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Cedarvale Cemetery Virtual Tour
Sections 4A, 1 & 2

Printable Walking Tour

 WOW markers – There are 35 Woodmen of the World markers located in Sections 1 & 2. They vary from carvings of trees to only logos on a conventional marker. The Latin motto “Dum, Tacet Clamat” means “Though silent, he speaks.” The sawn log represents ended life.

   1. Cedarvale Historical Marker on entrance wall.       
   2. Curtis G. Hamill (1872-1973) was standing on a derrick platform 40 feet off the ground January 10, 1901, when the gusher hit at Spindletop Hill. The full force of the stream hit him in the face and he landed on the derrick floor below, miraculously uninjured. He is buried beside his wife, Eva Smith Hamill (1878-1961).

   3. Richard C. Gusman (1904-1984) held the longest tenure of any mayor of Bay City, serving from 1947 to 1979. After his retirement he was honored with the title of Mayor Emeritus. At that time he was the only mayor in the United States to be so honored. His wife, Florence Craddock Gusman (1911-1966), is buried at his side.         

   4. Victor Lawrence “V. L.” LeTulle (1864-1944) came to Matagorda County in 1890 with his bride Sallie Bell LeTulle (1868-1933). He was involved in rice farming, ranching and banking. As a philanthropist , he donated LeTulle Park and the gas company to Bay City and built the sanctuary for the First Baptist Church in memory of Sallie. 
   5. John Lawson Matthews (1890-1891), son of Jesse and Sallie Lawson Matthews has the earliest death date at Cedarvale even though he wasn’t the first burial. His body was moved to Cedarvale after the cemetery was established.    

   6a. Doyle O’Hanlon Coston (1843-1922), a Private in Co. C, 5th Texas Infantry Confederate Army, was wounded during the battle at Gettysburg, PA in July 1863. He is buried beside his wife, Hannah Wyatt Coston (1859-1940).  

   6b. Johann Conrad Franz  (1831-1904) moved to Texas in 1845. He married Demis Mariah Baxter (1838-1921) in 1856. He was a ship carpenter, bridge builder and Matagorda County Sheriff 1872-1874.

   7. John Lee (1828-1907) served in the United States Army during the Mexican War between 1846 and 1848 on the border between Texas and Mexico.  He has an ornate zinc marker.     

   8. Louisa “Grandma” Schrader (1825-1913) was also born in 1825 in Germany, and died at the age of 88. She has the earliest birth date at Cedarvale.        

   9. John “Uncle John” Sutherland (1864-1965) was married to Estella Anderson (1864-1922) in 1886 and they were members of First Baptist Church. “Uncle John” owned Alamo Lumber Company and was mayor of Bay City 1907-1915 and 1917-1919.    
   10. David Thomas Crockett (1849-1918) was the grandson of David “Davy” D. Crockett and Elizabeth Patton Crockett. He never knew his famous grandfather, Davy Crockett, because Davy was killed at the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. David Thomas is buried beside his wife, Sanfran Cisco Faris Crockett (1849-1918).

   11. Max G. Klein (1873-1917) was elected mayor in 1915. He was killed in a gunfight which he started on April 7, 1917, while attempting to collect a $3.00 past due water bill. He is buried beside his wife, Mamie Kilbride Klein (1877-1960).

   12. The Confederate Group Marker
A group marker was dedicated on May 3rd, 1997 for nine Confederate soldiers who are buried in lost graves at Cedarvale Cemetery.  They are Lieutenant Archelaus C. Craft who died in 1912, and Privates Evander Hubbard, died 1903; George W. Lewis, died 1903; William R. Lewis, died 1903; Felding S. Presley, died 1911; John W. Roach, died 1902; H. L. Wilson, died 1919; Fountain Winston, died 1902 and William O. Woffard, died 1903. On the back of the marker is written: Confederate Soldiers from Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri,  Mississippi, Texas and Virginia whose final resting places in this cemetery are known but to God.  A cast iron Confederate Cross of Honor was placed at the foot of the grave.  The property was donated by Kenneth L. Thames and gift deeded to the E. S. Rugeley Chapter No. 542, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Bay City, Texas.    

   13. The beautiful carillon bell tower was donated to Cedarvale Cemetery by William “Bill” H. Jr. and Jeanette Frontz in 1996 in memory of their beloved children Leigh Ann Frontz (1975-1990) and William Wesley Frontz (1978-1996).  

   14. Merlin Arthur Vogelsang (1895-1971), the son of Nicholas M. and Myrtle Collins Vogelsang, was the first baby to be born in the new town of Bay City. His wife, Mabel Hamill Vogelsang (1895-1971) is buried in Sec. 4A. beside their son, Merlin C. Vogelsang (1920-1942) who was in the US Army Air Forces and was killed in a bomber crash in Florida.           

   15. Dolph Phineas “D. P.” Moore (1852-1928) sold the land on which Bay City is located and donated the first 4 acres for Cedarvale Cemetery. He is buried beside his wife Louise Wendel Moore (1863-1939). 

   16a. Dr. Christopher Harris “Kit” Williams (1838-1916) was the first white baby born in Matagorda County and the only doctor in the Gainesmore area. As a Confederate soldier, he participated in the last battle of the Civil War at the Battle of Palmetto Ranch, near Brownsville, Texas on May 12-13, 1865.     
   16b. Dr. Baxter “Bat” Smith (1845-1916) attended Tulane Medical College in New Orleans. He was a Confederate soldier and a surgeon in the US Army during the Spanish-American War in 1898. He and his wife, Helen Dabney Smith (1845-1911), then moved to Bay City where he practiced medicine until his death. Mrs. Smith was a grand-niece of Patrick Henry of Revolutionary War fame.

Tenie Holmes (1874-1952) began teaching at the age of 16 at Saluria Pass and in Bay City public schools in 1898. After retiring, she opened a kindergarten in 1936 where she taught until her death in 1952. Tenie Holmes Elementary was named in her honor in 1952.

   18. Elizabeth Elmore Rugeley (1846-1923), wife of Dr. Henry Lowndes “H. L.” Rugeley (1838-1925), was the first president of the E. S. Rugeley Chapter 542 UDC and served for 21 years until her death in 1923. The chapter was named for her husband’s half-brother. The Confederate monument on the courthouse square was erected during her tenure.       

   19. Rufus A. Mathis (1869–1896), the architect for the new county courthouse and jail building in Bay City accidentally shot and killed himself while deer hunting. His was the first burial at Cedarvale, which he was helping to organize.   
   20. Mary Frank Carr Burnell (1921-1996) was the granddaughter of Sheriff Frank Carr and the daughter of Thorton “Tony” Francis and Mildred Walker Carr. She was born in the Sheriff’s apartment in the jail--the only child ever born in the Matagorda County Jail. She is buried beside her husband, William Lloyd Burnell (1920-1963).