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Year Erected: 1984
Marker Location: (needed)
Antioch Cemetery Located on a two-acre site purchased in 1883 by the trustees of the New Hope Methodist Episcopal Church from J. Thomas and Oma Henry, this cemetery has long served the black farming community of Antioch. The earliest marked grave is that of Allen Delorah, who died in 1894. The cemetery contains numerous unmarked graves of early settlers and ministers. One of the earliest graveyards in this part of Henderson County, Antioch Cemetery is the burial site for many of the area's pioneers.
Athens - Athens
Year Erected: 1964
Marker Location: on SH 19, S. Palestine Rd. at Bryson Rd
Athens Founded 1850. Named for Athens, Greece. Supply and military training headquarters during Civil War. Sent army about 1000 men. Center for manufacturing and agriculture home of annual Old Fiddler's Contest and of Henderson County Junior College, Black Eyed Peas Capitol of the World.(1964) SH 19, J. Pinckney Henderson Park Athens, Henderson County Texas
Athens Cemetery - Athens
Address:400 S. Prairieville St.
Year Erected: 2002
Marker Location: 400 S. Prairieville St.
Athens Cemetery After citizens petitioned for its closure, an unofficial burial ground in this area (Large Lot 13) closed in 1857. That same year, local residents buried prominent planter, Mason and school superintendent William J. Brantley here on one acre donated by Pleasant Tannehill to Masonic Lodge No. 165. Adjoining land was set aside for the interment of a girl, named Ward, who could not be buried in the Masons' Cemetery. The two adjacent burial grounds eventually joined, and further donations of land by Nathaniel Pope Coleman (1823-1888), Joseph Marion la Rue (1825-1887) and Joseph Thomas la Rue (1864-1930) added to what is now known as the pioneer section of this cemetery. An association established in 1922 bought an additional 12 acres from Matthias E. Richardson, Jr. (1850-1919), designating the front portion as a park. A trust initiated in 1959 by Sid Williams Richardson (1891-1959) continues to help fund the site's upkeep. Chronicled here are the generations that forged the rich heritage of the City of Athens, along with veterans of the Indian wars, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2002
Athens Review, The - Athens
The Athens Review "The Athens Review" was established as a weekly newspaper by J. B. Bishop and George M. Johnson, Editor and owners on December 24, 1885. The earliest newspaper in Henderson County, "The Athens Bulletin", had been founded by printer J. H. Cox and Professor J. E. Thomas in 1873, twenty three years after the present boundaries of Henderson County were established. It operated for about two years. Equipment owned by "The Athenian" from 1883 through early 1885 was used to print the first issue of "The Athens Review". A six column, four page publication with a subscription price of $1.50 a year. In 1886, the paper was bought by William Dixon Bell, a 19-year-old Waco printer, who sold it to J. H. Walford in 1888. Col. R. E. Yantis of Van Zandt County bought it in 1900 and in 1901 published the first issue of "The Athens Daily Review" on June 20. Both newspapers have continued in operation since that time. Throughout its history, "The Athens Review" has served the area as a community newspaper, encouraging community spirit and supporting projects of benefit to the area. Devoted to the development and progress of Athens and Henderson County and their people. The newspaper has been an important element in the areas heritage. (1985) S. Prairieville Street Athens, Henderson County Texas
Avant, Durham - Tool
(1798-1862) A native of North Carolina, Durham Avant came to Texas in 1834 with his wife, Susan (Winsett), and after a time they settled in present day Henderson County. Avant served as a Texas Ranger and in 1850 helped survey and determine a central location for the Henderson County Seat. He later opened a hotel in the new county seat of Athens. His death came shortly after he enlisted in the Confederate army with his son William.
Avant, William P. - Tool
(1826-1863) Alabama born William Avant grew up in what is now Henderson County after coming to Texas with his parents in 1834. At the age of 14, he served with his father, Durham, as a Texas Ranger. In 1849 he was issued a land grant in the Mercer colony (NE of present-day Athens) and settled there with his wife, Rutha, and their children. Involved in the building of the road from Athens to Palestine, Avant later enlisted in the Confederate Army and died after one year of service
Avriett, Dulcinea Ann Holland Thompson - Athens Photo Courtesy of Joyce LeMay Loden
(1834-1920) A native of Athens, Georgia, Dulcinea Ann Holland came to Henderson County with her family in 1847. She married E. J. Thompson in 1851. According to local tradition, she named the town of Athens after her birthplace. Following the death of her first husband in the 1860s, Dulcinea married James Avriett in 1867. They were the parents of two sons. She was a founding member of the local Methodist Church and a dedicated civic leader.
Hester (Stovall) and Armstead R. Barker struggled to buy the lands they worked for their former masters, W. C. Larkin and Nat Coleman. When Mrs. Barker died in 1893, her husband set aside 4 previous acres of land to be used as a cemetery by the settlers of the Gum Creek community and their descendants. Although Hester was the first person to be interred on this land, several earlier graves were relocated from their original sites. John Ellick, originally buried on the Barker farm in 1866, is the oldest of these. During the Depression, Lazarus Barker was forced to offer the four acres for sale. Concerned citizens of the Gum Creek and Lease Springs communities formed the Barker Cemetery Association in August of 1933, and by December Barker deeded the land to the association. Others donated land for a driveway to the road. Cemetery maintenance proved difficult for the farming families of the area, but in 1958 the Barker Cemetery Improvement Club sparked new development. A chain link fence, an organized list of graves, and a brick entrance were all completed by 1985. In 1997, over 300 graves had been counted in Barker Cemetery. Still in use, the site is a monument to the vision of Hester and Armstead Barker. (1997)
Athens' first public school for African Americans was established in 1876-77. Athens Colored School held classes in a Baptist Church and later in a 2-room schoolhouse erected at this site. Richard C. Fisher, who joined the school's faculty in 1914 and who later became principal, renamed the school Blackshear to honor a former professor at Prairie View College. The school was accredited in 1924. A new school, built here in 1932, was renamed for Professor R. C. Fisher upon his death in 1934. Fisher High School closed in 1966 with the integration of schools in Athens.
