Tarrant County, TXGenWeb

John Martin Harvey Dwight

 Contributed by James Manford Dwight

John Martin Harvey Dwight was a tombstone maker. He made his mother's headstone and others which are in the Lonesome Dove Cemetery in Tarrant County, Texas. He was born in Leon County in 1851 to George E. and Malinda (nee Frost) Dwight, who were survivors of the Fort Parker Indian Massacre in 1836. [see also the Hill biographies and Lonesome Dove Cemetery photo page]

John started at a very early age and continued his trade up to his death. I am not sure exactly when he started his trade or if any one taught him how to carve stone. He made many tombstone here in Texas. I have found his work all over Tarrant and Wise Counties and some as far as Wichita County. I also found many stones he had made for the people in Curry County, New Mexico.

John married Frances Parlee Hyde at a young age. I believe she is the daughter of James Hyde. They had many children and some of them died here in Texas at a very early age and are buried in the Hyde Cemetery in Wise County. He also made his children's gravestones.

Sometime around 1907 John and Parlee left Texas for the land grant near Clovis, New Mexico. It was there where Parlee and 4 babies died when the horse bolted and over turned her buggy. Shortly after, he married my grandmother, Violet Dove Childress.

A story that one of John and Parlee's daughters told was: When they were living outside of Willow Point, he went to town on his horse early in the morning to order more stone. Late that night the horse came home, riderless. This worried Parlee and her daughter who thought some Indians may have got him or he somehow got hurt. They went out looking for him. The daughter saw him laying under a tree and Parlee started screaming and ran up to where he was laying. When they got close, they saw he was bleeding from the head. But, when Parlee knelt over to see if he was alive, she jumped up and was very angry. She grabbed him by the two legs and drug him about two miles home.

The reason she was angry is because he had too much to drink and when the horse went under the tree branch, he had hit his head and was knocked off the horse. To this day, I wonder which hurt more, his head or his back from being drug home. All that I do know is that his daughter told us he had Hell to pay for a long time.

Note: Looking at the picture of Parlee, I can well imagine what he went through. Their daughter, Lana, was a very strong woman as well.


This page was last modified 12 Nov 2003.

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