Notes From Others...

Many people view the Ben Franklin Texas website on a daily basis. Some have left notes that could be of interest to those who follow. We have pasted that information below. If you have knowledge of any of their requests/comments please contact them via their email. Also, please copy your reply to BENFRANKLINTX@GMAIL.COM so that it can be posted here for years to come. Thanks!


Submitted July, 2010: My mother, Thelma Loreta Moon, was born and raised in Ben Franklin. She met and married my father in Gladewater. After my birth there, they moved to Ft. Worth. Up until the death of my grandfather, James Bailey Moon, when I was 10 (1948), we visited BF often. "J. Bailey" lived on a farm with one of his sons, Herbert Moon, and his 3 children, Anna Mary, Paula, and Edwin Moon. The farm was up the hill from downtown BF. One time when we visited, it had rained a lot, and we had to park our car at the bottom of the hill, take off our shoes, and walk the rest of the way. I loved to go to town and get candy by the piece out of a big glass jar. I also liked it when the train came through. Being a city girl, I also loved everything about the farm. I gathered eggs, jumped off the hay bales onto the loose hay in the barn, and draw water in a bucket from the well. We went to church at the Methodist Church, and my grandfather was buried there.

My grandfather is buried at the Ben Franklin Methodist church cemetery. I would like to see photos of the cemetery and the list of those buried there.

Patsy Thompson --

I am searching for the burial place of Benjamin Franklin Simmons who came from Tennessee to Red River County Texas in 1835 and died in Lamar County 1843. He
had the land Ben Franklin, Texas. Do you have any info as to his burial place near the Simmons Acadamy and the church that was there in the 1840's that he may have attended and the Acadamy he started? He named Ben Franklin after his youngest son Benjamin Simmons. His wife's name was Catherine Tomalison (second wife) ---the first wife Jean McBride died in Tennessee. I need to know his father's name and mother's name if anybody may have this info. I am his Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter.

Thank you for any info you may have.

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 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

Box 12276

Austin, Texas 78711

Hello: I visited the museum back in September of 2003. It has a marvelous collection, very interesting. Amazing how someone could collect so many interesting things from the past. I enjoyed it immensely. I just happen to be researching my family genealogy this year and found its Texas origins were in Delta County about 1852 (which would have been Hopkins County then). My great great grandfather is interred at Brushy Creek Blackwell cemetery. I shall be making another trip up that way and hope to stop again at the Patterson museum. Meanwhile, if anyone around there knows anything about the families of J.D. AND LOUISA PICKENS or any of the PICKENS family, JOSIAH AND LOUISA BAKER, JOSIAH HAYDEN AND HEMONS JOHNSON BAKER, the family of MARION FRANCIS JOHNSON, I would very much appreciate the communication, randomly by email or internet links. I loved the "town" of Cooper and have good wishes for its future. Elizabeth Baker -- Houston, Texas

From the web: How Did You Come To Know About Ben Franklin, TX? Researching my Family Genealogy What do you like best about the Ben Franklin Website? It is "all inclusive" and very communicative. Email Address: Comments: My original Texas ancestor had a farm back during the Civil War days, right about where Brushy Creek crosses under Texas Highway 19. I am also searching for "good stories" about the area. Elizabeth Baker

Hello: Can you please send me the first name of the Cheshire you have listed in the Simmons Cemetery? Thanks Barbara Chesshire Pichoff

My grandfather was born in Ben Franklin, Texas, and I have been doing some family tree stuff. If anybody has information on the Tarter family please email me. or Melissa Tarter Fusilier

Hello I am inquiring about the McLemores and Goodman you have listed in the cemetery. Do you have further info? Thanks for any help. Lisa

From the WEB: My name is Randy Phillips and I am a descendent of Thomas J Lane and Isabella McEwing whom I believe are buried in the Waller Cemetery. When I was very young, my Grandfather, William Darwin Phillips of Mount Pleasant took me to the Thomas Lane house and the Waller Cemetery. I believe Isabella was his Grandmother on his Mother's side. Most of my family is gone now and I have no idea where either the house or cemetery is located. Any information someone could give me as to all of the name of the Lanes and McEwings buried at the cemetery as well as its precise location would be appreciated. A contact to gain access to the house and cemetery would also be helpful. Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Randy Phillips (

Memories of Ben Franklin: The Stotts’s C.E. and Myrtle Stotts were my grandparents. Alton and Nettie were my dad and mom. My uncle George Vandygriff still resides there. He lives across the street from where I lived when I was a small girl until I moved away. I will always cherish the memories and good times growing up with my great family of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that felt like they were also family. Bless everyone, Sally Oleta Stotts.

The memories I have of Ben Franklin are not tied to family although family lived in Ben Franklin. Actually, friends of mine, Danny and Ricky Netherland lived just across the bridge that used to cross the north bank of the river (creek). Their two story house was situated up on a north-west hill just north of Ben Franklin. Great family just lost track of them over the years. My grandfather was buried in the cemetery in from of the old church there in town. Danny (Dan) M. Watson.

