Archive for the ‘cemeteries’ Category

The Hays County Historical Commission updated their website to include the comprehensive cemetery inscription list which previously resided on the county website. It makes sense to put this information alongside the history, old photographs and bits of ephemera pertaining to the county’s history. Now there is a brief history of each cemetery along with some photos to complement the listing. Overall, very nice, but there is some error in the history of the Butler Cemetery. Most notably, the references to the Heeks family should read Meeks. Since I have a little information on this family, I thought I would share. As always, this is a combination of public records research, afternoon library lounging, daydreaming, speculating and burning up the wires with other genealogy/history/library geeks. You must take me as you find me. Ain’t history fun?

Wagons Ho

In 1850, a large group of extended family from Missouri and Arkansas settled in Travis County and Hays County, Texas. It included Suddeth (possibly, Suddeth would have reached 70 years of age in 1849) and Winnie (y) Ann Meeks, some of their children and their children’s families. I have no way of knowing but I suspect they were prompted to seek less crowded conditions in Texas after a drought and a terrible cholera epidemic in 1849.  At least two of their children preceded them to Texas. It is possible that this is something they were already considering and conditions in 1849 sealed the deal.

The oldest daughter, Lucy, was married to Reece Butler. Younger sisters Nancy and Elizabeth were married to brothers, Dan and John Mayes. The association of the Meeks, Butler and Mayes families goes back to Arkansas Territory days.

The children’s families looked something like this:

  • Lucy Meeks Butler, husband Reece Butler and three children, lived near Wimberley;
  • John Meeks, wife Mary Ann Norris Meeks and twelve children, settled the Webberville area;
  • Nancy Meeks Mayes, husband Daniel Mayes and seven children, lived in the Webberville area in 1855 and moved to  San Marcos by 1860;
  • Merritt Meeks, wife Nancy Sarah Burden Meeks and six children, resided near Manchaca before moving on after the war; and
  • Elizabeth Meeks Mayes, husband John Mayes and at least six children, lived in the Onion Creek and Wimberley areas.

The Reece Butler Family

Lucy and Reece were married in Arkansas in 1828. Arkansas didn’t become a state until 1836. I doubt there are records  to be found that might give us the exact date of their marriage. For this reason, I haven’t yet looked further than the year carved onto Lucy’s grave marker. They were enumerated on the 1830 census in Crawford, Arkansas and I believe shortly thereafter moved to Barry, Missouri where Lucy’s parents resided. They were the parents of at least five children:

  • a daughter, name unknown, born in 1829;
  • John M., born 11 Dec 1832;
  • Sarah, born 14 Mar 1834, married John C. Johnson;
  • a son, name unknown, born 1835-1840; and
  • Elizabeth, born 1842.

I suspect there are more and that not all their children survived to make the trip to Texas. In 1850, Lucy would have been 46 years old and (I suspect) past her childbearing years. That is, I haven’t found any children born in Texas. Reece would have been 44. John, Sarah and Lizzie are buried in the cemetery with their parents.

Folklore  Break

The following is a tale describing Reece Butler from “Tales of Old-Time Texas” by Frank Dobie.

The Indian who as a favor tells a secret of hidden gold is not obligated to prove anything. I’m not either. In 1941 I helped Mr. J. D. Talley celebrate his eighty-eighth birthday, in Austin, Texas. He was a refined old gentleman of marked neatness and did not look or talk as a cowboy who had ridden the open range and trailed longhorn herds to the wild cow-towns of Kansas is supposed to look and talk. That evening he told this tale.

When his people moved to Hays County – the county of the beautiful San Marcos River – in 1870, they became neighbors to an odd character named Reece butler who had been on the frontier a long time. He had a few cattle, farmed a little, hunted whenever he wanted to, was a blacksmith, carpenter, and furniture-maker and could do anything. He made a wagon out of bois d’arc wood he got up on Red River. He made fiddle keys out of the wood of Mexican persimmon. He mad charcoal for the forge in his blacksmith shop out of mesquite wood. He claimed that mesquite charcoal produces a hotter fire than cedar charcoal, which is more commonly used. He made crucibles from clay found on the Colorado River near Austin.

Reece Butler had fought the Indians, but he had also been friendly to some of them, and one time an Indian whose life he had saved guided him to a deposit of silver and gold ore somewhere in the Llano River country – where the Lost San Saba Mine is sometimes placed by hunters who can’t find it on the San Saba. About once a year Reece Butler would yoke six oxen to his  homemade bois d’arc wagon and pull out alone. A month or so later he would come back with a heavy load of black-looking ore. What he did with it was no secret, but the place where he got it was. One time a man tried to follow him; the man did not come back.