Brownsboro Norweigan Lutheran Cemetery After migrating from Norway in 1845, Ole Reierson bought the land that included this cemetery site. He chose the spot for his burial and carved several of the plain brown gravestones before he died in 1852. The cemeterys 24 marked and 81 unmarked graves are mostly those of Norweigan Immigrants. A Lutheran Church built nearby in 1889 served as a cemetery Chapel until the 1920s. Will Tergerson tended the site for many years, an association formed in 1974 by descendants of early settlers now maintain it.
Before Henderson County was created by the Texas Legislature in 1846, a small community known as Buffalo had developed around a ferry that operated in this area on the Trinity River. Despite its location in the northwest section of the county, Buffalo served as the seat of government from 1847 until 1850. Instrumental in the development of the small community were pioneer area landholder Henry Jeffries and surveyor and lawyer John H. Reagan. Reagan, who later became a United States Congressman and served as postmaster general of the Confederacy, was appointed road overseer, deputy sheriff, and first probate judge. Few records have survived to tell the history of Buffalo. Although lots for a church and school were designated on the town plat,no other reference to their existence has been uncovered. The community was awarded a post office in 1847. Minutes of the Commissioners' Court indicate that the major work done during the county's formative years was the establishment and laying out of public roads, most of which began at Buffalo and extended in all directions. When Athens became the Henderson County Seat in 1850, Buffalo began to decline and eventually disappeared, never realizing the expectations of its founders.
This congregation traces its history through several Henderson County Methodist churches. Earliest worship services in Carroll Springs were held in private homes, with the Rev. William D. Sansom occasionally leading them. Worshipers went to county line after a Methodist church was organized there in 1859. The church was moved to New Hope in 1865 with the Rev. Joseph Franklin Lambright as pastor. He continued as the minister when the congregation moved to Coolsprings in 1872. In 1883, the Methodist congregation relocated to Carroll Springs, where it has remained since that time. The forty charter members were served by J. F. Lambright until his resignation in 1891. Other pastors have included his son, the Rev. J. M. M. Lambright, and the Rev. R. E. Gibbs. Carroll Springs Methodist Church traditionally has held a revival under the brush arbor beginning the first Sunday in August. An important part of this rural community, the church continues to reflect the ideals and traditions of its founders. Descendants of many of the charter members still worship here
Site of Centerville Replaced Buffalo as county seat, 1848, due to central location in county; on land donated by James Harper Starr (1809-1890), Texas statesman. Clerk's records were kept in a log cabin courthouse. When county was reduced in area, 1850, county seat was moved to Athens, and Centerville died. (1973) Just off State Highway 334 Between Eustace and Gun Barrel City
Driven from eastern states by white settlers, Cherokee Indians migrated to the East Texas area, becoming established by 1820. In 1822, they unsuccessfully sought title to their land from Mexico. The years following were ones of an increasingly uneasy truce for both Texans and Cherokees. In 1839, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Republic of Texas president, sent orders for the tribe to leave Texas. In July 15-16 battle northwest of here two Texans and eighteen Indians, including Chief Bowles (aged 81), were killed. The remaining Indians retreated into what is now Oklahoma.
Permanent settlement of the area that became the Cottonwood community began in the 1840s and 1850s. Pioneer families, including the Stirmans, Greens, Cokers, Fraziers, Benges, Grahams, Hendleys and Wheelers, established a community church, school, stores, cotton gin and--in 1894--a post office known as Mance. After the post office closed in 1905,the community again was called Cottonwood. The first known use of this property as a burial ground occurred in 1871, when landowner Shadrach Green buried his son-in-law, Joseph A. P. Smith, here. Ten years later, Green sold his land to another son-in-law, William Hugh Graham. A state representative in the 25th and 26th Texas legislatures, Graham used most of the property for his homeplace and farm, but he continued to offer the area near Smith's grave as a burial place for the community, and it was referred to during this period of time as the Graham Cemetery. After Graham's death in 1919, his widow, Lydia Candace (Green), and their children donated three acres of his land to the people of the Cottonwood community and Henderson County for use as a burial ground. The Cottonwood cemetery is a reflection of the heritage of this part of Henderson County. Veterans of armed conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam are buried here, as are early settlers and landowners, including members of the Benge, Brewer, Frazier, Foster, Garrett, Morton, Roberson, Hendley and Allison families. Descendants of those interred have gathered annually since the 1930s for a reunion and cemetery cleaning, and in 1998 they formed the Cottonwood Cemetery Association. The Texas Historical Commission has designated the graveyard a Historic Texas Cemetery. (2001)
Courts Under the Oaks - Athens
Henderson County was established in 1846, the year after Texas was annexed by the United States. In 1850, after previous reductions in the county's original size, the present boundaries were set by the Texas Legislature. The restructuring resulted in the need for a new county seat, and the Legislature appointed a commissioners court to select possible sites and to conduct an election that would determine the permanent seat of government. the voters chose the property of Matthew Cartwright, a prominent East Texas landowner, for the townsite of Athens. In Samuel Huffer's survey for the new county seat, this site was set aside as the public square. Before a courthouse was constructed here, early county and district court sessions were conducted on the Square under a large shady oak tree. The first district court term, held in October 1850, was presided over by Judge Oran M. Roberts, later a Texas Supreme Court Justice and governor of the state. Cases he heard included charges of murder, larceny, gambling, defaulting jurors and assault and battery. Begun before the development of Athens, the Courts Under the Oaks reflected the democratic goals and ideals of the pioneer settlers of Henderson County.