We recently learned that my great grandfather Collier Johnson was buried in the Simmons cemetery at Ben Franklin in 1927. He came to Texas about 1880 at age 25. We learned this from the library at Cooper. The lady at the library said you may be able to help me find exactly where he is buried in the cemetery because we cannot find the grave. He was married to Mary F. Ellis and we do not know where she is buried either, she had three children when they married they then had ten of their own. Any information you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Martin L. Johnson

My name is Tony Burrow and I was raised at Race Track, Texas which is between Cooper and Ben Franklin. We move to Dallas when I was six years old. I go thru Ben Franklin ever few weeks going to Roxton, Texas to the cemetery. I would like to know if any one knows anything about the Jim Burrow family, he is my grandfather. I was told that he had many brothers and sisters, but do not have any details of them.

Hello, my name is Charles King, I was raised in Ladonia, Texas, I have a piece of history on Pecan Gap I got your e-mail address from the Pecan Gap web site, I have tried to contact them from there web site but was not able to. If you know someone in Pecan Gap would you have them e-mail me at a city leader or some at there city hall, the item is a bank bag that have there name on it, I am trying to find out how old this bag is, it belong to my grandfather, it had a receipt in it that date back to 1939, the name on the bag is PECAN GAP STATE BANK, if you can help me in this matter I would appreciated it. Thanks for your help. Charles King

Lived in Cooper in the 60's and 70's. Ran the ASCS (Farm Program Office) Gwen Moore will remember me. Horace Durham, George Vandygriff will also, I hope with good memories. Found this (site) by accident. Dean Harrison (Remembrances: Shorty’s Grocery Store)

I haven't been to Ben Franklin in years but plan to go to the Memorial weekend reunion. My favorite things as a child were to go to the post office to get Pa Boss's mail and then go across the road to the store for a Grapette or other goodies. A nickel sure bought a lot back then! Would love to hear from anyone who might have memories to share. Linda Boss Hendrix, daughter of Alvin Monroe Boss (Buster) and Madge Branum, granddaughter of Charlie Boss and Maggie Vaughn Boss.

You've done a great job (one the website). I am from Cooper, and we have spent many years traveling on the road between Cooper and Roxton. We have folks buried in both Ben Franklin and Roxton cemeteries. My dad and his brothers and sisters were baptized at Ben Franklin Baptist, but I think the baptisms actually took place in a gravel-lined pool somewhere between there and Pecan Gap. Beverly Burrow.

Lived there with my aunt and uncle Frank and Jannie Hooker who worked for D.C. Moore for a longtime, later we worked for Hubert Smith, and Oscar Shirley, before moving to Cooper. Richard Oats.

My mother, brother, grandparents and uncle are buried there. My mother's name was Lorene Boss Branum, daughter of Charley and Maggie Boss. Shirley Myers

I like your web site. It is good to know you can connect the past with the present technology. Ben Franklin represents my childhood since my mother, Lorene Boss Branum, grew up there and we visited our grandpa, Charlie Boss, often until his death in 1963. Carolyn Branum Davis

My parents are Charles E and Lorette McDaniel. I moved here (Ben Franklin) in 1982 on family land. Shirley Plummer

I was twelve years of age when I joined the Ben Franklin Baptist Church when there was an old-fashioned covered arbor revival. I was baptised in the pool across the highway between Loyd' and the church site. The year would have been 1953. I can also remember when the CARLOCK AND BLACE store burned. There was an old blacksmith shop owned and operated by Mr. Carroll. This blacksmith shop was between Carlock and Black and the old post office. I can remember sitting on an old bench outside the black smith shop and smelling the burning of coal which Mr. Carroll used to heat metal. I an also remember the Ben Franklin Elementary School. I attended school there for first through sixth grades. All six grades was in the same classroom. Each grade was desk all in a row and attached to boards so the entire row could be moved at the same time. Mrs. Jewel Pardue was the teacher. Heating for the room was provided by a large black stove that burned coal. Students took turns bringing in the coal. The bathrooms were located South of the school building. As a matter of fact, the boy's bathroom was very near the current Community Center. (unsigned)

Your website is just great. I did want to point out two things. On your Simmons Cemetery page Pictures of the May -- 2001 Clean-up effort the lady with Gracie Young is Lucille Brewer Wicks Gillean. She is the Granddaughter of John O. Brewer and Martha Elizabeth Yates Brewer who are buried in Simmons Cemetery. -- Lori Deuerling

Most recently we have been contacted by members of the Black family for names in the Simmons cemetery. If you have any information on such you can contact them at:

Hi, Just ran across your web site, and wonder if you could give me the names of the Ellison and Sturdivant's buried there? You have a great web-site. Thanks for any help Evelyn (

Growing up in nearby Enloe, my roots are nearby. Am very impressed by this website. Larry Whitlock (

Coming Home--We are moving back to Ben Franklin. We have an old cemetery on our property. Bob & I will find it and let you know. It is a small cemetery but we want to restore it and put a fence around it. We will let you know about it. Pat Smith Egert (daughter of Hubert and Christine Smith)

Ben Franklin Memories--I remember Ben Franklin as a place of so much fun. I spent lots of time with my grandparents Tom and Mertha George in the 50's and 60's. I can still remember Mrs Rasberry's little ice cream store. I used to climb in the window and unlock her door when she locked herself out. The reward of the ice cream treats were great. What good ole days they were. Janice Saunders Naples, Tx.