He would unload the ore at his blacksmith shop, pound it into small pieces no bigger than acorns, place them in one of his clay crucibles and then use his bellows and mesquite charcoal to melt the metal. The extract from a wagon load of ore would amount to a hunk about as big as Reece Butler’s two burly fists. It was mostly silver, but anybody could see streaks of gold in it. This hunk of gold-tinged silver he would take to Austin and sell to a jeweler named Bahn.

In the course of nature Reece Butler died, and with him died all knowledge of the ore deposit shown by one Indian to one white man.

The Dan Mayes Family

Dan Mayes and Nancy Meeks Mayes were enumerated on the 1830 census in Crawford County and in the recently formed Benton county in 1840. They were the parents of eight children:

  • a daughter, name unknown, born 1830-1834;
  • Hollen Coffee, born 28 Aug 1835;
  • Sarah Ann, born 12 Nov 1837, married Hugh Miller Sr.;
  • John, born 19 Jan 1839;
  • Stephen, born 1842;
  • Margaret, born 1844;
  • Mary V., born 1846;
  • Nancy, born 23 Dec 1848, married Eli Hill.

I can confirm that seven of their children made it as far as Texas. Dan seems to be the only one buried in the Butler Cemetery. I believe he died about 1867. Nancy died sometime after 1880.

Family Tradition

There is a story circulating among researchers and passed along to me by Linda M. that Dan Mayes was murdered by one Michael Sessom, an early settler of San Marcos, in revenge for Mayes turning in his son David. David Sessom served in the Confederate Army and was accused of spying for the Union. He was subsequently hung for treason. Some thought Dan Mayes the victim of an Indian attack when he was later found dead. However, descendants tell a story of Michael Sessom’s death bed confession. On an interesting note, David Sessom’s widow was Mary Meeks, daughter of Dan’s brother-in-law Merritt.

Before the state library closed the genealogy room for remodelling last year, I looked into this a little bit. I found David Sessom’s military record which was brief and of little interest. I checked the Hays County tax records for the 1860’s. Dan Mayes is listed as paying his taxes through 1867. In 1868, his son John paid his father’s taxes. There is no record after that and the stone in the cemetery has only his name. The Merritt Meeks family and their widowed daughter Mary had relocated to Collin County by the time of the 1870 census.

My gut instinct tells me that there is at least some truth to this story. There were many people in central Texas during the war that were lynched for their pro-union sentiments. I think maybe something like this happened, rather than some sort of offical action such as a court martial.

The John Mayes Family

John Mayes purchased 320 acres on the Arkansas River in Crawford, Arkansas in 1832. The family was enumerated on the 1840 census in Benton, Arkansas. The birthplace of their children is often given as Missouri so it is quite possible that they lived in Missouri near Elizabeth’s family before coming to Texas. They were the parents of nine children:

  • a daughter, name unknown, born 1825-1830;
  • a daughter, name unknown, born 1835-1840;
  • a daughter, name unknown, born 1835-1840;
  • Lorenzo C., born Nov 1838;
  • W. M., born 1841;
  • Missy, born 1842;
  • Marinda, born 1844;
  • William Austin, born 15 Apr 1845;
  • Daniel David, born 1846.
I’ve discovered six of their children in local records. They first made their home in the Onion Creek area and then moved to Wimberley in 1857.  Elizabeth died about 1860. John married Elizabeth Jane McGuire in 1870 and later moved to Llano where they show up on the census in 1880. I wonder if John knew anything about his brother-in-law’s interest in the Llano area? John fathered two more children with his second wife, Emma and Missouri. Missouri Mayes died at the age of twelve and is buried in the Walnut Creek Cemetery in Blanco County.

Butler Cemetery

Damage suit filed against ZimmermansThere has been controversy over access to the cemetery over the years. This article is clipped from page 6 of the November 21, 1974 issue of the Hays County Citizen. Balancing the rights of landowners vs. descendants is a complicated and on-going issue.

What interested me is the reference to “Col. John Mayes” and I’m not sure to whom that refers. John, son of Daniel, is buried in Blanco County. There is a John D. listed in the inscriptions but he is too young to have been the son of John Sr. Ah, I have much work to do. My wish is to find this list of people interred in unmarked graves of which I have heard rumor. Anyone know anything of it?

