Saturday, May 29, 2010

Marysville - Liberty - Prospect

On this Memorial Day weekend, I decided to use my Saturday to visit my ancestors in the "boonies." We have many family members buried in Cooke, Montague, Clay and other neighboring counties. I had planned to visit four cemeteries, but we (the dogs and I) were quite tired by the time we finished at the second one, so I decided to just do one more and call it a day.

We started out north toward Gainesville around 10:30 AM. First stop was to be Marysville, TX. According to a website I found, the Daughters of the Confederacy had a ceremony out there at the beginning of May, so I figured their driving directions were probably more concise than the vague descriptions I had found elsewhere. Turns out I should have stuck with consulting Google Maps. I turned north off of Hwy 82 west of Gainesville onto FM2739. That part was fine. The instructions then said to "follow CR 417 on into town." Um, yeah. That makes it sound like "town" is not too far on CR 417, which is completely dirt and gravel. It was actually quite far. A better option would have been to come at it from the west.

My Directions to Marysville: First off, be prepared to get your car dirty. These are dirt/gravel roads. There's no getting to Marysville if you stay on paved roads. Turn east onto CR 442 from FM 373. Follow CR442 until it intersects CR 417. Turn north (left) onto CR 417, then take your next right, which is CR 462. At that point you are "in" Marysville.... or what's left of it. There is a well-kept white house on the corner of 417 & 462. I almost thought that was the "church" but the church is actually a two-story building that looks to be made entirely of corrugated metal. There is a ruin of red bricks right in front of it that might have once been a sign, but there is currently no sign anywhere in this vicinity that indicates you are in Marysville. Just past the church, there is an aging metal sign that says "CemeTeries" and points to the right. Follow the road/drive that it indicates and you will find yourself at the Marysville Cemetery.

It's not easy to get here, but it's a peaceful location and I can see why our ancestors settled here. This was a big cemetery with LOTS of headstones missing. Our TA Cox's stone had been broken and repaired. If you come here, I recommend bug spray, long pants, and hiking boots. And, although I didn't run across any snakes, I would think there were some around out there. I have marked the general location of our family's markers (Coxes, Dickeys, Deerings) on the Google map (click HERE). The most important ones I wanted to find were Thalia Arabella Gideon Cox and Sanford Harold Cox. They were apart from the others, the very last ones on their row, next to the far fence.

Thalia's marker is on the left, and it has been damaged. Someone has used two other pieces of marble to firm up the sides and done a rough repair to put the broken marker back together. Sanford's is still in one piece, but appears to be a little worse for wear compared to the photo that appears on the Marysville Cemetery website.

I was able to find all of the Coxes and Dickeys that I knew to be here. I also found the Deerings I knew about and two (or three) unmarked graves in what appears to be the Deering plot. Pictured at right are the unmarked graves. I imagine these are the ones who we think are buried here, but had no record of (i.e. Thomas Franklin Deering, who was killed by the Katy train engine, and CWF Deering, the less-than-a-year-old daughter of John J. Deering and Mary Jane Castleman).

I won't post all the pictures here, but you get the idea. To see all the pictures, visit my Flickr stream. This cemetery was the hardest to get to, so I wanted to be sure to provide accurate information for anyone who wishes to make the trek out here. It's a beautiful area, and the roads were in fairly good condition, considering they are not paved. I noticed that many of the cars in Muenster have that tell-tale white dust all over them. I'll be taking my car to be washed tomorrow. :)

Moving on, I decided to go to Liberty next. I don't know if Liberty was actually a town, but the Liberty Cemetery is in the middle of nowhere... I'd say between Newport and Vashti, which both qualify as the middle of nowhere. You did have to go on a gravel/dirt road to get to this one... but not nearly as far off the pavement as the Marysville Cemetery was. This cemetery is very overgrown and difficult to get around. I was not able to find the family member I really wanted to see... J. F. Cappleman. I was also hoping to find his wife, Isabella Kerr Cappleman, because there was supposedly another Kerr stone. I didn't find either. I did find several Sewells, a Vandiver, some Watkins and a couple of Robinsons. I don't know if the Vandiver is related or not.

By the time I waded through the weeds, burrs, and possibly poison ivy/oak in this cemetery, I'd had about enough and so had Mable. Meg was having fun, but I was afraid she was going to fall down a snake hole, never to be seen again. She gave thought to squeezing through the barbed wire fence and running off into the pasture, but changed her mind when I hollered at her. I was disappointed that I didn't find what I was looking for, but decided to choose one more cemetery to visit and then head home. I chose Prospect, since it's the one where the Robinsons were buried.

This cemetery is small and very easy to get to. Because it is small, you would think I would have easily found everyone, but I didn't. I never found Dolly Gay. I suppose I should have done another walk-through, but I figured I'd be back here one day. Plus, the dogs were getting overheated waiting in the car. The Robinson plot is a large gravel-covered area to the right as soon as you walk in the cemetery gate.

So that's it for today. We headed back home after this. Although I didn't see all the headstones I was looking for, and didn't find anyone we were missing (that I know of)... it was a beautiful drive and I can just imagine how the family must have lived when they were here. There were lots of rolling hills... good ranching country. In fact, I think much of the area looks just like it did when they were living here, apart from a "little bit" more pavement, a smattering of oil derricks, a luxury bed and breakfast, and a large windmill farm (the big metal kind, not the "farm" kind).