Have enjoyed reading about various things in and around Ben Franklin. I have roots there. My great-grandparents were Joseph C. & Susan L. (Miller) Waller. They are buried in the Garden of Memories Cemetery as well as many other relatives. We have visited the area a couple of times and hope to make it back sometime. We would like to be able to get in to the Waller Cemetery as there are other Waller family members buried there as well. Louise (Waller) Parker.

I thoroughly enjoyed being with you fine folk last night. Can't wait to come back! Love the site - it look's great. Love you guys. Rev. Kevin Mayfield (Tyler, TX—after a recent Youth Rally)

Hello..I recently found your excellent web site and hopefully valuable info for me. I would like more info such as first names and dates, if they are there for four family names that were listed on the simmons register,they being Robertson...Garner....Tarter...and McCarrell. Many thanks and keep up the good cemetery work. M. Fletcher (

Wow, this site blows me away. History, Texas and God what a wonderful, unbeatable combination! Thank you for brightening my day.. Gary (

I remember Ben Franklin: My father is James son of Julia and Coleman Foster and sister of Mary Preas. I remember before Cooper got dial phones. The operator was Sarah and she knew everyone by first name. When I was a little girl I remember cranking up the phone and asking Sarah if I could talk to my Aunt Sis (Mary) please. She would say just a minute Susie and I will get her for you. Now that was phone service at its best! Susan Foster Caldera (

I saw Carter name in cemetery. Could you share their 1 st names with me. My family lived in delta co Tx. Some are buried in Pecan Gap Tx. Thanks Deloris

Hi, Your web page states if I need first names or other information for persons buried in the Simmons Cemetery to contact this address, so that's what I'm doing. I'm looking for Robertsons buried in your cemetery. I believe my great great grandfather Gustavus Robertson may be buried there, as well as my great uncle Bird Alexander Robertson and many of their relatives. I'm happy to pay or contribute for such a service; I just need help finding out how to do that! Also, I'd like information on contributing to the cleanup fund. I suspect my relatives' stones are among those that need the most help. If they're not, there are relatives whom I've never met providing the upkeep, and maybe there's some way I can learn about them. At any rate, please send me information and I'll make a contribution - if mine don't need help, someone's does. Thanks! -Paula Williams, Richmond, Virginia

I would appreciate it if you could give me a list of the Robertson’s buried at Simmons Cemetery; with any information you may have on them. I believe some of my forebears may be among them. I would also like to know if the bank account to support a clean-up is still active. If so, I would like to make a contribution. It's great work being done. Thank you.-- Judy G. Russell

Thank you for your pictures and information about Cooper. My father was Walker Skinner and I have been to Cooper once since I was a baby. I have searched many sites and I have enjoyed yours. If my son does not get sent to Afganistan in September we will be going to Cooper Lake for an endurance race. Thank you for the photos and info. Tara Skinner Ewing

Thanks for such a fine web a former pastor of Ben Franklin Church (1987-1990), I was delighted to find news of folks I knew and loved. I was saddened to learn of the death of my friend, J.V. Flowers, a true gentleman and saint. And I was disappointed that I could not locate the story about him from last year on his birthday. But my fond memories are intact for now. God bless the folks of that little bit of heaven known as Ben Franklin, Texas. Martin Corie

I wasn't reared at Ben Franklin but I knew several people who were. They proved to be as good as the worth while things in life. God fearing, hardworking and kind. Since cotton went out as the main money and labor saving machines displaced everyday manual labor. we stopped being as outgoing, thanks to the TV tube, as we once were. I would like to see all those days come back. God bless all. James Anderson

First I wanted to tell you I enjoyed the web site. I found it through the one at Pecan Gap. Both were wonderful. Is it a possibility that you might still have old marriage records for your church. I am looking for record of Fred P. SMITH and Zadie M. TRAVIS who married 5 Oct. 1898. His obit said that Zadie was from Honey Grove, Texas. Would be most appreciative if you DO have record and could let me know. Thanking you in advance, Yvonne in Hillsboro, Texas

I would very much appreciate the first names and dates of death for these surnames. Hatcher/Ellis/Watson/Wilson ( Thanks. Regards, Jim Watson

Would you please send me the names of the Simpson's that are buried there. My maiden name was Simpson and I am working on our genealogy. Thank you in advance, Barbara Simpson Thurmond:

I have been looking at your web-site regarding the Simmons Cemetery, and I was wondering if you could provide me with the full names of the Garner's and Sanders buried there for genealogy purposes. Many thanks for any assistance you may be able to provide.