Rupert Talmage Craig Rupert Talmage Craig, son of Henry Clay and Dana (Moss) Craig, was born on November 17, 1889, in Shiloh, Kentucky. He began setting type in a print shop at the age of ten and at the age of sixteen became the youngest licensed printer in Kentucky. He worked as a printer for several major U.S. Newspapers before coming to work for the "Athens Review" in 1907. He purchased the "Kemp News", a small town newspaper, and became its publisher at the age of eighteen. Craig married Kentuckian Clara E. Rhodes in 1911 and in 1912 they moved to Chandler, Texas, where he owned the "Chandler Times" newspaper. He purchased the "Athens Review" in 1916. The "Athens Review" became a successful daily newspaper. Craigs distinctive editorials on politics and local events earned him the respect of the area citizens and prominent State and National Politicians. He served as Regent at Texas Womens University, and was a member of the Texas Economics Commission, the Texas Centennial Commission, and the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee. The Southern Journalism Congress named him "Country Editor of the South" in 1938. Craig sold the "Athens Review" in 1941 after twenty five years as publisher. He died in Athens on February 15, 1968: A U. S. Senator attended his funeral. Sesquiecentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995 note: Athens City Cemetery, Athens, Henderson County, Texas
An earlier building at this location housed the law offices of Senator J. J. Faulk and Judge W. L. Faulk. In the early 1890s the site was purchased by J. R. Gauntt, a local businessman. The son of pioneer area settlers, he operated a mercantile store, the Chany Tree, with his brother R. L. Gauntt, and later ran a monument business. In 1896 he commissioned the Hawn Lumber Company to build this two-story brick commercial structure near the rail lines, a primary business location in the early days of Athens. The upstairs area was first occupied by attorneys W. L. and J. J. Faulk. A native of Alabama, William Levin Faulk served as Henderson County judge, district clerk, and director of the Guaranty State Bank of Athens. His cousin James J. Faulk, born in Louisiana, served as county attorney, state representative, district attorney, state senator, special justice of the Texas Court of civil Appeals, and the first mayor of the City of Athens. The downstairs area first housed the grocery store of Tom Barber. Other tenants in the Faulk-Gauntt Building have included dentists Dr. Dudley Payne and Dr. Thomas Matthews. The structure was later owned by descendants of W. L. Faulk. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981
One of the earliest settlements in Henderson County, Fincastle developed during the early 1850s. At that time, this part of the state was a center of economic activity with a growing number of plantations and farms. In 1851 John Tindel (1796-1864) purchased 1091 acres in the Juan Jose Martinez survey and later platted the community townsite. He laid out fourteen lots, measuring 60 feet long and 70 yards deep. The community attracted farmers, tradesmen, professional people, and other settlers who came to Texas. Fincastle was the scene of much activity during the civil War, as Capt. William H. ("Howdy") Martin came in 1861 to raise troops. In addition, a quartermaster and commissary department was established here. By 1880 Fincastle had several stores, a blacksmith shop, cotton gins, saloons, a combination drugstore and doctor's office, several churches, and a school. Farmers from surrounding areas came here to sell their cotton and produce and to buy supplies for their homes and farms. About 1900 most of the members of the settlement moved to the county seat of Athens, and fincastle declined. A church, the Pioneer Cemetery, and the nearby home of John Tindel are all that remain of this early trade center.
Little physical evidence remains of the early Henderson County community of Fincastle. The pioneer cemetery and church building at this site stand as reminders of this once-flourishing trade center. In 1851 Dr. Pleasant P. Adams deeded 1091 acres of land to John Tindel, and all marked graves date from that time. Tindel's daughter, Lydia Parmer, is credit with legally setting aside the land for public use. Dr. Adams' wife is said to have been among the first to be buried in the graveyard. Many pioneers of the community are interred here,including John and Mary Tindel and Daniel McRae, Fincastle's first postmaster, who is credited with naming the town. A number of different church buildings have occupied this site. Although early records of the churches have not been maintained, it is known that circuit preachers and local religious leaders held worship services here. Baptist and Methodist congregations worshiped on alternate Sundays. The church building also served as a schoolhouse and as a place to hold elections. Political rallies, and special events. Although no church congregation is associated with it today, the building continues to serve as a polling place and as the site of an annual homecoming celebration
First Baptist Church of Athens-Athens not listed on Texas Historical Commission Site Atlas Photo by Dee
The St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad built a line through Malakoff in 1880. In 1883 a Union church organized by the Rev. Hezekiah Mitcham, which served both Baptist and Methodists, relocated to a site near the railroad. According to local legend denominational differences which occurred within the church established by Mitcham resulted in 36 of its members establishing this Baptist church in 1884. They called themselves the Missionary Baptist Church of Christ. A church building was erected in early 1885 on a town lot owned by J. L. Evans and in 1891 a Sunday School was organized. The sanctuary also served as a community center and provided classroom space on a temporary basis. A new sanctuary was erected at this site in 1894 on land donated by W. A. Martin of Missouri. Membership in the congregation had grown to 152 by 1917 and in 1918 a new frame church building was erected here. The congregation established an Hispanic mission in 1925. The 1918 church building was replaced with a new brick sanctuary in 1954. The congregation added a parsonage in 1964, education building in 1971, auditorium in 1982, and homes for an Hispanic mission in 1990. The church continues to serve the community with various programs and activities.
In 1894, the Rev. Monroe F. Jackson came to Malakoff and founded this congregation. He named it Good Hope Baptist Church. The same year, church trustees Sam Robinson, Monroe Porter, and Governor Wilson acquired land at this site for a church building. Over the years, the members of the Good Hope fellowship have sponsored the founding of several other churches in western Henderson County, including Antioch and Macedonia. the current name was chosen after Good Hope merged with Mt. Olive Baptist Church in 1939.
