What began with the death of the first human being, and still continues today, are the cemeteries of our ancestors. In Ben Franklin, down CR 3808 is such a place of rest for hundreds of previous Delta Countian’s.
The genealogy of some of those buried there can only be guessed. It is quite possible that most people who have any heritage in Delta County have a loved one there.
The earliest ‘marked’ grave is dated 1848, James Franklin Birdwell, the latest in 1975, Wiley M. Burrough, in this place lost in time. The site is overgrown with brush, grass, weeds and saplings. Several of the stones have deteriorated with age, fallen over, cracked and/or broken. Several residents believe cows were recently sited in the cemetery, which contributed to the disarray of the Simmons Cemetery. Whether the latter is true or not is not particularly important, the importance lies with accomplishing something with the remains, before it is too late.
An interesting note about the Simmons Cemetery is the upper part of the Cemetery is a section known as Indian Grove. The local lore is that Indians had come from the North after robbing a bank. Their pursuers caught up with them along the center of the cemetery. Some of the Indians were killed and buried on the spot. Later, attempts were made to dig into their common grave in search for the money, which was supposedly carried between two horses (because of the immense weight). None of it was ever found – at least, nobody admitted finding any of it. A slab was put over the space and the trees around the area gradually died. (Source: Voices in the Wind).
Several descendents and/or historically minded people have come together to ‘pick up the pieces’ and move forward. From work-days and covered lunches to an on-going public plea for funds. An account has been set up at the Enloe State Bank, P O Box 89, Enloe, TX 75441 (395-2158) for contributions.
Pictures of the May -- 2001 Clean-up effort
A-B-C: Acton, Alard, Allen, Anderson, Austin, Bain,
Baker, Barnes, Beakley, Benson, Benthul, Birdwell,
Black, Boss, Bratcher, Brauch, Brewer, Brooks, Brown,
Bryant, Burrough, Callaway, Carrell, Carroll, Cassles,
Castleberry, Cates, Cheshier, Coston, Cox
D-E-F: Dickson, Duff, Duke, Duncan, Earnest, Echols,
Eddins, Ellis, Ellison, Ervin, Fletcher, Flowers, Foster,
G-H-I: Garner, Garrard, Gaulding, Giddens, Giddins, Giddings,
Gideon, Gilliam, Goodman, Graves, Gregory, Gross,
Guthrie, Hanna, Hansleman, Haria, Harrell, Harrill,
Hartwell, Hatcher, Haven, Hogan, Hogan, Hoge,
Holding, Homer, Humphreys, Irwin
J-K-L: Jackman, Jackson, Jamar, Johnson, Jones,
Jordan, Kingston, Kizer, Lancaster, Larkin, Lay,
M-N-O: Martin, Mathews, McCarrell, McEntire,
McKee, McLemore, Miller, Moody, Moore, Morris,
Mosley, Nanney, Newkirk, Nitley, Osborne, Owen
P-Q-R: Parash, Parish, Parks, Patterson, Pender,
Perkins, Reaves, Robertson, Rusing
S-T: Sanders, Sandridge, Sansing, Sharp, Shirley,
Simmons, Simpson, Skelton, Skinner, Smart, Smelley,
Smith, Stanfield, Stewart, Stotts, Sturdivant, Tarter,
Tate, Tatum, Thomas, Tucker
U-V-W-X-Y-Z: Unsel, Vandygriff, Vaughn, Walker,
Wallace, Ward, Washam, Watson, Weaver, White,
Wilkerson, Wilson, Wright, Wynn, Young.
Should you require first names and/or other information, please contact email@example.com
NOTE: The amount of people viewing this information and requesting further names, etc. has been overwhelming. It has also become more than 1 person can do on a timely basis. Therefore, if your request includes more than 3 surnames and or the research concludes more than 6 possible family members, it would be best for you to send $5.50 to cover postage/handling in order to receive an entire register. Please send ck/mo to: Hoskison/P O Box 32/Pecan Gap, TX 75469 attn: Simmons Cemetery Register
Under the existing Texas Health and Safety Code 711.041, access to cemeteries is granted to:
(a) Any person who wishes to visit a cemetery or private burial grounds for which no public ingress or egress is available shall have the right to reasonable ingress and egress for the purpose of visiting the cemetery or private burial grounds. This right of access extends only to visitation during reasonable hours and only for the purposes usually associated with cemetery visits; and (b) The owner or owners of the land surrounding the cemetery or private burial grounds may designate the routes of reasonable ingress and egress.
The Texas Funeral Service Commission has been given the authority to write rules under this section of the Health and Safety Code. We are asking if you know of any cases where access has been denied (locked gate, oral or written denied access by surrounding landowner, no response from surrounding landowner on route to the cemetery, law enforcement declines to get involved). Please provide a written description of the situation and send one copy to the Texas Historical Commission and one to the Texas Funeral Service Commission, O.C. Robbins, Executive Director, P. O. Box 12217, Austin, Texas 78711. This subject will be discussed at their next board meeting on June 17, 2008, so they need this information as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about this request, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512/475-4167. If you want to send me your response I can forward it on to the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
Gerron Hite, RA
Cemetery Preservation Coordinator
Texas Historical Commission
Austin, Texas 78711
Visit: Additional pictures of the Simmons Cemetery