Selected Butler Cemetery Inscriptions

Butler, Beverly H./1887/1938

Butler, Georgia/1865/1928/Mother

Butler, John M./11 Dec 1832/07 Dec 1905/Married 14 Dec 1882

Butler, Lee/17 Jun 1894/28 Jun 1916

Butler, Lizzie/1842/1930

Butler, Lucy/11 Feb 1804/09 Jan 1883/Married Reece Butler A. D. 1828

Butler, Reece/22 Feb 1806/19 Dec 1887

Johnson, Sarah/14 Mar 1834/17 Jan 1902/mar John C. Johnson 03 Nov 1853/My Mother

Mayes, Dan/no inscription

Mayes, John D./15 Mar 1880/23 Mar 1913

Mayes, Katy/no inscription

Mayes, Mattie M./02 Dec 1875/15 Jan 1902

Mayes, Sam C./19 Jul 1891/29 Mar 1945/Pvt 26 Tx Fld Hospital

Mayes, Wm. Austin/15 Apr 1845/05 Apr 1926

Meeks, Alonzo Aldon/02 Feb 1872/29 Jun 1956/Lon on footstone

Meeks, D. A./04 May 1876/14 Jul 1901

Meeks, H./27 Sep 1908/09 Aug 1952

Meeks, Lon Baker/04 Apr 1914/12 Jan 1985/fiddle on headstone

Meeks, Rachel/14 Jul 1845/no death date/Wife Mother Friend

Meeks, Randolph/18 Mar 1836/02 Jan 1919/on stone with Rachel Meeks

Meeks, Walter A./02 Mar 1867/21 Jan 1901/W. A. M. on footstone

Meeks, William Thiele/22 Sep 1897/06 Oct 1903

Meeks, Worth/08 Sep 1869/24 Nov 1954


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Bull interments in the Murphree Cemetery, Hamilton County, Texas.

Bull, James C., 1833-1911 (double stone)
Bull, Isabell Hawkins, 1838-1919 (double stone)
Bull, Dorcas Leah, 1863-1936
Bull, Ambrose Mack, 1875-1936
Bull, Frank, 15 July 1899-1 August 1921
Bull, Robert J., 5 September 1873-21 December 1950 (double stone)
Bull, Lydia Dunn, 10 September 1877-7 July 1934 (double stone)
Bull, Finis, 16 March 1910-17 March 1910
Bull, Isabell Bull Smith, 1867-1888

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The following list was transcribed from Cemeteries of Williamson County Volume I, pages 95-97.

Page 95

(Compiled by Mary Ellen and H. E. “Dick” Lindsey, May 21, 1972)

Thomas Clinton Denson
b. 2 February 1898
d. 1 January 1926

Double Stone:
Thomas J. Denson
b. 7 April 1848
d. 17 October 1916
(Member of Odd Fellows)
Sallie A. Denson
b. 21 April 1856
d. 20 June 1928

John Bunyan Denson
Private 40th Balloon Co. AS
World War I
b. 18 Nov. 1892
d. 31 December 1951

Mrs. E. C. James
b. 11 Feb. 1847
d. 20 Sept. 1902

A. J. James
Company E
10 Missouri Inf.
Confederate States of America

Ora Bernice wife of
B. M. Speegle
b. 29 Dec. 1887
d. 13 July, 1910

Dr. J. A. Denson
b. 30 June 1830
d. 9 Aug. 1890

Beulah Denson
b. 23 Nov. 1869
d. 5 Feb. 1901

Children of J. A. and Martha Denson
b. 6 Oct. 1874
d. 14 March 1879
Albert S. J.
b. 16 May 1867
d. 4 August 1869

Dr. T. H. Denson
b. 6 July 1875
d. 2 Sept. 1904
Camp No. 18, Woodmen of the World

(Inside a separate fenced-in area):

Mae Lynn daug. of W. M. & Q. O. Messer
b. 18 Mar. 1903
d. 8 Sept. 1908

Belle wife of John Thomas Daniel
b. 25 Jan 1857
d. 23 May 1898

John Thomas Daniel
b. 20 May 1849
d. 19 Jan 1901

Edward N. Goode
b. 16 May 1823
d. 26 June 1881
Age 53 yrs. 1 mo. & 10 days
(Masonic Emblem on Stone)

Page 96

Double Stone:
J. C. Denson
b. 22 Mar. 1802
d. 19 Nov. 1870
(Masonic Emblem on Stone)
Elizabeth Denson
b. 28 Aug. 1816
d. 14 Oct. 1901

T. Ben Denson
b. 1879 – d. 1929

Double Stone:
Carrie Bostick
1858 – 1922
Benjamin Franklin
1853 – 1925

David C. Denson
1894 – 1913

Kittie Denson
1890 – 1908

Double Stone:
D. A. Hawkins
b. 6 Oct 1846
d. 8 June 1896
J. B. Hawkins
b. 23 Apr. 1843
d. 28 July 1890

Note: Inside an Iron Fence there is another stone for
J. B. Hawkins – inscribed as above.

