History of the Campbell-Elrod Cemetery
Researched by Virginia Sherlock Scholle
Originally published in "The Navarro County Scroll", Vol. XXI - 1986
Reprinted with permission of the Navarro County Historical Society
The Campbell-Elrod Cemetery is located ten miles west of Corsicana on FM Rd 744 in Navarro County, Texas. There is a State Historical Marker in the cemetery dedicated to the founder, David Wilson Campbell, who emigrated to Texas in 1835. He was born in the state of Georgia on May 4, 1812, and came to Texas from Springfield, Kentucky. He served in the Texas Revolution and was issued a
headright certificate for three-fourths of a league and one labor of land by the Robertson County Board on September 6, 1838. This land was surveyed in Navarro County in 1845.
Campbell had a "warm affection and good will toward the Methodist Church" and for that reason he gave ten acres of land to the Harmony Methodist Church. His sentiments were expressed in these words: "to be used for the benefit and enjoyment of said Church." About three and one-half acres of this plot were dedicated as a grave yard and known as the Campbell Cemetery.
There is no information about Campbell's first marriage in Georgia in 1834 or 1835, except that a daughter, M. A. Campbell, was listed in the 1850 Federal Census, Navarro County, Texas, as being born in Georgia and that she was 15 years of age in 1850. It is thought that the wife and mother died on the trip to Texas in 1835.
Campbell married Rosetta Jones, July 2, 1839. [#This dates was printed as "1938" and appears to be in error as Joseph was born only a month earlier.] This marriage is recorded in Vol. I, pg 15, in the County Clerk's office in Franklin, Robertson County, Texas. Rosetta died September 2, 1839, after
giving birth to a son, Joseph F. Campbell, August 29, 1839.
Campbell married a third time to Anna Mays. The 1850 Census shows four children born of this union. with Campbell giving his occupation as a farmer.
The deed to the cemetery property was filed November 11, 1855, in the Deed Records in Vol. k, page 429, Navarro County, Texas. Moses French, D. W. Campbell, A. C. McMillan, William Pope, James George, Joseph White and Abraham Duren wee trustees of the Harmony Church, and therefore were administrators of all property of the Conference, included that of the cemetery.
David Wilson Campbell died in April 1879, and is buried in a marked grave in the cemetery.
We have no further written record of this property until 1908, when a deed, dated March 14, 1908, conveyed the land that Mr. Campbell had given to the Harmony Church to J. M. Elrod, recorded in Vol. 166, page 172, Deed Records Navarro County, Texas. In February 1914, Elrod and his wife, Eunice, conveyed to the trustees that certain tract of land known as the Campbell Graveyard. This deed is
recorded in Vol. 145, page 429, Deed Records, Navarro County, Texas. Trustees at the time of the first transaction in 1908 included R. Massengale, P.M. James, L. Bingham, O. C. Tekell, A. J. Horton, C. H. Thomas, C. E. Love, G. H. Love, J. H. Myrick, C.C. Williams and G. F. Rogers. Trustees for the second transaction in 1914 were J. F. Taylor, B. A. Berryhill and J. L. Sutton.
Another deed was made by J. M. and Eunice Elrod dated July 8, 1930, and recorded in Vol. 344, page 525, Deed Records, Navarro County, Texas. This land was a part of the Campbell Cemetery, but was not deed to the Association until 1930.
J. M. Elrod was born December 13, 1874, at Brushy Creek in Anderson County, Texas, and came to Navarro County about 1895, where he taught school until 1912. He was County Commissioner of Precinct 4 in 1915. He married Eunice Bryan, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. W. Bryan, July 19, 1899. The Bryan family were early pioneers in Navarro County, with Dr. Bryan being one of the early doctors. Eunice Bryan Elrod was born April 17, 1876 at Drane in Navarro County. J. M. Elrod died April 12, 1955, and Mrs. Elrod died December 19, 1946. They are both buried in the cemetery.
The cemetery is now known as the Campbell-Elrod Cemetery. The named change was made at the regular meeting of the Cemetery Association in June, 1967, and the vote was unanimous.
The Navarro County Genealogical Society has published records of the various cemeteries in the county and Campbell-Elrod is listed in its entirety in Navarro County Cemetery Records, Vol. I, 1981. Due to the destruction of time and elements some of the grave sites are unmarked and on others there is incomplete information. This book is available for sale or viewing at Pioneer Village, 912 West Park Avenue, Corsicana, Texas.
The first marked grave that can be found and identified is that of Ensly, son of W. E. and M. J. Willis, 1856 - 1859. The second marked grave to be found carries more information: Sarah, wife of Owen Winfield, Born Oct. 18, 1797, Died April 12, 1861. This grave has been marked by the D. A. R., and carries the information that she came to Texas in 1824.
The Campbell-Elrod Cemetery stands as a fitting memorial to the early pioneers of Navarro County, and to a soldier of the Texas Revolution who fought bravely for our Independence. The Navarro County Historical feels that it is appropriate in this year of the Texas Sesquicentennial that we receive a Texas State Historical Marker to be approved and erected during the 150th celebration of Texas Independence, not only to honor the Campbell and Elrod families but all of our early pioneers and those who have come after. It is the lives of our people and the
preservation of our heritage that makes our wonderful State of Texas so glorious, so great and so proud.