March 2002:
My gr-grandparents were James Elias and Mary Jane (Sturdivant) Ellison. According to the 1900 Census, they were in Delta County at that time. They later died in Abilene in the early 1930's. However, in the 1900 time frame, they were accompanied by at least one other Ellison (name unknown) and at least Samuel T. Sturdivant (possibly Mary Jane's father). I would be interested and pleased to have any information you might be willing to share regarding those Ellisons and Sturdivants who were buried at the Simmons Cemetery. Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give me on this. In best regards, Michael D. Collier -- Oak Harbor, WA,

I am trying to find out about my grandfather, George Overton Windham. He died in Delta, Tx 14 Jan 1960. His father was Benjamin Franklin Windham, born in Al and died in Ok. Do you have any information on George Overton Windham? His marriage? Children? Your website came up on my computer for Delta, Tx. Anyhelp would be appreciated. Sincerely, Ruby Windham Nielsen

I am looking for info on my mother’s family. My mother Ila Alice Wooten Was born 1889, 1890, 1891 or 1892.I think she was a member of your church. She was born in Ben Franklin. Her father was Josh Wooten, Mother, Mollie Nicholson. Marriage license Lamar co. date 6/13/1987. Mollie died when my mother was 4or 5 yrs old. 1 older brother Arthur Wooten b. abt 1888. 2 younger brothers. Hubert Ernest Wooten. Robert Spencer Wooten. Robert was 3 wks old when their mother died. My mother was of the Methodist faith. Any info would be appreciated. Patricia Renner (

February 2002:
Just located your information about the Simmons cemetery. I see you have a Sansing among the names listed, I have been searching for a Ella Martin Sansing and an infant child buried some where around Cooper, TX. A cousin showed me the area where my father and Ella lived, (called doctors creek or deer creek) I believe it was north to north west of Cooper several miles out, I have been to Ben Franklin, with aunt & uncle Wm Arthur Sansing they lived at Pecan Gap and are buried there. My father Sanford Monroe Sansing was brother to Wm. Arthur Sansing. Large family lived around cooper from late 1800 and some cousins live there today, but no one seems to know where Ella and child was buried, she died at birth of child and the child also. I do find a Sansing in the Waller cemetery, but do you know Nanie's husband's name. I have not run across this name, there were 6-7 boys in the family and 3- girls. If you can help me I would sincerely appreciate it, I live in Ca. have been here since 1943, my family moved me here with them. Thank you, Faye Sansing Cox (

Love your website! Would love to hear from anyone who knew my ancestors in the area 1900-1940's - Prater/Prator and Thaxton families. Elizabeth Ann Embrey.

Hello, my maiden name is Cummings. My father's family is from Pecan Gap/Cooper. I'm wondering which Cummings are buried in the Waller Cemetery. I would appreciate any information you might be able to provide. Thank you. Jo Carol Slaughter

I am a Great Great Grandson of Isaac Newton Lanham, wife Harrett Lanora Sweaks Lanham. They lived in around Pecan Gap somewhere. I was wondering if you might remember them or ever heard of the Lanham's. Thank you for your time, Bruce A. Lanham Nacogdoches, Texas

January 2002: I was at Simmons Cemetery in mid-August 2000, looking for family buried there. Unfortunately, the weeds were very high and I learned the true meaning of "fire ants" just a few steps into the cemetery when I was bitten several times on my bare toes. I was also aware that some of the graves had caved in and that it was probably somewhat dangerous to try to make my way in the weeds. I spent a large part of a day in the wonderful library in Cooper and was given a flyer from the library with this website on it. Unfortunately I never investigated it until yesterday.

I know I have some family members buried at Simmons Cemetery, and wonder if others are there. I am hopeful that you can provide some information, which would be very helpful to me. I know that my great or great great aunt, Nancy Arminta Robertson Parish, is there and I have her marriage and death dates, but would like to have her birthdate. Her husband, Mack Lee "Pat" Parish, is also there and I would like birth (year is 1854 according to Delta County history book) and death dates.

I'm also wondering whether there are Robertsons there besides B(ird) A(lexander) and Alice Matilda (Ellis). I have a photograph of their tombstones. Specifically, I'm wondering if Gustavus Boone Robertson and his wife Isabella are buried there. These are my ggrandparents and I know they were both still living in Oct. 1903, but have been unable to trace them further. At that time they were living in the Sulpher Bluff area with their daughter Matilda Crenshaw. If it is not too time consuming, it would be helpful to have a listing of all Robertsons with given names to see if they are a match for any of my other Robertsons.

