Sabine County Historic Markers - Cemeteries

  • Title: William Gasby Cemetery.
    • Location: Off State Highway 21, at New Zion Methodist Church, 2 miles southwest of Geneva.
    • Marker Inscription:
      Originally part of a Spanish land grant issued in 1794 to Ignacio Pifermo, the surrounding land was acquired in 1870 by former slave William Gasby. This cemetery was established when Gasby donated four acres of land for a burial ground to be used by the neighboring black community. While the earliest marked grave, that of Mouzeria Thompkins, dates from 1889, there are many sites marked only with rocks, indicating the cemetery probably was in use prior to that time. William Gasby was a prominent leader in the black community and in the development of the nearby town of Geneva. He owned and operated a blacksmith shop and cotton gin on his properly. Upon the death of his first wife, Mary, Gasby married Bettie Elizabeth Clay. All three are buried in this cemetery, as are many of their descendents. Another prominent black leader buried here is Alfred Canton, a minister who helped organize the County Line Missionary Baptist Church in 1868. Also known as the New Zion Cemetery for its association with New Zion Methodist Church, this grave yard is an important part of Sabine County history.
  • Title: Isaac Low Cemetery.
    • Location: El Camino Bay Subdivision, 15 miles east of Hemphill, via Farm Road 83.
    • Marker Inscription:
      A veteran of the War of 1812, Isaac Low (1781-1853) migrated to this area from Tennessee in 1828. During the Texas Revolution he operated a nearby ferry across the Sabine River to aid settlers fleeing from the advancing Mexican Army. He later served as a commissioner for Sabine County. His son, Jesse Low (1812-1848), whose grave is the earliest marked at this site, donated the land for use as a cemetery. Also buried here are Reddick Pitt Sibley, a captain during the Civil War, and Eli Low, whose 1883 murder resulted in a three year feud in the surrounding area.
  • Title: Hemphill Cemetery.
    • Location: Two blocks south of Sabine County Courthouse, Hemphill.
    • Marker Inscription:
      The burials in this cemetery reflect the early history of Hemphill as a developing commercial center and seat of government. The oldest marked grave dates from 1867, nine years after the town was founded. The early gravestone marks the burial site of pioneer settler Marier C. Morris (1845-1867), the daughter of Jubal H. Ragan, an early area physician. Early records of the cemetery were lost in an 1875 courthouse fire, but it is believed the original tract of land for the burial grounds was donated by Simon Newsome Beckcom and William T Morris. The site was later enlarged by additional donations of property. The first school in the area, the Sabine Valley institute, was located in a Masonic Lodge building on adjacent land which was also used for early religious services. Burials here include those of pioneer area settlers, of several wars, early leaders of the community, and elected officials of the city, county, and district levels of government. Also interred here is Simeon R. Williams, who served this area as a state legislator. Still in use, the historic Hemphill Cemetery serves as a reminder of the area 's rich heritage.
  • Title: Scurlock Cemetery.
    • Location: Off Goat Hill Road, via State Highway 21 and Farm Road 1, four miles east of Geneva.
    • Marker Inscription:
      This cemetery is named for North Carolina native William Scurlock (1807-1885), a veteran of the Texas Revolution, who is buried here. He and his brother, Mial, migrated to Texas in 1834 and constructed a log cabin in this vicinity. The following year they enlisted in the Texas Revolutionary Army. Known as the "man with the charmed life", William served in the Siege of Bexar, the Battle of Agua Dulce, and participated in the Matamoros Expedition. Captured by Mexican forces at Goliad and used as a medical assistant, he escaped the massacre of Col. James W. Fannin 's troops. He later eluded his captors and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Mial Scurlock was Killed at the fall of the Alamo. After the war Capt. Scurlock served in the Republic of Texas Congress (1838-1840) and fought in the Mexican War (1846-1848) before settling here. His wife Frances (1821-1902) was the daughter of William A. and Phenaty Thompson, pioneer settlers of the area. The earliest marked grave here is that of their son, George, who died in 1864. Also buried here is Confederate veteran W. J. Walton (1838-1916). Captured at Jonesboro, Georgia, in 1864, he spent the remainder of the Civil War in an Illinois military prison.
  • Title: Dennis Cemetery.
    • Location: Off State Highway 103 near Pale Gaucho Bayou, west of Milam.
    • Marker Inscription:
      This cemetery was established prior to 1836, when Texas was part of Mexico. Located on the property later donated by pioneer settler Isaiah Hamilton, it was used as a burial site for slaves of the area around the pioneer Sulphur Spring community. The significance of the historic Dennis Cemetery is reflected in the lives of individuals buried here. Gravesites include those of Easter Scurlock, later Mrs. Randall Sneedy, and Henry Smith, who came to Texas in 1834 with their owner, Captain William Scurlock, a celebrated veteran of the Texas Revolution two years later. Following emancipation in 1865 both former slaves figured prominently in the development of the area's black community. Two of Easter's sons, Dave and Dick, who acquired the family name of Jim Dennis when they were sold to him, also became active leaders here. Descendents of slaves buried at this site live in the area. No longer in use, the Dennis Cemetery contains more than 100 graves. The burial ground now serves as a reminder of Texas' early history and of the area's rich heritage. It is a symbol of pride for the local black community, which was founded on the efforts of pioneer slaves and freedmen interred here.
  • Title: Meador Cemetery.
    • Location: Off State Highway 87, north of Milam.
    • Marker Inscription:
      Virginia-born Dr. Richard A. Meador (1808-1853) and his wife, Mary Ann (Tucker) (1818-1864), came to Sabine County in 1844 and built a home near this site. Their young child, Sarah, died in 1850, and the family buried her in their garden, since there was no public cemetery at that time. The garden was firmly established as the Meador Family Cemetery with the burial of other family members, many of whom were important in the development of Sabine County. There are approximately forty graves here, which are maintained by the Meador Family Cemetery Association.
  • Title: Payne-Williams Cemetery.
    • Location: One mile south of Geneva off State Highway 21.
    • Marker Inscription:
      John (1784-1848) and Margaret (1788-1857) Payne came to Texas from Georgia about 1835. A veteran of the War of 1812, John served Sabine County as a justice of the peace and as a state legislator. He set aside land for this cemetery, where many of his descendents are buried including his son, Epperson Duke Payne (1810-1840), who served at the Siege of Bexar and the Battle of San Jacinto. Others interred in the small graveyard include Civil War veteran Lewis Williams (1836- 1916) and several of his relatives and descendents

Need more in-depth information about Sabine County Cemeteries of related genealoghical records?

The following books are available:

  • MCD101 - Cemeteries of Sabine County Yexas 1840-2004 Vol 1: History and expanded burial index for a number of cemeteries including father, mother, spouse, military service branch, state born in, and marriage date if known. 131 pages
  • MCDMS102 - Carroll Springs Cemetery Henderson County Texas 1859-2004. Similar information to above. 65 pages
  • MCD103 - Cemeteries of Newton County Texas 1830-2004 Vol 1: Similar information to above. 73 pages
  • MCD 104 - Cemeteries of Sabine County Yexas 1850-2005 Vol 2: 5 black cemeteries; lots of pictures and 2 fold out charts showing descent of black families from 1803. 155 pages.
  • JFI101 Sabine County Texas Marriage Records 1880-1930: 202 pages.

Contact Weldon & Beth McDaniel, P. O. Box 174, Hemphill, TX 75948 - (409) 787-3132 or email mcdaniel1@valornet.com