Burleson Family Cemetery
Researched by Richard E. Burleson
Originally published in "The Navarro County Scroll", Vol. XXIII 1978
Also published in the "Navarro Leaves and Branches - Vol. I, Issue II
Reprinted with permission of the Navarro County Historical Society
The Burleson Family Cemetery is located in Navarro
County 3.6 miles northeast of Streetman on FM 416 and then about one mile north on an all
weather county road. Early families using the cemetery between 1867 (the earliest
identifiable grave) and 1921 (the latest grave) include Burleson, Slade, Bonham Keel, and
Reed. All of these families are related directly or through marriage. On
January 6, 1978 Mozelle Burleson Pillans and her husband, Willie D. Pillans, counted 32
graves. Ten of these graves have markers and the remainder are identified by stones
or rocks which have been buried deep into the ground. The identity or location of
other graves have been lost over the years.
The earliest identifiable grave, 1867, is that of
John Burleson. John Burleson was a soldier in the
Civil War and his grave is identified by
a Civil War marker. Joseph Burleson, father of John, was buried in 1877.
Inscribed on his tombstone are the names and birth dates of 14 children. Mary
(Polly) Warren Burleson, wife of Joseph, was buried in 1869. Augustus Lawhorn
Burleson, another son of Joseph Burleson, was buried in 1921.
Joseph Burleson settled in the southeast part of
Navarro County in 1854. He purchased 2,775 acres of land in the area of Richland and
Tehuacana Creeks. Soon there was a need for a family burial ground. After the
earlier graves, certain members of the family realized the need for marking the burial
ground a legal and permanent cemetery. On the 8th day of February in 1884, Millege
Bonham, Augustus L. Burleson, and Thomas J. Burleson executed a warranty deed with L. D.
Bradley, owner of the land. This deed gave the Burleson family and their heirs and
assigns, forever, title to one acre of land containing the above burial ground. This
deed was filed in Navarro County on the 15th day of November, 1892 in Volume 69 on page
Later generations of the Burleson family have
taken steps to improve and maintain the cemetery. In 1971 Paul Curry, a great
grandson of Joseph Burleson, initiated a fund for enclosing the cemetery with a chain-link
fence. The fence has been erected. On October 1, 1977 about 54 descendants of
Joseph Burleson met at the cemetery for two purposes. First, the cemetery grounds
were cleaned and improved. Second, the group organized the Burleson Family Cemetery
Association. The purpose of this association is to maintain the cemetery and to work
toward securing a historical marker. The cemetery is not in current use; therefore,
its maintenance becomes important.
Joseph Burleson and members of his family who are
buried in this cemetery represent one southern branch of the Burleson family in America.
The founder of this branch of the Burleson family was Aaron Burleson I. Aaron
was born in Wales about 1700 and landed at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1726. He
migrated through Virginia and settled in North Carolina in 1760 where he died in 1763.
He had seven sons, all of whom Aaron Burleson II, the second generation ancestor of
this particular family branch. Aaron II was born in 1749 in Virginia.
Aaron Burleson II survived the war and decided to
join his intimate friend, Daniel Boon, in Kentucky. While crossing the Clinch River
in Tennessee on his way to the Cumberland Gap, he was killed by the Indians in early 1782.
A son, James, was the third generation ancestor of this family branch. He was
born May 4, 1775 in North Carolina.
Captain James Burleson was chosen commissary by
General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812. He participated in the battle of New
Orleans in 1815. he served under his son, General Edward Burleson, in the Grass
Fight of 1835. In addition to his son, Edward, James Burleson had several other
renowned descendants. Two other sons, Aaron B. and Jonathan, served in the
for Independence. A grandson, Edward Burleson, Jr., served in the Texas War for Independence and the Civil War. A great grandson, Albert Sidney Burleson (son of
Edward Burleson, Jr.) was Postmaster General in the Cabinet of President Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1921. James Burleson died January 3, 1836. His son, Joseph Burleson, represents the fourth generation of this branch of the Burleson family and is buried in this cemetery.
Joseph Burleson was born March 30, 1800 in North Carolina. He came to Texas about 1834, farmed one year near Bastrop, and then moved
to San Augustine County. Later he purchased 2,775 acres of land in Navarro County at Birdston. Joseph served in several Indian expeditions as well as in the Texas War
for Independence. At least two of his sons are buried in this cemetery with him. The grave of John Burleson is identified by a Civil War Marker. The other son, Augustus Lawhorn Burleson, participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Fort Pemberton, and Vicksburg. He was captured twice and was held prisoner at Camp Douglas in
Chicago for seven months. Joseph Burleson died December 24, 1877.
Because of the patriotic contributions that members of this branch of the Burleson family have made, the Navarro County Historical Survey Committee believes that this burial ground of the Burleson family should be
appropriately marked by the State of Texas.