Machine From First Factory in Athens Established 1882 (at site 1.5 mil NE) by local planter H. M. Morrison, to make building brick. Total orginal machinery consisted of the press and plunger. Press was hand operated. A mule drawn swivel ran the plunger. Mixing clay dug at the plant site. C. H. Coleman bought into firm in 1891; after Morrison's death in 1899 he became sole owner. Harbison-Walker refractories Company bought buisness in 1940; continued making Coleman bricks and enriching economy until closing in 1968. These machines are a permanent loan to the city of Athens, from Harbison-Walker. (1968) SH 19, J. Pickney Henderson Park Athens, Henderson County Texas
Organized in 1852 by the Rev. Hezekiah Mitcham (1800-1865), this fellowship began with six charter members who first held services in various locations throughout the county. In 1854 the small congregation erected one of the first Methodist church buildings in the county. A log cabin chinked with mud, it was located on land donated by Mitcham's son James in the small settlement of Caney Creek. The church was known as Mitcham Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the community also came to be called Mitcham Chapel. The town later was named Malakoff for a village in Russia that had gained recognition during the Crimean War (1853-55). The congregation grew steadily in its early years and provided service and leadership to the community. In 1883 the membership agreed to move to the relocated town of Malakoff, which had moved 1.5 miles southwest of the original townsite when the railroad came through three years earlier. several sanctuaries, including one destroyed in a 1933 tornado, have served the church since the move. From its small beginnings, the First United Methodist Church of Malakoff has grown, while maintaining its important ties to early Methodist history in Texas.
Fisher, Richard Columbus - Athens
(May 20, 1888 - Sept. 4, 1932) A native of Falls County, R. C. Fisher graduated in 1913 from what was then Prairie View Normal College. The following year he began his career in education at Blackshear Colored School in Athens. Fisher later became principal of the school, which grew from a seven-grade facility to twelve-grade accredited high school during his years of leadership. In 1932, students moved into a new brick building, renamed Fisher High School in his honor.
Goshen Cemetery The community of Goshen was established after the Civil War. Named for the biblical "Land of milk and honey". The town of Goshen served the rural farms and communities as a marketing center. It was also a rest stop for trail drives herding cattle on the the Chisolm Trail from East Texas. Goshen existed through the later part of the 19th century when the railroad was built. Through this area, merchants moved their businesses to nearby Eustace, a settlement on the new rail line. Goshen Cemetery remains as the last physical reminder of the once-thriving trading center. According to local legend, the cemetery was founded when a nomadic cowboy became sick and died while working on a nearby ranch. A large grave and stone fence mark the burial place of the cowboy. Although many graves are unmarked, the first documented burial is that of Benjamin G. Hooker in 1869. Among the more than 450 marked graves are burials for several infants and children, pioneer settlers and their descendants and Veterans fo America's various wars. The Cemetery is managed by the Goshen Cemetery Association and continues to serve the area. (1996) County Road 2938 Eustace, Henderson County Texas
(November 29, 1839 - September 5, 1914) A native of Georgia, Thomas Hunt Hall came to Texas in 1854 and settled in Smith County. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he became a Methodist minister. He enlisted in the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and served in the 14th Texas Cavalry. Afterwards, he studied medicine and opened a practice in Smith and Henderson counties. Active as both a minister and doctor, he settled in the New York community in 1895.
Hawn Lumber Company, Site of - Athens
As the geographic center of the newly redrawn Henderson County lines, Athens became the county seat in 1850. Charles H. and Lillian (Barksdale) Hawn arrived with a load of lumber on the first train to stop in Athens in 1881. Charles Hawn quickly established a role for himself and his family in the village. Called "adept as an architect and master builder" by the ATHENS REGISTER, Hawn built a new county courthouse in 1885. He also is credited with the design and construction of many early houses in and around Athens, including the residence of Senator J. J. Faulk and his wife in 1882. In December 1886 Charles and Lillian Hawn purchased two acres on this site in order to establish the Hawn Lumber Company. Hawn continued to provide lumber and labor for many of the buildings around the town square as well as settlers' homes. He is credited with constructing the Faulk-Gaunt building and the Gaunt Brothers buildings in downtown Athens, as well as the home of Joseph Thomas La Rue. Charles and Lillian Hawn's second son, William A. Hawn, became president of the company. He inherited family holdings including Charles' several sawmills upon his father's death in 1922. W. A. Hawn served as city commissioner and mayor, postmaster and school board member for the city of Athens. Under his direction, the Hawn Lumber Company remained a strong fixture in the city's building trade. William A. Hawn died in 1960; the company remained in the family until it closed in 1997. From the early development of Athens to the end of the 20th century, the Hawn Lumber Company was instrumental in the city's growth. (1999)
Henderson County Formed from Houston and Nacogdoches Counties. Created April 27, 1846, organized August 4, 1846. Named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson 1808-1858. First Governor of the State of Texas. Buffalo, Centerville and Athens since 1850 have served as County seat. SH 19, J. Pinckney Henderson Park Athens, Henderson County Texas
Voted 400-49 for secession. Sent about 1,000 into Confederate Army, with one detachment of 150 having only 13 live to return. Caldwell's farm, three miles northeast, and Fincastle, 19 miles southeast of Athens, had camps of instruction. Confederate supply depot, Fincastle, had stores of grain, mean in charge of Capt. Thomas F. Murchison, who also was county enrolling officer. Wartime manufactures included earthenware jugs and dishes. Other products for C.S.A. were cotton, corn, beef, pork, timber. Cynthia Ann Parker, delivered from Indian captivity 1860 by Sul Ross' Ranger unit, lived during war at Athens. Postmaster-general of Confederacy was John H. Reagan, who had been surveyor and the first probate judge in Henderson County.
Henderson County Courthouse - Athens
3-story brick building with basement. Portico entrance and classical details. Unusual building footprint similar to that of Fisher County's demolished 1910 courthouse in which wings at either end project at an angle. Low central dome
Arthur C. Horton, M.D. Henderson County Between Murchison and Brownsboro Arthur C. Horton, M.D. August 27, 1873-June 5, 1946 A native of Mississippi, Arthur Columbus Horton came to Texas with his family in 1876. He studied medicine at Barnes Medical College in St. Louis, Missouri and the University Of Dallas Medical College (later Baylor University College of Medicine). Dr. Horton married Sallie Belle Worsham in 1899, and opened a medical practice in Henderson County where he served the public for four decades. After the death of his first wife in 1905, Horton married Vinnie Lee Scott in 1906 and they moved from Leagueville to Murchison where he practiced medicine, served as County Health Officer and as a member of the school board, was instrumental in the consolidation of local schools. He also was active in the in the local Masonic Lodge, Methodist Church and Red Cross. He later moved his family and practice to Brownsboro where he remained until his death. Among Dr. Hortons professional accomplishments was his instrucmental role in the eradication of malaria from East Texas. He volunteered for medical service during one of Texas most devasting disasters, the 1900 Galveston Storm and the 1937 New London School explosion.
