Welcome to
 

Formerly Deming's Bridge Cemetery
1854 - 1900

721 CR 436 Hawley Cemetery Road          28°53'55.75"N        96°10'46.39"W
 

For further
information on
burials and directions
email Ona Lea Pierce


Hawley Cemetery
was designated
as a
Historic Texas
Cemetery
in June 2011



 

Printable
Hawley Walking Tour
Hawley Virtual Walking Tour


Hawley Burials Database
A - C     D - G     H - K     L - P     Q - S     T - Z
 

The rows for each section are numbered from east to west.

NORTH



SOUTH

Map copyright Google Earth 2011
 


Marker inscription typed by Faye Cunningham
 


OLD HAWLEY CEMETERY

KNOWN 1838-1899 AS DEMING’S BRIDGE CEMETERY. SECOND POST OFFICE IN MATAGORDA COUNTY WAS LOCATED NEARBY IN 1858.

TWO ACRES DONATED BY EMELIUS SAVAGE AND HIS SON NORMAN FOR THE CEMETERY AND TRES PALACIOS BAPTIST CHURCH. FOUNDED IN 1852. MORE LAND GIVEN BY JONATHAN E. PIERCE, WHO IN 1900 NAMED AREA HAWLEY, HONORING UNITED STATES SENATOR ROBERT BRADLEY HAWLEY.

BURIED HERE ARE THE BROTHERS JONATHAN E. AND ABEL H. (“SHANG”) PIERCE AND MANY OTHER FAMOUS EARLY CATTLEMEN. ALSO MORE THAT 50 VETERANS OF CIVIL WAR AND ALL U. S. WARS SINCE 1865.

(1967)
 


Hawley Cemetery

Hawley Cemetery, first known as Deming’s Bridge Cemetery, was established in 1854. It is located on Tres Palacios River, two miles east of Blessing, in the Thomas Jamison League of Matagorda County, Texas. The name Deming’s Bridge originated from the cemetery’s proximity to Deming’s Bridge and was in the churchyard of Tres Palacios Baptist Church. The original two acres were donated by Emelius and Norman Savage to Tres Palacios Baptist Church which was founded in 1852. An additional 1 ½ acres were donated by Jonathan Edwards Pierce in 1893. The cemetery association purchased an additional 3 ½ acres along the south side of the cemetery and the south fence was moved to enclose the new acreage. The names of the community and post office were changed from Deming’s Bridge to Hawley by Jonathan Edwards Pierce in 1899. In 1913, Jonathan Pierce and his two daughters, Pearl Pierce Smith and Grace Pierce Heffelfinger deeded an additional 13 acres to the Hawley Cemetery. The earliest recorded burial was Sarah Tone October 30, 1857. The upkeep for Hawley in the early days was the responsibility of church and family members. During the 1930s, during a cleanup effort, a brush fire got out of control and burned the existing wooden markers. 80 oblong concrete markers were placed on the graves where the wooden markers were burned and most of the names of those marked with the concrete markers are still unknown. The Hawley Cemetery Association was formed in 1939. A map of the cemetery with all graves was made in 1940. The current Hawley Cemetery Association keeps the cemetery grounds and records in excellent condition. There are six sections in the cemetery, A-H. Burials at Hawley include brothers, Abel Head “Shanghai” Pierce and Jonathan Edwards Pierce and their extended families which includes William Walter “Pudge” Heffelfinger, All-American guard on a Yale University football team in the 1800s . In 2010 there are 1729 known burials and an undetermined number of unknowns.  Included in the 1729 burials are seven war casualties 375 veterans and seven Gold Star Mothers.
 



Courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames


Statue of
Abel Head "Shanghai" Pierce


 



Early church gathering in the Deming's Bridge-Hawley area. The church building appears to be in the background.
 


Hawley Picnic To Be Friday August Third

Many people will be glad to know that there will be a Sunday School picnic at Hawley again this year. Hawley used to be the head of navigation on the Tres Palacios river. Before the day of railroads through this part of the country, merchandise of all kinds was brought in by boat and unloaded at this place to be freighted in wagons to inland towns.

The Hawley church twenty years ago was the scene of a big annual camp meeting where hundreds of people came to attend the services and camped out in the beautiful groves around the church during the two or three weeks of the meeting. Hawley now is a mile north of Tidehaven which is three miles east of Blessing on the Gulf Coast lines. The Hawley picnic has been an annual event for the last twelve years with the exception of two or three during the war. It has combined the features of a picnic and a convention and being an ideal spot for both it has been attended by hundreds of people each year.

At a meeting in Blessing Sunday afternoon for the purpose of planning the program for the Hawley picnic this year about sixty people were present and much interest manifested. Sunday schools from Bay City, Gulf, Citrus, Markham, Midfield, Clemville, Palacios and Blessing were represented.

After J. H. Barber, of Markham, had called the meeting to order it soon became evident that the plan of former years would be inadequate for this year. Bay City brought us a very cordial invitation to hold the convention at that place. After consideration and discussion, their invitation was unanimously accepted and plans set on foot to hold a big County Sunday School Convention in Bay City, September 7.

At the same time the Hawley picnic could not be given up, and plans were also  made to hold a county wide Sunday School picnic at Hawley, August 3. A committee was appointed to clear off the grounds and have everything in readiness for that day. Another committee was appointed whose business it is to see that there is something doing every minute of the time after the Sunday School folks arrive, about ten o'clock. A program of sports, songs, story telling and all the good times that happen at a picnic is to be expected. An experienced director of sports and a song leader have already been secured. There will also be the picnic dinner. Of course everybody is in on that. Nuff said. All Sunday School folks are invited. Remember the date Friday, August 3rd.

Palacios Beacon, July 20, 1923
 


Box Supper At Blessing Community House; Proceeds For Hawley Cemetery

If it’s a lot of good clean fun you are looking for go to the Box Supper at the Blessing Community House, Friday night, June 6.

If you can’t buy the Ole Lady’s box or the best girl friend’s prize offering, you can certainly make someone else pay for the privilege of having a lot of fun. And you can have plenty of fun at an old-fashioned box supper.

Proceeds of the box supper will go to buying a power mower to care for the beautiful Hawley Cemetery. It is a worthy and worthwhile cause and our neighboring city deserves our support.

Blessing has wholeheartedly supported every civic and community enterprise Palacios has endeavored to promote and we have a lot of fun in returning them the favors they have shown this community.

Ladies take a box and the gents take a few extra shekels and go up to Blessing Friday night and enjoy the fun.

Pies, sandwiches and drinks will be available.

Palacios Beacon, June 5, 1947
 



 


Jonathan Edwards Pierce
Picture courtesy of Lee Hall & Ona Lea Pierce


 

 

Copyright 2005 - Present by Hawley Cemetery Association
All rights reserved

This page was created
May 10, 2005
This page was updated
Apr. 9, 2008
 

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