(photo courtesy of William Creel, ca 1940)
The Waller Cemetery is West of Ben Franklin, TX, just across the property line of the Civil War Military Camp Rusk. Friends and family of those resting there are attempting to make contact. If you know you have relatives there please email [firstname.lastname@example.org]. If you have family information to share please email [email@example.com] and we will add it to this page in hopes to bring together enough interested people to resurrect this important part of their heritage.
(Waller Cemetery, May 2000. The headstone in this photo is the large headstone [Rigney] in the above photo. All other headstones are not visible for the overgrowth. Photo courtesy of William Creel)
Waller Cemetery Creel Family Information/Pics
Register of surnames buried in Waller Cemetery (contributed by Hays Stewart).
Bell, Branson, Carter, Chancellor, Clower, Collins, Cummings, Deloagh, Drake, Dunman, Edwards, Hays, Hodges, Hooper, James, Lane, McCollogh, McEwing, Miller, Morehead, Morgan, Neely, Patteson, Richardson, Rigney, Walker, Waller.
If you need first names of those listed above please email [firstname.lastname@example.org].
The list of burial in the WALLER Cemetery was compiled by Mrs V. G. Olson and Mr. and Mrs. M. B. Stewart in March of 1967. This Cemetery was cleaned, completely, by Gerald L. Payne, Rockwall, Tx. in 1976. Mr Payne is the current owner of the Hays farm that includes the WALLER cemetery. No further [known] cleaning of the cemetery has occured since this time.
Information shared by William Creel:
My great grandfather Rigney and his wife are buried there. They had 7 children while
living in the Ben Franklin area. Their names are :
Descendants of James Monroe Rigney
Generation No. 1
1. James Monroe4 Rigney (Anderson3, Jesse2, Charles1) was born February 12, 1835
in Liberty, Casey, Kentucky, and died November 19, 1871 in Ben Franklin, Delta,
Texas. He married Julia Hooks Bell July 20, 1856 in Liberty, Casey, Kentucky,
daughter of ThomasT. Bell and Martha Chambliss. She was born August 10, 1839 in Lake
Providence, Carroll, Louisiana, and died February 03, 1910 in Leonard, Fannin, Texas.
More About James Monroe Rigney:
Burial: 1871, Waller Cemetery, Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas
Military service: Bet. December 14, 1861 - February 29, 1864, Company "C", 22nd Texas
Cavalary, Confederate States Army, Taylor Command.
More About Julia Hooks Bell:
Burial: February 1910, Waller Cemetery, Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas
Children of James Rigney and Julia Bell are:
2 i. Thomas A.5 Rigney, born 1858.
3 ii. Alice Evelyn Rigney, born 1861 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas; died 1930 in
Trenton, Fannin, Texas. She married Tom C. Scales September 25, 1878 in Ben
Franklin, Delta, Texas.
4 iii. Mary Bell Rigney, born January 1862 in Ben Franklin, Lamar now Delta, Texas;
died 1903 in Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico. She married Zachariah McAllister Miller
December 13, 1877 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas; born September 14, 1853 in Giles,
Tennessee; died January 01, 1928 in Greenville, Hunt, Texas.
Notes for Mary Bell Rigney:
The 1900 Federal Census, Delta County of this family includes a black woman, age 70,
named Phyllis Bell born in Louisiana. She was a freed slave who had belonged to
Mary's parents, and took the Bell family name. She stayed on to help Mary with her
young family. Called "Aunt Phyllis" by the family, she lived with the Miller family
ubtil her death.
Mary had tuberculosis and it was thought by her doctor that the climate in New Mexico
might benefit her health. Her husband cut lumber in his mill to build a house,
loaded it, their furniture and farm animals and the family moved to New Mexico. Mary
died there in 1903 and her husband and the family moved back to Ben Franklin, Texas.
More About Mary Bell Rigney:
Burial: Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico
More About Zachariah McAllister Miller:
Burial: January 02, 1928, Forest Park Cemetery Greenville, Texas
5 iv. Fannie L. Rigney, born September 12, 1866 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas; died
July 12, 1937 in Leonard, Fannin, Texas. She married George Merrick Davis February
10, 1883 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas.
6 v. Samuel Chambliss Rigney, born February 14, 1867 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas;
died May 09, 1937 in Houston, Harris, Texas. He married Amanda Nantz.
7 vi. Robert Lee Rigney, born February 04, 1869 in Ben Franklin, Delta, Texas; died
November 16, 1935 in Leonard, Fannin, Texas. He married Nora Patts February 26, 1893
in Colmesneil, Tyler, Texas; born May 29, 1872 in Eufaula, Alabama; died June 09,
1933 in Leonard, Fannin, Texas.
More About Robert Lee Rigney:
Burial: November 1935, Leonard Cemetery, Leonard, Fannin, Texas
James and Julia's son, Robert Lee Rigney my grandfather, settled in Leonard, Fannin,
Texas. I have several pictures of the Rigney mark on the Leonard community at:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~txfannin/leonardalbum.html Some Rigney researchers might
want to trace their migration.
I was so happy to see the Waller cemetery listed on the web site. My grandparents lived just south of it at the intersection of the BF/Pecan Gap road and the "Pike" to
My great,great grandfather was Phillip Waller, son of Thomas Waller. Phillip was a farmer in Union County, Kentucky until he moved to Giles County, Tenn. Phillip had the following children: Joseph C., Mary J., Andrew T., William A., ROBERT LEE, Martha Gilliam, John W., and Margia A.
My great grandfather was Robert Lee,(born Giles, Co. Tenn. Feb. 28, 1838--died Ben Franklin, Tx May 25, 1917) buried in Waller Cemetery. His wife, Emily J. (Emma
Miller) born in Tishamingo, Co. Miss. May 5, 1847--died Dec. 29, 1893. She is also buried in the Waller cemetery.
Robert Lee's sons were John. P. (Pete) Nov. 26, 1874 and James Robert (Jim Bob) MY GRANDFATHER--Nov. 1877- Jan. 1957. In Nov. 1900 James Robert married Lillian McNutt,
July 27, 1880-1959. They had the following children all born in Ben Franklin:
John R. Nov. 3, 1901--Dec. 6, 1977
Infant son Feb. 14, 1903--died at birth and buried in Waller cemetery Emily Lorene (Polly) W.Anderson Feb. 16, 1904--died in Dallas, Tx. Sept. 8, l998--buried in Dallas
Doris W. Tate Adcock Sept 12, 1906--July 6, 1995 Lucille W. Nicol Oct. 3, 1908--1983
Vera W. Pinson Jean 18, 1913--April 29, 1949 (MY MOTHER)
J.C. Waller Aug 10, 1914--Mar. 14, 1925
Kenneth N. April. 29 1918--Lives in Garland, TX.
All are buried in Ben Franklin Garden of Memories unless otherwise indicated.
I have pictures of Robert Lee's, Emma Waller, and the infant baby's headstones in Waller cemetery. If any one has information about the Waller family and how the cemetery was named, I would love to hear from you. Jean Pinson Pratt (email@example.com)