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide. I also wish to thank the wonderful people who give of their time to restore the cemetery and to maintain, and disperse information from, the cemetery records. Although I live too far away to attend your clean-up days and other activities, I shall try to send a small donation in the near future. I also have a copy of a letter from my ggrandfather to his daughter and family informing them of the death of "Nancy Arminta Parish" and her burial in "Simmons Academy Cemetery." If your organization or the Delta County Historical Society would like to have a copy of this letter, I am willing to share it. Sincerely, Mary Ann Hendrix Thurmond (

November 2001:
November 12: What a beautiful job on this web site!!! I descend from many of the settlers of this area: Craig, Cumming(s), Carrell and Enloe. It would be interesting to know if you have pictures and records from the turn of the century and back. Thanks for all the work - this is a treasure. ( Carol Ann Morris.

Simmons Cemetery: I was wondering if you could please tell me which Fletcher is buried there {Simmons Cemetery}? I have relatives in Delta, Lamar and surrounding counties. Have been mainly trying to find Hobbs' but also Fletcher, Haney, Maxwell, McFadden. Would like to know if this is one of ours. Thank you in advance for any help you can give. Melinda Hobbs

October 2001:
I am a graduate student at the University of Texas, Arlington campus. I am researching active cemetery associations and their history. One such association, the Eureka Cemetery Assoc. has met every year since 1900. They simply call it the EUREKA CEMETARY ASSOC PICNIC. Does your association still meet or do you know of others that still meet? Your response will be greatly appreciated. Andy Norton(

Enjoyed the location {websiste}; would like more old pics posted. Mark Shirley (

September 2001:
I'm a genealogist with many many roots in Delta County. You've done an excellent job with the photos of Simmons Cemetery. I may have just discovered new ancestors there. Do you know who the Lancaster’s are that are buried in the Simmons cemetery? I've had Lancaster’s and Glaspie’s in Delta County since 1900. I wish I lived closer. I love "yard work", tree trimming, etc. I even repaired a headstone once. Thanks, Barb Lancaster Tsirigotis (

August 2001:
My grandmother was born in Ben Franklin in 1889. Her parents were James M and Zorildia Mathews. I've about given up hope of locating a birth certificate for her so that I can research my family, but was wondering, if your records went back that far and if they were members of your church. She had several sisters older than she and I have no idea when they came to Ben Franklin. I do know that after living in Ben Franklin they migrated to Oklahoma (although I don't know what year they left Texas) Sincerely, Debra Horridge (

Hi,do you have the names and dates of the Bell's buried in Waller Cemetery. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Bonnie Cook (

June 2001:
I believe my mother and her family once lived in Ben Franklin. The coumunitys name came up in conversations all the time. She was Clara Beth Cantrell Tolleson. Her father was A. Mabry Cantrell. Her mother was Maud Patteson Cantrell. Elizabeth A. Tolleson Sweet -- Elizabeth Sweet (

We have visited the area several time, but learn something new every time we visit. We lived in Pecan Gap for 6 years, but was never aware of rich history of Delta County. We appreciate all the people who have worked to preserve and publish its history. Robert & Alma Yates (

My ancestors were John H. Wynn and Jane Greaver. They had about 14 children. I am from Mary Amanda Jane Wynn m. Thomas Jefferson Taylor. I understand that these ancestors are buried at Simmons Cemetery. The 14 children were Elizabeth B. Wynn b. ca. 1818 Smyth Co. VA. m. Randolph Hutchinson , Mary Ann Wynn b. 1821 m. John Grose, Amanda Jane Wynn b. 28, October 1823 in Smyth Co., VA. m. Thomas Jefferson Taylor, Susannah T. Wynn m. John Calvin Wright., William Harrison Wynn m. 1st Frances Bockman, m. 2nd Mary Bockman, Sarah Emaline Wynn b. Sept. 1828 in Hawkins Co., TN., m. William W. Bean/Beene, Hiram Greever Wynn b 5, Feb. 1831 m. Louisa C. Martin. He died in 1899 in Cooper, Texas. Caroline E. Wynn b. 1834 m. J. Stokely Donaldson, Rachel Catherine Wynn m. D. P. Donaldson., Clinton Wynn, Julia A. Wynn, John W. Wynn, George W. Wynn (twin) b. 1843, Thomas Jefferson Wynn (twin) b. June 1843 m. Elizabeth Frances McCombs. I believe those underlined left Hawkins County, TN. and came to Delta Co., Texas. It is said that a picnic was held in honor of Granny Wynn near Ben Franklin, TX. at Post Oak park. She lived to be in her nineties. That would have been Jane Greaver -Wynn. Are any of these names in Simmons Cemetery? Tamara Bishop P O Box 8813 Porterville, Ca 93258.