La Rue, Joseph Thomas - Athens
(Nov. 18, 1864 - Feb. 13, 1930) Alderman on Athens' first city council (1901). La Rue (town 13 mi. SE) was named for him. Educator, merchant, civic leader, banker, humanitarian, prohibitionist, democrat, historian. Married March 16, 1892, Stella Elvira Parsons. They had seven children.
Malakoff - Malakoff
Address: N. Terry St. (FM 90 right-of-way) Malakoff
Year Erected: 1986
Marker Location:Municipal Park, N. Terry St. (FM 90 right-of-way)
Malakoff began as a settlement known as Caney Creek about one-and-one-half miles north of the present-day town. One of the earliest settlers in the area was a widow from Alabama, Jane Irvine, whose grist mill on Caney Creek became the center of the small community that developed. It came to be known as Mitcham Chapel after a Methodist church by the same name was organized by the Rev. Hezekiah Mitcham in 1852. The name Malakoff was chosen when the post office was established in 1855, since the name Mitcham already had been used for a Texas postal station. Malakoff was a Russian town that had gained attention during the Crimean War (1853-1855). After the railroad was completed through Henderson County in 1880, a new townsite, closer to the rail line, was platted on the Peter Tumlinson survey. "New Malakoff" experienced much commercial growth during the early 1900s with the founding of two banks, a newspaper, telephone service, and other businesses. Lignite coal was discovered near Malakoff in 1912, and the subsequent mining operations came to be Henderson County's largest industry. With its settlement dating to the 1830s, Malakoff is one of Henderson County's oldest towns.
The Malakoff Man A sandstone image of a human head-carved by prehistoric men-was found near here in 1929 by a workman of Texas Clay Products Company. It was dug from a gravel pit now under Cedar Creek Lake. The carving weighed 98 pounds, was 16 by 14 inches, with eyes 2 1/2 inches wide. First stone was found at depth of 16 1/2 feet. Two similar images were unearthed in same area in 1935 and 1939. Archaeologists date Malakoff "men" as many thousands of years old. Found near the images were fossil remains of extinct horse, elephant, camel species. Images now in Texas Memorial Museum. (1967) Highway 31 Trinidad, Henderson County Texas
North Carolina native Eber Meredith, his wife Caroline (Ross), and their four children moved to this area of Henderson County in the 1850s. Eber Meredith bought 320 acres of land in 1859 and purchased an additional 160 acres four years later. In 1875 a schoolhouse was built near the Meredith home. A Methodist church was organized under a brush arbor near the schoolhouse in 1876, and in 1878 Eber Meredith officially deeded ten acres of land for the church. An open-air tabernacle was built that same year, and the first annual camp meeting was held in the summer. The church and camp meeting became known throughout East Texas, and in some years attracted crowds of as many as 2,000 people. One of the area's early settlers, W. A. Barber, died on August 16, 1876, and was buried at the campground. His was the first grave in the cemetery, which eventually grew to include the burials of many early settlers, including Eber and Caroline Meredith and their descendants, as well as veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. The present tabernacle was erected in 1890. It features a hipped roof with changes in pitch capped by a cupola. Drop shutters cover openings on each side. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991
Davis (1800-1869) and Catherine Tuggle (1802-1871) Reynolds came to Texas from Georgia in 1856, settling here with their children, their children's families, and their slaves. Devout missionary Baptists, the Reynolds family soon established a community of worship, meeting in private homes. The first church building in the New York community was situated beside the Reynolds family's cemetery land. The church was organized in 1865 with the Rev. M. H. Jones as pastor, according to the records of the Saline Baptist Association. John Harrison and Nancy Walker Reynolds deeded five acres to church trustees for the New York Baptist Church and school building in 1873. The two-story structure was used by the New York Baptists, area Methodists, the school, and the Masonic Lodge. In 1886, John Harrison and Nancy Walker Reynolds deeded land adjoining the Methodist church and New York Cemetery for the use of the Baptist church. A one-room box structure was erected; additional buildings were constructed as needed to accommodate the growing congregation. In 1915 they joined the Southern Baptist Convention, dropping "Missionary" from their name. Revivals and singing were popular. Baptisms were performed at Maggie Branch, New York Creek, and in other locations. In 1947 New York Baptist Church trustees bought the Methodist church property adjacent to their own and built a new Baptist church on the site of the former Methodist church. Descendants of the founders of the New York Baptist Church continue in the traditions of worship and community service. (1998)
The New York Cemetery, established in the 1870s near the local Methodist church, grew from a tiny burial ground through the generous land donations of area settlers. The earliest marked grave is that of Enoch Tunnell (1816-1879). Twelve more graves appeared by the end of 1883, including those of many infants and young children. Mrs. Martha Dismuke gave an acre of land to the Methodist church for a public graveyard in 1883. She was the mother of Rissa Dismuke Hall. The third wife of Dr. Thomas Hunt Hall, a physician and circuit-riding Methodist minister. Their nine children were cared for by Martha Dismuke after Rissa Hall died in 1891. The Rev. James Carr Walker, who established the first New York community store and the Methodist church, sold parcels of his extensive landholdings to newly settled farmers. He and his wife, Mary Fain Walker, had ten children. Mary Walker gave half an acre for the public cemetery in 1884 following James Walker's death. Nancy E. Walker, a daughter of James and Mary Walker, and her husband John Harrison Reynolds are reported to have given an additional half acre of land to the cemetery. Horace Clinton Hall, a son of Dr. Thomas and Rissa Hall who owned the New York store for several years, and his wife Viola Beckham Hall gave more land to the growing cemetery. Dennis W. and Clara (Tindel) Sholars and Seaborn C. and Laura (Garrett) Tindel gave the southern portion of the cemetery in 1939. One of the first graves in that section was that of Clara and Calvin's father, Seaborn F. Tindel, in 1941. By the end of the 20th century, the cemetery included more than 600 graves and continued to serve as a chronicle of the New York community. (1999)
