continuing. She hopes to fix a cement marker of some type for Blufered’s grave; the one that was on it has been destroyed or lost through the years.

Frances said the Riddles came to Whitney from Greenville, South Carolina, about 1894 when her mother was three years old. Her mother and father, Bob Braziel, are buried in Bethlehem Cemetery. Braziel was a farmer and carpenter who made caskets before the Scruggs funeral home came to town.