My name is Tracy Bozarth, I am interested in the Moore name. I would be very grateful for any info. Thank you. (

May 2001: Thank you for your help. We are interested in Johnson, Morris, and Stanfield. Any information you can furnish, such as date of birth, date of death, full name, etc., would be very helpful. My father tells me his grandfather & uncle (Morris) may be there. He also had an aunt who married a Johnson, then there is a Stanfield some where on his grandfathers side. Thanks again. Pam Philpot (Father=Joe D. Morris)

I have been doing research on my family. I noticed on the Waller Cemetery page that there is a Morehead buried in the Waller Cemetery. Could you please tell me the name of that person. Thank You, Sharon (Morehead) McMillan

I have seen your site about this cemetery (Simmons) online, interesting is that under the list of names of people buried there is the surname Hatcher. In the late 1800's my family first settled in Delta County, my Father was born in Ben Franklin in 1913, however I have never been able to find any information about, any other family members living or being buried there. If I could find the first names and dates then if this is my family I would really like to know.. I thank you in advance for your help, if this is my family I would like to come visit the cemetery this summer.. Wilson Hatcher

I am the grandson of Elizabeth McGrew whose Grandparents (on mother's side, Maude Duncan-McDaniel) family name is Duncan. She knows that the Duncan's in the Simmons Cemetary are her relatives buried there. Would appreciate any information you could send to me to relay to my Grandmother. Thanks Greg Haws []

Betty Lancaster is seeking information on her family: GA Hancock. Known to have died in the area, but cannot find a cemetery site. If you know of her family please contact me directly and I will foward to her []

April 2001: 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 Ratten. 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. …If any one has information about the Waller family and how the cemetery was named, I would love to hear from you. (more family roots from Jean Pinson Pratt on the link "Waller Cemetery" {}).

Do you know if there is an inventory of the Waller Cemetery west of Ben Franklin? (NOTE: A register has been added to the Waller Cemetery link) It is just across the property line of the old Military Base used during the Civil War [Camp Rusk]. Waller was in sad need of maintenance when I was there. Thanks, Bill Creel Round Rock, Texas []

I am researching the name of Baker in Delta Co. Could you please tell me the first names of the people with the last name of Baker that are buried there? Are there other cemeteries in Delta Co.? My family was from Cooper. Thank you very much, Cindy Wilson []

March 2001: Hi—I had ancestors in the Ben Franklin area and was wondering about the first names of the White’s buried there. Thank you, Sue Burgess ( Note: Monroe J and Vergil Kenneth are the only White’s listed on the register. If you have other information to share with Sue, feel free to contact her via email.

I spent some of my young life in Ben Franklin with my uncle and aunts - Foster & Gladys Clark. We still own some land there from my grandfather's purchase at the turn of the century. I do miss coming to Ben Franklin. Terry Clark .

William Perry Blevins and Mary Jane Pierce were married, lived in Lake Creek Tx in 1896, on Oct 15 Grampa Thomas Byron Blevins born, 10 living siblings. Information from birth cert of Byron filed LA, CA in 1942, not sure how accurate his memory was of parent’s ages at time of his birth. Found William Perry in 1880 census Delta Co. Need any information names of other children and their decendants, names, addresses... AND where in Tennessee W.P. came from, his parent’s names, same for Ms. Mary Jane who probably grew up in Delta County. William was a farmer. Thanks for your search. Many Blessings, Sher Dietrick

I remember Ben Franklin web-input. Ben Franklin--It is like a hole in the ground that had this really cool church and church members. It changed my life and now I am seeking out God's will for my life. I love you guys!!! Jeff Brunz (Note: Jeff has been a Teen Mania Honor Academy intern since January 2001)

Greetings from Frisco,TX! While surfing the web, I came across your site detailing names buried in the Simmons Cemetery in Ben Franklin, TX. One of the names listed was Jackson. I have been to the Simmons Cemetery twice and have never found Jackson’s, although I would very much like to. My ancestors David and Elizabeth Jackson, Andrew and Rebecca Jackson, David C. "Mack" Jackson and Mary are suspected of resting there (deaths 1870-1890). They owned land on the Benjamin Simmons headright near the N. Sulphur River. Can you give me the names of the Jacksons buried in Ben Franklin? Did anyone (such as the churches or pastors) keep records of who was buried there? Are the gravestones the only records? Thanks so much for your time. Charles Dale Jackson []

Simmons Cemetery News: Received donations from FE Kizer for the month of March. Web site input: I just saw there is a committee making plans to improve Simmons Cemetery in Delta County. Do you have any plans to meet in April? I will be in Hunt and Wood County in April and would be able to attend. I saw the cemetery for the first time a year or so ago and was disturbed at its condition. I am a descendant of the Simmon’s family buried there. Has anyone applied to the state historical society for aid? Linda Johnson (Originally Hunt Co) Texas City, TX

As a senior citizen, I have become interested in the genealogy of my ancestors as there is so much more to look back at than there is to look forward to. Along this line, I find the Giddens in Texas in 1854 when Rueben Giddens died in Red River County, Texas. He was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina. His son Hiram Giddens, born 1813 in Kentucky is the father of Hiram Benard Giddens Jr who was born in Danville, Illinois in 1836 and died 14 February, 1916 in Ben Franklin, Texas. Do I know this for a fact? Well, it's there in the www ( so it must be true??? I'm not sure who put the information out there. Anyway, thanks for the information you have already provided me re. Simmons cemetery, and without a doubt, many would appreciate having this information at the site . Bye the bye, our neighbor across the road is Bud Freeman the brother of Shorty Freeman. We wave at each other frequently and meet in person at least once a year. Small world isn't it? Hoyle Shirley