Site of Old Normandy 1/2 mile SouthEast First Norweigan Colony in Texas founded in 1845 by Johan Reinert Reierson (1810-1864) and Ole Reierson, of Holt Norway. In "Christianssandsposten" J. R. Reierson urged Norweigans to "find a rich life" by migrating to Texas. His associate editor, Elise Tvede (1815-1895) also came to Texas and continued writing for publications in Norway. She married Wilhelm Warenskjold. Lived in the area and opened home to Norweigans newcomers. By 1853 a Norweigan Lutheran Church and Cemetery had been established here. Normandy was later renamed Brownsboro
Old Rock Hill Cemetery - Brownsboro
The first known burial in this cemetery, that of Thomas Clark, dates to 1851. He was buried on land that was public domain until 1857 when A. J. Laymance was awarded title to a tract of land of more than 292 acres. The Old Rock Hill Cemetery consists of nearly an acre of land and lies in the southeast corner of the Laymance survey. Many of the early settlers along the Horn Branch and the Kickapoo Creek watersheds are buried here. Martin Horn, for whom Horn Branch is named, and his wife Minda are buried here. Although there are 80 documented burials, several grave markers have become illegible. Among those buried here are John Lindsey, veteran of the War of 1812 and a Cherokee County commissioner, and Civil War veterans Hassell Chandler, John Boatman, and Jacob R. Laymance. The last burial to occur here was in 1913 upon the death of Era Tindel. When roads to this site became impassable during bad weather, a new cemetery was established nearby and named the New Rock Hill Cemetery. In 1983 the Old Rock Hill Cemetery was deeded to the Rock Hill Cemetery Association, which owns and maintains both sites
David Allen Owen came to Texas with his first wife, Mary (Langsdon), who died enroute, and their 5 children. They traveled with family members and others from Randolph County, Alabama to Henderson County, Texas in 1851. Owen served as chief justice (county judge) from 1860 to 1869 and was a pioneer member of the Pilgrim's Rest Primitive Baptist Church at Baxter. He later settled in the Mill Run community and set aside part of his land for this cemetery. The earliest marked grave is for Owen's son, Silas Monk Owen, who died in 1873. Friends and neighbors, as well as other Owen family members, are buried here. Tombstones dated before 1900 bear the names of Clayton, Davis, Hanks, Hester, Moon, Ratcliff, Regester, and Rogers. David Allen Owen (1817-1885); his second wife, Lucinda (Woodard) (1834-1925); sons Jefferson Davis (1861-1916), David Randolph (1864-1927), Jordan Wade (1869-1947), Joseph Collins (1875-1930), and Dewitt Judson (1872-1943); and Mary Matilda (Clayton) Pace (1849-1930), a daughter by his first wife, also are buried here. Although many of the graves are unmarked or are marked only with rocks, the Owen Cemetery stands as part of the recorded history of this area of Henderson County.
Payne Springs Methodist Church and Cemetery For over a century, this church and cemetery have served the community of Payne Springs, originally known as Mallard Prairie. By 1880 the church already had a large membership and met in a log structure. The church building served as a gathering place for elections and polictically rallies. Summer Revivals were held under a brush arbor on the church grounds. Revivals often lasted two weeks and were social as well as religious events. Local tradition indicates the cemetery was started when a child from a family traveling west was buried by a small cedar tree in the church yard. The first marked grave was that of a Mother and Daughter who were buried on the other side of the cedar. Elenor Reynolds (1812-1880) and her daughter Mary Ann Davis (1829-1880) died within a day of each other. The Mallard Prairie School once stood near the church and cemetery. It later moved across the road and the growth of the cemetery took in land where the school and early church building stood. The burial ground now contains over 1000 graves. An annual July 4th workday evolved into a fund raising event for the cemetery upkeep. (1984) Henderson County Texas Highway 198--Payne Springs
Pilgrim's Rest Primitive Baptist Church - Athens
Constituted in Randolph County, Ala., Nov. 23, 1850; opened services here on Baptist Branch, Jan. 1851, during resting of 150 pilgrims in covered wagon caravan led by Samuel Tine Owen, a brother, John Bunyan Owen, and brother-in-law, K. K. Knight. Inspired by beauty of this locality to cancel planned trek to California gold fields, group settled and built a log cabin church here. Thomas Britton was their first pastor. Congregation disbanded shortly after relocating a mile south in 1892. From Pilgrim's Rest sprang several churches of this area.
Twin of a tree killed in Courthouse fire, 1886. Judge O. M. Roberts (later Governor of Texas) wrote Oct. 2, 1850, of old oak: "This court is held in woods near center of public square of Athens, under an oak which the public authorities are requested to preserve as a memorial of the habits of the early Texas." Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967
Henderson County Pottery Industry Prehistoric Caddoan Indians untilized the abundant deposits of rich clays in this region to make their fine pottery vessels. The modern pottery industry in Henderson County began in 1857, when Levi S. Cogburn (1812-1866), on of a family of potters from Georgia, started making cups, saucers and plates in Athens. Cogburns' plant operated until shortly after his death in 1866. Industry was reactivated in 1885 by M. K. Miller, who with his sons, started the Athens Pottery Company, first of many tile, brick and pottery plants in the area. (1973) SH 19, J. Pickeney Henderson Park Athens, Henderson County Texas
Red Hill Cemetery Settlement in this area began in the 1840s, by 1849 the Red Hill Methodist Church had been established about three miles northwest of here. Sometime prior to 1877 the Red HIll Methodist Congreagation began to hold camp meetings at this site. In 1877, Smith County resident H. E. Calehan donated more thean seven acres here to the Red Hill Methodist Episcopal Church south, though a church building was never built on this site. Methodist Congregation from the Red Hill and Blackjack communities attended summer revivals here, the religious gatherings which included Brush Arbor meetings became traditional annual events. According to local tradition, burials took place here prior to the first recorded interment that of Joe and Mary Mortons daughter Lucinda in 1877. The site became a community graveyard serving the areas rural community and the towns of Brownsboro, Blackjack and Murchison. Red Hill Cemetery contains more than 450 marked grave sites. And the people buried here are many of the pioneer settlers of the area and their descendants and veterans of wars ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam Conflict. The cemetery is maintained by the Red Hill Cemetery Association.