In memory of _______conia daug. of J. B. and
D. A. Hawkins b. 14 Aug. 1870 – d. 17 Aug. 1873
Note: Unable to read the full name.

Rubin R. Teer
b. 25 Mar 1871
d. 1 June 1871

Mary Adline
daug. of J. T. & M. A. Teer
b. 24 Nov. 1875
d. 2 Dec. 1875

Josie daug. of Henry & Maggie Overby
b. 9 Nov. 1884
d. 18 Oct. 1886

Henry Overby
b. 28 Mar. 1852
d. 28 Nov. 1888

Maggie Ann wife of Henry Overby
b. 23 Mar. 1855
d. 31 May 1912

Andy Grinstead
b. 9 June 1843
d. 28 June 1894

Lewis son of
H. L. & L. B. Partlow
b. 21 June 1897
d. 19 Oct. 1898

Mrs. M. S. Standlee
b. 11 Mar. 1828
d. 5 Apr. 1872

Minnie Blanche daug. of
Alfred F. & Fannie U Rogers
b. 27 June 1884
d. 2 mos. & 26 days

J. L. Watson
d. 14 Sept 1912
(no birth date recorded)

Memory of M. L. Daug of M. F. &
S. C Hawkins
(broken stone – unable to read dates)

Note: There are numerous markers of native stone with
no dates or names. Also, two or three vault-type
markers with no dates or names, made of native

Page 97

The Denson Cemetery is located on the Alfonse Stojanik farm,
Rt. 1, Bartlett, Texas. To reach the farm, go north of Granger
on State Highway No. 95 approximately three miles; turn left
on F. M. Road No. 972; approx. three miles cross a concrete
bridge (to the left of this bridge are the remains of an old
steel bridge); about 1/4 mile past the bridge take the first
turn to left and go about 1/4 mile on gravel road; take the
first left turn at the first house on the left (the house has
a roof that is 1/2 green and 1/2 blue) – to to first house on
that lane to the home of Alfonse Stojonik.

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This information was received some time ago from Ken Stanley on the Williamson County, Texas board at Rootsweb. It was circulating as a listing of the “Circleville Cemetery.” I believe it is known as either the Comanche Peak or McFadin Cemetery and is not the cemetery closest to Circleville. (David Hutchinson McFadin served in the Texas Revolution.) I looked for a cemetery transcription at the Texas State Library, the Round Rock Library, the Georgetown Library and at various Rootsweb websites and found nothing. I have no idea of the origin of this info. 

Martha Miller                                   Infant of WB & M Blackman
wife of H  D Miller                            B: July 21,1891/July 28  1891
Nov 30,1834, Aug 26 1884

Roy Kenneth Miller                             Charrie Elizabeth
Son on E & N Miller                             wife of James A Simons
Dec 23,1894  Dec 27,1894                  Apr 5, 1856  Oct 26,  1878

Hugh Wayman                                    William Eubank
son of J W & AE Wayman                       Apr 15, 1813
age 4 mos 19 day, D: May 28 1884         August 7, 1876

William A. McFadin                              Caroline H Brown
Sep 19, 1866  Apr 30,1954                  June 20, 1852  Oct 11,1872

Irna Rose Cavanaugh  wife of             Lucy Eubank
William A McFadin                               May 29, 1848   Sep 26,1865
Aug 31,1874  June 19,1903                 17 yrs 3 mos  27 days

one dau,  Merle McFadin Frazer
Delmar D Woodress                           Joseph Eubank
Mar 1, 1910  Oct 16, 1913                 Aug 12, 1797  Mar 13,1871
                                                              73 yrs 7 mos and 1 day

Eva M. Woodress                                Louis A Hayslip
Oct 13, 1902    Apr 21, 1903             Nov 8 1866   Nov 25 1891

C. F. McGuire                                     Virgil Hayslip
Apr 20, 1861  dec 25, 1890              Aug 25, 1841.   July 3,1861

Clara Stelding                                     John E Hayslip
July 4, 1891   (Date no avail)            Feb 20, 1855 May24,1855

James M Langham                             Nellie D. Brown
son of JM Langham                            died Sep 15, 1882
Sep 2, 1861  oct 27,1879                    age 15 yrs 6 mos & 6 days