Feb 2001:
Received the following from Sherry Gorman: I am a descendant of Benjamin F. Simmons, who gave the land for the townsite. My lineage in thus, Benj. F. Simmons, Joseph Simmons, Ben Simmons, John Franklin Simmons, Forrest Simmons, Jimmie Simmons McRight (my mother), Sherry McRight Gorman (me). I am AMAZED at the progress made with the restoration of the Simmons Cemetery. I was there about 10 yrs. ago and it was grown up in weeds and trees. I don't know how I can help, except monetarily, but I am very impressed with your work. While my roots began in Ben Franklin, the family later moved to Klondike and from the to other locations. I haven't done much research on the Ben Franklin area, but I do have copies of the land grant from Mexico to Benj. Simmons. I gave copies of them to the Cooper Library, many years ago and if you cannot find them, let me know and I'll get you more copies.I have the two books that were done in the 1970's about the Shiloh Cemetery area and have seen the Delta County book, published just a few years ago. I would like to obtain a copy of it. Do you know how I could go about getting one? Don't feel bad about it, if you can't help me. I just thought I would ask. Thank you so much, again for all the hard work you have done. Please pass my congratulations to all helpers. Keep me posted. Sincerely,

I Remember when my grandmother Eunice Miller was postmaster in Ben Franklin. I think she later married A.B. Crawford. I remember when my father Coleman Foster ashes was buried in the Ben Franklin Cemetery & my mother Julia Foster at the age of 96 was buried there I also have an aunt Bertha Edwards ( dads sister) is buried there. I can remember Jones Waller moving us from west Texas in his truck to Klondike, Texas I would say this was in 1933 My sister Mary Preas would know all of this my niece Julie Lanier lives in Ben Franklin. Long live Ben Franklin! James Foster P.S. any one in Ben Franklin would like to communicate i would be happy to respond.

Hi, I would appreciate having the given names of the Shirley's and Gidden's who are buried in Simmons Cemetery. I rarely get to Delta County anymore to see my cousin Bruce Shirley. Tell him I said Hi. Also, I recall the Flower's , Vandygriff's and Marsh's as being friends of my parents J. D. & Lorene Shirley. Hoyle Shirley

Searching for my family in Delta Co..noticed that you had Humphries/Humphreys buried in this cemetery.. I had found other family buried in the Shiloh Cemetery..wondered if these in your cemetery might be mine also..could you send the first all I found was a surname list..that had Humphreys on it. Thank you so much for your time..Janis

Jan 2001: I am researching the Helms Family. I would like to know if you have any information on George Washington Helms and his wife Charlotte Chapman Helms. I have been told that they went to the Ben Franklin Methodist Church in the 1860's. They lived somewhere in the Charleston area but it is believed that they went to your church. Charlotte was the wife of my gggrandfather Benjamin Gray Chapman. At Chapman's death, she married Mr. Helms. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and will looking forward to hearing from you. Sandra Glenn

Hello, Thank you for your work surveying the Simmons Cemetery and posting the list. I would appreciate the first names of the two listed Hogans and the dates if available. Thanking you, for your kindness, Judy Milliken --

In visiting your Website on Simmons Cemetery, I found these family names of which all are in my genealogy. My Great Grand Father, William M. Stroud, who is buried in Ben Franklin at another Cemetery, came to Delta County, Texas in the 1880's along with daughters, Sarah Jane, who married Caius Woodruff and Lived at Rattan, Lilly, who married William Baggett & Carrie, who married John Tate. William Baggett's daughter, Mollie married Cephas Miller. Ica, my Grand Mother, also a daughter of W. M. Stroud married Hannibal Robinson and they lived in the Giles area before moving to Oklahoma. Hannibal's mother was a Leatherwood. If you could give me the full names of those buried in Simmons Cemetery with the names of Tate, Miller & Leatherwood , I would appreciate it very much. If anyone in your area needs information on the descendants of William M. Stroud, have them to contact me Thanks and Regards, James E. Meggs, 1820 Windhill Ave., Edmond, OK 73034, 405-341-5387.

I am descended from the Ben Franklin Simmons who donated the land for the townsite and the Simmons Acadamy site, along with the Simmons Cemetery. I have not been there in years, but would like to see something done to preserve the areas. I have copies of the land grants given to Mr. Simmons and they are fasinating. I would encourage anyone from the area to pay attention to the history in your backyards. I would be interested receiving e-mail. You can contact me at Thanks for your efforts! Sherry Gorman.