Reynolds, Davis - New York
Henderson County pioneer Davis Reynolds (1800-1869) came to Texas in 1856 with his wife Catherine (1802-1871), their unmarried children, James, Julia, Catherine, and John H.; and several slaves. Traveling by wagon and foot, they journeyed from Gordon County, Georgia. Three married children, Almira Otts, Eliza Forester and George W., came later. Reynolds named his settlement New York as a sign of his hopes for its growth and prosperity. Reynolds donated land for the first community cemetery which came to be used by all neighboring families. The first marked grave is that of Reynolds' daughter Almira Otts (1838-1863). Davis and Catherine are among the many other members of the Reynolds family buried there. A combination school and church, used for many years by both Baptists and Methodists, was built on land given by the Reynolds' son John Harrison (1843-1903) in 1873. Reynolds' hopes for a big city were dashed when the railroad bypassed New York in 1901 and the town lost its post office. The village now consists of the Baptist church, cemetery, and the store at this site. Owned by Reynolds descendants, the store continues to serve the New York community and its neighbors in the same spirit in which it was founded.
William Richardson (Dec 6, 1805-May 30, 1864) Born in South Carolina, William Richardson moved to Pickens County Alabama in the 1830s. There he married Mary Polly Kilpatrick 1813-1889 on Feb 13, 1834. Children born to them were John K., James J., Sara F., Margaret C., Martha E., William A., Peter M., Andrew J., Franklin P., Ann, Allen, Texana, Mary M., and Judeth. Richardson moved his family, slaves and the families of his brothers, Steven, Madison and Matthias, to Texas by wagon train arriving at this location on Dec 12, 1855. Richardson built a home 1 mile NE, and became a successful planter, his three circles cattle brand was recorded in 1855. He was appointed to lay out one of the first roads between Athens and Kaufman. Highway 175 follows much of his orignal route. He and his brothers helped found the First Baptist Church in Athens. The slaves he brought to Texas were, Dinah, Charles, Gin, Rachel, Washington, Henry, Tom, Harrison, Kate, Easter, Til, Carolina, Jane, Congo, Marion, Mimm and Jube. All took the Richardson name and most stayed on with the family after being freed. After, they and their descendants established the Sand Flat Community 1 mi NNE. William Richardson is buried in the family cemetery 1 mi NE along with his wife, two sons and two grandchildren. Some of the slaves are buried there also.
A group of pioneers from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana founded the Science Hill community when they arrived in this area in 1846. Their hope for the settlement was that it would become a cultural and educational center for the county. Soon after their arrival, the residents started mills, cotton gins, mercantile businesses, churches, and schools. The decade of the 1850s was one of growth and progress for Science Hill. A Methodist church was organized by the Rev. William D. Sansom, and the Science Hill Masonic Lodge began meeting in 1857. Members of the Lodge and other citizens helped found Science Hill academy, which opened in 1858. the first school of higher education in Henderson County, the academy offered classes in arithmetic, geography, history, elocution, Latin, Greek, natural science, and logic. Educator A. J. Fowler (1815-1886) was instrumental in its founding and served as first principal. During the harsh years of the Civil War and reconstruction, families began moving away from Science Hill. The academy closed in 1872. By 1878 the Masonic Lodge had only 12 members, and its charter was surrendered. Science Hill became a ghost town, leaving only its history as a reminder of the community.
Shelby Chapel Church and Cemetery - Athens
James Madison Shelby (1814-1889), a native of North Carolina, moved with his large family from Alabama to Texas in the 1870s. They first lived in Smith County, then moved to southeastern Henderson County. There they established a Presbyterian church named Morrison Chapel for the minister who preached there. Services were held in the home of James and Amanda Ann Henderson Shelby until a small building was erected. Church members buried their loved ones in an adjoining cemetery. James Madison Shelby was interred in Morrison Chapel Cemetery upon his death. The extended Shelby family relocated again in 1891, this time to an area three miles northeast of the center of Athens. Amanda Ann Henderson Shelby lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Jeff Decal and Susan Ella Shelby Horn. Mrs. Shelby gave the Horns seven acres of land, reserving two acres for a Presbyterian church and cemetery. Religious services were held in the Horn home until Thomas Dunklin, another Shelby son-in-law, received the contract to construct a church building called Shelby Chapel in 1895. Amanda A. Shelby died in 1896 and was interred with her husband. The first burial in Shelby Chapel Cemetery was that of J. D. and Susan Horn's infant son in 1897. Shelby Chapel and the Athens Cumberland Presbyterian Church were united between 1901 and 1905. The church remained Presbyterian until 1964 when it became a non-denominational community church. Many armed forces veterans are interred here, including Confederate soldiers. Members of Shelby Chapel and their descendants continue to be interred in the cemetery, which remains as a chronicle of area settlers. (1999)
The Trinity River Three main tributaries-the West, Elm and East Forks-feed the Trinity from headwaters in North Texas. Discovery of prehistoric Malakoff Man carved stone heads near this site in the 20th century revealed that humans inhabited the Trinity valley thousands of years ago. Indian villages dotted the river banks when European exploration began. French explorer Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle called this waterway the Rive of Canoes in 1687. Spaniard Alonso de Leon is credited with first using the name "Trinity" in 1690. The fertile Trinity flood plain drew Anglo-American settlers to this area during the Republic of Texas. Buffalo, first Henderson County seat, was founded a few miles upstream at a ferry crossing. Navigation of the Trinity has been proposed in a number of ambitious plans since the 1850's. Steamboats plied the river carrying cotton,cattle, and lumber to Galveston and other Gulf of Mexico ports until the 1870's. Arrival of the railroad ended the year of riverboat trade. Found in 1881 on the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad, also known as the Cotton Belt, the town of Trinidad had a pump station to draw water for the boilers of steam locomotives. A ferry crossed the Trinity here until a bridge was erected in 1900. (1977) Highway 31 Trinidad, Henderson County Texas
