Daily Texarkanian Mon 11 March 1907
Extracted by Wayne Adcock
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave Await alike the inevitable hour The paths of glory lead but to the grave,"--Gray, Yesterday afternoon I spent at State Line cemetery, wandering among the tombs, and devoting the hours to thoughts retrospective of the departed ones whose ashes slumber there. It was my first visit in four years, and as I entered the sacred precincts of the silent City of the Dead I could fancy that I almost heard murmured-complaints and could see frowns as of reproach upon the "old familiar faces' the owners of which have long since vanished censuring me for my long continued absence and neglect. The cemetery is in much better condition than it was four years ago, though not as well kept now as it should be. The fencing is in good repair, but quite a number of the graves are sadly in need of attention. Others are well kept, and show clearly and unmistakably the care of loving and devoted hands. State Line cemetery was laid out and its charter acquired early in 1881. Nearly all the man who are members of the original body of incorporators, long since passed to their final reward, although only a few are buried here. The grounds are admirably situated for a cemetery high and well drained and just the proper distance from the city. Many regard it as a much more desirable burying ground than any other to be found about Texarkana. While walking about among the graves, some of them old, others but recently made, my mind went back to other days in Texarkana and in panorama, swept the abyss, which separates the past from the present. I saw fair forms and heard the sweet tones of voices of beautiful women; I greeted again the manly men and felt the sincere pressure of the hands of friends whose missions on earth closed many winters ago. There were many inscriptions, epitaphs written on the tombstones, and I "approached and read"-for I can read what they contained. One of the largest blocks of granite in the cemetery is inscribed: "John Cook -born June 3, 1836, in Alabama, died August 19, 1882". He was the father of Lawyers Joe E. Cook and John N. Cook of Texarkana. He a magnificent orator and one of the finest criminal lawyers that southwest Arkansas ever produced. At the time of death, which occurred in the prime of life, he was prosecuting attorney of this circuit, had he lived, he would doubtless have reached must greater honors. Another headstone-one of the prettiest-read: "John C. Weed -born October 1, 1839, died October 30, 1891". Who is there among the old time citizens of Texarkana that does not remember Conductor Jack Weed? For years and years, he was one of the best and most popular passenger conductors on the Iron Mountain, running out of here. lie was also one of Texark-anats best and most useful citizens. His home, for the greater portion of his residence here, was at the corner of Walnut and Third Streets. He met death in a railroad wreck near Arkadelphia. One of the earliest dates to be found, is on a shaft of pure white granite which in inscribed: "Sacred to the memory of Maggie W. Trigg -Born near Nashville, Tenn. May 20, 1850; died Aug. 7, 1881. Say not goodbye but in some brighter clime bid me good morning". Miss Maggie was a sister of Hon. R L. and Capt. John H. Trigg. She was a lady of classic feature, brilliant intellectuality and a disposition of surpassing sweetness. It was literally, true that everyone who knew, her loved her. She was a devoted Christian and the very life of St. James Episcopal Church. Her death cast a shadow of gloom not only on her church, but over the entire community. One of the most beautiful and eloquent tributes I ever read was paid her by the pen of Barry Matthews, a talented young writer and local attorney, the same being printed in the "Texarkana News" of which W.J. Allen editor. Both Matthews and Allen have long since gone to the land of shadows, each meeting a tragic end the former in 1890 (in Arizona), and the latter in Texarkana in August 1893. On another monument is the inscription--"Edward A. Warren, Born Aug 23, 1840; died Aug 23, 1892". Colonel Warren came to Texarkana in 1885 and engaged in the publication of the daily newspaper) which is now The Texarkanian in which work he .... to his death. Col. Warren was a good man and a talented writer. He gave the city as good a paper as it was possible to give under the circum-stances, but it is a sad fact that he was not appreciated by the public as he deserved to be during his life time. We too often wait until after sunset to sacrifice to our heroes. One of the largest granite shafts in the cemetery marks the last resting place of "John B. Burton, born October 22, 1836, died December 18, 1883 Major Burton was a Virginian of the best blood. He was the knightliest knight, the most perfect gentleman it was ever my fortune to know. He was the embodiment of all that is truest and noblest in men cultured and refined far in advance of the age in which he lived-a blessing and a benediction to all with whom his lot was cast. He was not a church member, but believed and practiced the "religion of humanity". He was a Confederate soldier and told me that what he considered one of the best acts. he had ever passed to the Recording Angel was that of getting a canteen of water for a dying federal soldier on the battlefield at Gettysburg. Major Burton's widow lives at Lewisville, a widow still, faithful to her first and only love who "though dead, is dearer yet than aught that lives"'. His sons are making their way rapidly in the world, all honored and respected citizens, and forcefully illustrating the truth of the adage that "blood will tell". "Zack T. Few, born May 17, 1848, died Nov. 9, 1892" is cut in large letters on one of the large monuments in the Masonic section, near the gate entrance. He was a native Texan, guileless and true; and preminently one of "The Bravest of the Brave". His tragic death on the sidewalk in front of the present Boyd Drugstore is well re-membered by all our older citizens. A small but pretty shaft marks the last resting place of "R.E. Fawbush, born Nov. 13, 1857; died Jan. 28, 1890". "Dick" began his career in Texarkana as a clerk in a grocery store in a small frame building on the corner of Elm and Broad Streets, where the East Side Drug Store now is. He subsequently became a partner in the business, the firm name being Mays & Fawbush. Dick's widow moved away from here about twelve years ago, going to Memphis and later to Chicago, where she married again, and now resides. On a recent visit here, with her present husband, the couple went out to the cemetery and carefully and tenderly cared for poor Dick's grave and later covered it with flowers. A monument standing on the east side of the cemetery is inscribed "William R. Kelley; born February 22, 1836, died August 31,1899". I knew him well and loved him. He was a man of high temper and strong prejudices, but no purer or better man ever lived. There are hosts of others sleeping in the cemetery whose graves are marked, there are many others whose memory seems to have fallen a victim to "dumb forgetfulness". And as I walked about among those "narrow cells" of the departed, I reflected upon the past, and involuntarily I said, "How vain are all things here below", how fleeting and oft how sad. It seemed but yesterday since, I had held converse with the now silent ones who slumber here, since I had heard their voices, had seen their faces, in the busy walks of life. They, like those of us left behind, had their hopes, their secret ambitions. They too chased the phantom, "perfect.......... They were, like us, "poor pensioners on the bounties of an hour.'' But "eternity belongs to them" and--to us.