William Armstrong                             Nellie P Brown
son of J & C Armstrong                      D Sept 22,  1872
Mar 1, 1847   Sep 19,1851                  age 29 yrs

Caroline ( wife of J M Langham)       James Henry Sutherland
Mar 27, 1822   Dec 01 1876               July 15 1872,  Aug 12,1872

J. L.  LOW                                            Agnes C Sutherland
June 20,1816  Dec 28,1859               June 7 1874   Aug 14,1874

W. I. . Dyches                                      Deborah S Southerland (note)
Feb 18,1868   Feb 20,1868               Apr 11, 1888   Nov 9 1905

T. A. Dyches                                        Mary Green
July 7,1869  May 11,1871                  Feb 4 1802  July 31, 1884

Jepthah  Dyches                                  Martha Melissa Orr
Oct 11,1845  Oct 18 1875                   Aug 26, 1864, oct 12 1902
30 yrs 7 days of age

Clyde Jennings Harrell                       Mary Emeziah Orr
son of M & Lillie Harrell                     June 11, 1866  Jan 3,1906
D Apr 12 1897  age 2 mos & 8 days

M M Stanger                                        William Dyches
July 2, 1825   Nov 1, 1864                  D: July 8, 1890
                                                                Age 31, 11 mos & 18 days

W. D. Latting                                         McDaniel (Stone broken)
Age 34 years                                         1848 D Feb 7 1869

E. J. Brown                                    Elizabeth (wife of J C Holloman)
Apr 31, 1837  Feb 22 1870          B Mar 1842    (Stone Broken)
                                                        No other info available

Dec 16, 1848    Nov 18, 1869

Battle of San Jacinto Veteran
David Hutcheon McFadin
b May 22   1816
D Oct 7       1896

Wife   Jerusha Dyches McFadin
B 1812
D  July 7  1880

Their Children:
John Newen          George
William A               Sarah
Irvin A                   Infant
Sidney                    Infant

              ” David H McFadin served in the Texas
                war for Independence.
                Soldier at San Jacinto”

Judge John Newen McFadin
 Aug 11, 1838       Nov 4 1891

Wife: Mollie Teague Sherman McFadin
Apr 11, 1843        July 30, 1892

Their Children:
Alice, Zuma, William, Ora, Ella, Zevan, Tevan, Auma, Nina, Veree.

A,N,W,  Son of W J & A E Wayman
July 9 1888      July 22  1888

Owen M Breeden
Jan 29   1847   June 14, 1926

Mary S. McFadin
wife of Owen M. Breeden
Aug 5, 1866    Oct 31, 1924

Nancy E.,  wife of I. A. McFadin
Nov 11, 1846   MAr 23,  1920

Irvin Arnet McFadin
Jan 6, 1842     June 11, 1888

W. D. McFadin
B  MAr 12, 1873
May 8, 1915

Mrs. W. D. McFadin
Aug 11, 1876   Apr 14, 1942

Infant dau of W.M. & M J Tindel
Oct 11, 1883    Feb 8 1884

Wm. VIncent  son of J B & L A Tindel
Dec 18 1854   Sept 10 1885

W. F. Heisch
B   Apr 6, 1877 (Part stone missing) no info

Ann Lee                    DeWitt C. HAYSLIP
July 23 1835            Aug 8, 1829
Nov 4, 1898             Oct 28  1899

James  Eubank
Mar 20, 1806
Mar 31, 1886

Mary Jane Bransford (wife of James Eubank)
Nov 11, 1815     Apr 16, 1907

D.W.C. Eubank (DeWitt Clinton)
July 24  1862    June 12,  1890

Mary Ellen Eubank Cavanaugh
wife of Timothy Cavanaugh
Nov 9, 1846    Jan 14,  1891              Peter (This written in pencil)

E. Walker  C.S.A.
Timothy Cavanaugh                           see pg 367
1849      1890

This is not noted on cemetery Records.  It is recorded in Family Bible.
Therefore Documented.   No Marker visible.

Lucinda Dyches (Wife of Josiah Dyches)
1775      1865

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Most people’s response to hearing about my family history/research/library obsession is to yawn. I consider the long hours spent searching and transcribing a tribute to the lives of those who lived at a time when life was much harder and more interesting.

Edwards County Memories – pages I originally put together as an assignment for an html class I took in 1998

Macedonia Cemetery – contains the graves of my great-great-great-grandparents and some of their children and grandchildren

Nolan Cemetery – where my great-great-grandparents and some of their children and grandchildren are buried

Travis County, Texas School Census of 1854 – a transcription I did last year for the Austin Genealogical Society which seems to have disappeared from their website

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