Walnut Creek Community
Address: FM 753 at CR 1500
Year Erected 2003
Marker Location:Athens, SH 31 W to FM 753, left to CR 1500, then left to Walnut Creek Cemetery
Walnut Creek Community As early as 1850, farm families inhabited this area along Walnut Creek. Growing grains, cotton and sugar cane for cash crops, residents also raised livestock and planted family gardens in what became known as the Walnut Creek community. For shipping local products, the closest rail stop to the settlement's center was west, at Daufin. In 1859, residents began worshiping in a brush arbor on a hill above the creek. Nearly 30 years later, in 1884, Mrs. C.T. Scott sold two acres here to trustees of a local Methodist congregation for a sanctuary site. A cemetery developed on land adjoining the church building, used by local Methodists and Baptists, and the first marked grave is that of Sallie E. Weir (d. 1889). In 1899, Henderson County purchased from J.W. Williams an acre adjacent to the church property for Walnut Creek School, which served area children from October through March each year, allowing students to work family lands during the growing season. In 1921, the school district built a brick schoolhouse here; students attended classes in it until consolidation with Athens schools in 1941. As Athens grew and the local economy changed, the Walnut Creek settlement declined in population, but use of the cemetery, which eventually comprised most of the original community center, continued. After a fire in 1939, church members transferred furnishings from the 1914 sanctuary to a congregation that became Crescent Heights Methodist Church. A cemetery board, organized in 1945, maintains and protects the grounds of the graveyard, designated a Historic Texas Cemetery in 2001. In use today, it serves as a reminder of the early agricultural community, a link to the area's history and settlers. (2003) Incising on bottom rim: Researched by John A. & Iona Pinckard Miller
Wofford Bushrod J.
Address: 1601 Patterson Rd. Athens
Year Erected 2002
Marker Location: East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society, 1601 Patterson Rd.
Bushrod W. J. Wofford Bushrod William John "Bush" Wofford was born in February 1832 to William M. and Mariah Frances Johnston Wofford in Madison County, Alabama. He grew up an only child in Tippah County, Mississippi. His parents died when he was a young man, and he came to Texas in the early 1850s. In 1852, Wofford married Martha A. Miller of Anderson County, Texas. The following year, he bought 320 acres of the Matthew Goliher Survey near Fincastle (25 mi. Se). He built a house, using hand-hewn logs, handmade bricks and, perhaps, an existing cabin structure. His first son, George M. Wofford, was born in February; Martha died a few months later. Wofford remarried to Frances Eliza Ayres of Tippah County in 1855, bringing her to his Fincastle home. It is believed she initiated additions to the cabin, including a long, front gallery porch, two log rooms and a dog run, and clapboard siding. Between 1855 and 1878, Bush and Eliza had nine children, many of whom lived to become successful residents of Henderson County. During his long life, Wofford worked as a farmer and owned a Fincastle mercantile business, called Wofford & Son. He also served as a lieutenant in a reserve unit from Fincastle during the Civil War. Eliza and Bush moved to Athens in 1890. He died in 1891, and he is buried with Eliza at the Athens City Cemetery. The house remained in Fincastle until 2001, when the family donated it for relocation to this site. Wofford descendants provided funds for the restoration of the house and its use as a museum. (2002)
According to family history, Thomas Boucher Wood (1820-1897) was born in Columbus, Mississippi. He attended the University of Louisville in Kentucky in 1843 and again in 1849, at which time he received his doctoral degree in medicine with a thesis on pneumonia. Soon thereafter, Dr. Wood came to this area to farm and practice medicine. He and Susan Amanda Pinson (1833-1873) were married in July 1850. Susan's family were among the earlier pioneers of nearby Mound Prairie in Anderson County. The Wood Family Cemetery is a testament to the harsh conditions of pioneer life. It was established in 1851 when Thomas and Susan's first child, a daughter, was stillborn. Family records indicate that she was buried on the homestead. Thomas and Susan Wood had ten children. Their daughter Mary Josephine (1858-1863) was the next family member to be interred here. The following year the Woods' son, John Felix (1862-1864), died and Susan Amanda Wood miscarried a daughter on the same day. Another unnamed infant girl was stillborn in 1866. Two-year-old Amanda Joe Wood died in 1870. Susan Amanda Wood was buried here in 1873. T. B. Wood and their son, Albert (1853-1879), both succumbed to pneumonia on Albert's twenty-sixth birthday. Another daughter, Tommie Elizabeth Wood Pelham (1856-1884), was buried here next to her four infants. Some of the Wood family slaves are believed to have been buried just outside the family plot. In the late 1990s, Wood descendants returned to the site and restored the cemetery. It serves as a memorial to the Wood family pioneers of Henderson County. (2000)
Yarborough Home - Chandler
Occupied since 1903 by Charles Richard and Nannie Jane Spear Yarborough and 3 generations of descendants. Birthplace in 1903 of United States Senator Ralph Webster Yarborough. In this house Charles R. Yarborough, as justice of the peace, performed many marriage ceremonies. In this house, he and Mrs. Yarborough on June 13, 1939, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Here on Jan. 1, 1959, he administered to his son the oath of office as senator of the United States. C. R. Yarborough died here Oct. 24, 1964, aged 100 years, 11 days.
All Photos Courtesy of Holli Boone Kees except of the Cottonwood Cemetery and that photo is courtesy of Wanda Graham Sheram and the Yarborough Home photos by Bunny Freeman
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