Greetings--I am pursuing research on Rev. William Roland Lay, who was murdered on his farm near Ben Franklin on June 13, 1876. He is buried in Simmons Cemetery. Rev. Lay was said to be a Methodist preacher, and I am wondering if any of your church records date back to the 1870s, and if they may contain any mention of Rev. Lay, including information on his death and burial. Thank you very much for any information you may be able to share! Douglas W. Ellison, P. O. Box 466, Medora, North Dakota 58645, 701-623-4455.

Oct 5, 2000 -- Thanks for the quick response with the information on the new site. It worked and I printed out the register. I know that since you probably have absolutely nothing better to do.....yeah right!!!! You probably are up to your eyebrows in alligators like the rest of us. Seriously though if you do have the time I would love a list with first names and dates of the OWEN, SANDRIDGE, and STOTTS family buried in Simmons Cemetery.

If I could pick your brain a little, are there other cemetery associations in the area for the Camp Shed, Lake Creek, New Klondike, Pecan Gap and Pierce cemeteries that might have similar registers? Also, if you might have any suggestions as to area resources for further research I would love to hear about them. Thank you very much for you help. Jim Sword

Sent: September 5, 2000 6:54:16 PM GMT
Do you have the first names and dates for Jordan, Parks and Wright?I believe that my great grandfather Jordan, an aunt, El Parks, and maybe great grandfather and great grandmother Wright are buried there.Thank you. Don Parks

August 8, 2000--Hello! My name is Rosie Potts and I live in Vancouver, Washington. I am writing to you in regard to family history records and their availability. I am interested in 2 lines of my family that were living in the delta county Texas area in the 1880's by the name of Culp and Medlin. I am in search of a marriage license for George Washington Culp and Pernia Elizabeth Medlin and a birth record for their son Eunice Darrell Culp. If you can help me or point me in the direction of some help that would be wonderful.

May 1, 2000--Do you have any record of the Pruitt family? Ransom Marion Pruitt born 1823-1827, Sevillas Pruitt David Pruitt born 1836, James "Jim" William Pruitt born 1855 in GA, Rachel Elizabeth "Lizzy" Pruitt, This is my grandfather: Delta "Paul" Pruitt born 1898 in Delta County, TX. Any information would be very helpful. Thank you, Michele Chumley ( or P.O. Box 1959 Keller, TX 75244-1959 P.S. I've been through Ben Franklin and stopped at your church. It is very pretty and peaceful around there.

Dear Friends, I found your web site while I was looking at Delta County history, and I'm interested in purchasing a set of the BF postcards. My grandfather was Eldred Good from Cooper Texas. We just had a family reunion in Cooper over the weekend, and I'm in the process of going through some written history I recently received. I know Ben Franklin is close to Cooper, but don't know if the Cooper church and Ben Franklin have done any cooperative ministries. Do you have any written histories of your church? Thanks so much. Barb Good, 100 Gary Ave. #407 Wheaton IL 60187

Sept 6, 1999--My name is Lawrence A. McMillan. 15439 Morning Star Circle. Eustace, TX 75124--(903) 887-2391. . My dad was born in Ben Franklin 11-9-1920. His name was Lawrence Cleo McMillan. His mother was Lucy Morgan, later Lucy Hadaway. I was told by my great uncle Joe Miller (that lives in Cooper) that my dad's father was Howell McMillan, & his father was Robert McMillan. Recently I obtained a 1920 Delta County Census. The names Robert McMillan, wife Lou, daughter Myrtle, son Howell. This family lived in Ben Franklin at time of census. I was also informed that Howell died in 1923 which coincides with what my dad told me. From information received from my uncle and information obtained from the census, I believe this could be my dad's family. My dad died 8-24-1964 and he never knew his dad or his family. My sisters and I have been trying to find relatives on the McMillan side, for not knowing anyone or anything about the McMillans has left a void in our lives.

August 30, 1999--My great-great grandfather Talifario B. Chaffin was the donor of the land on which the Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1854. Is this the same as the Ben Franklin UMC? Also are there any cemeteries associated with any of the churches in Ben Franklin? Thanks for any info you can supply. James B. Chaffin -- 402 June St. Bryan, TX 77802 --

June 21, 1999--We were in Ben Franklin on June 9th . The church sure is a pretty one. Is there any way I could find out if I have any kin folk buried in Ben Franklin? We looked through the one there right in town, and also walked through the Baptist Hill, but so many are in the under growth there it's hard to see them all. Who would have that info? I'm working on a family history, and am still looking for great greats! Carol Free --

March 1, 1999--Note from James E. Meggs--A friend of mine, Zouella Hargrave, here in Edmond, Oklahoma, gave me a copy of your last, "News from Ben Franklin". I have a lot of Roots in Ben Franklin. My Great Grandfather, William M. Stroud is buried there (1923) as well as some of his children. I am related to the Tate, Boss, Miller, Baggett, Woodruff (Rattan) families. My Mother was a Robinson and they lived in the Giles community. Hearing about Ben Franklin brought back some fine memories of the 20's and 30's. My hobby is genealogy and I would like to hear from anyone interested in the families listed above. Warmest Regards.

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