Continuing The Visit

Just to give you an idea of the area of the state we were covering here is an image of the page in The Roads of Texas – 5th Edition map book I use to travel our state…

So, now that we have visited Friendship and Bryant Station it’s time to try and find McCann Cemetery. McCann is the only one of the cemeteries on our list that is not marked at the road. Since it’s been over a decade since we last visited it, I was worried we might have trouble finding the cemetery. Once we got close though, my memories from that earlier visit snapped into focus on the landscape of the day and I new where we were.

McCann Cemetery

The drive into McCann is actually across a private field. It’s nothing more than two dirt tracks through some very high grass. It makes you hope you aren’t mistaken and trespassing on someones private land. Through two unmarked field gates, across a dry creek and around a stand of trees you travel before you actually see the cemetery…

Doing some research on this cemetery I have discovered that it is thought to have once been in Bell County before the borders of the counties shifted. It is said most of the folks buried here are thought to have lived around Rogers, Texas in that county.

There are five graves here that interest us. Two belong to Sherry’s Great Great Grandparents Louis and Betti Tippit. Louis was killed while breaking horses at Bryant Station in 1885. Betti died nine years later and their three daughters went to live with Bettie’s brother Redden Johnson who was running a hotel in Buckholts at the time.

The third grave we are sure of is where Josie Bell Bales was laid to rest in 1914 at the age of two. She was Sherry’s Grandaunt. The story is that she ate a green pecan and died of the poison.

The final two graves here are not known to be of her family, but the name of the two boys buried here is the same as a family name that is rare in this part of the country, so they are probably related, just unproven at this point.

As with the other cemeteries we visited, the wildflowers were in magnificent bloom here. Since we were here the last time someone has been busy cleaning and clearing. When we were last here Josie Bell was almost covered with overgrown bushes. I was almost not able to find the grave up against the fence…Today the cemetery is clear and cleaned…Peaceful and beautiful…

The shot above isn’t of Sherry’s relatives, just a general shot of some of the early graves at McCann Cemetery.

McCann Cemetery Listing

Minerva Community Cemetery

It was time to head for the Minerva Cemetery and Sherry’s Grandparents and Step-Father’s resting place. All of the cemeteries we had visited so far had been on Sherry’s Dad’s side of the family, now we were switching over to her Mom’s side. Sherry’s Uncle Jackie take care of the upkeep on this one so after our visit we were planning to swing by and visit for a while before heading toward Brenham for the night.

Minerva, Texas is where Sherry spent a bit of time growing up. Minerva is like a whole lot of small towns in Texas…It once was larger than it is now…

MINERVA, TEXAS. Minerva is on U.S. Highway 77 six miles south of Cameron in central Milam County. It was named for Minerva Adeline Sanders, who donated land for a railroad station when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built through the area in 1891. A post office opened in 1892. A shallow oilfield was discovered near Minerva in 1921, prompting a small boom; oil production peaked in 1927, with a gross yield of 455,985 barrels for the year. Though the oilfield continued to support a small refining operation, Minerva remained a largely agricultural community. The town lost its rail service in 1959, when the Texas and New Orleans abandoned the section of track between Cameron and Giddings. The Minerva post office was discontinued in the mid-1960s. Two churches and three businesses marked the community on county highway maps in the 1980s, when the population was reported as sixty. It was still reported as sixty through 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956). Margaret Eleanor Lengert, The History of Milam County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1949). Milam County Heritage and Preservation Society, Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/hnm48.html (accessed April 28, 2010).

The shadows were beginning to get long when we pulled up here…

But, again, the peaceful setting, the freshly painted fences, the wildflowers blooming…All demanded we spend time wandering through the whole cemetery and not just visiting Sherry’s family.

After a bit of walking the heat of the day was starting to become a bit much so we headed for the car. I had to stop and snap a shot that I first snapped over thirty years ago when I was first here for Sherry’s Step-father’s funeral before we were married…

We headed for Sherry’s Uncle’s house for a visit. That is when we heard that Sherry’s cousin had been up in Milam County that day doing the same thing we were. Visiting cemeteries…Visiting ancestors…We also were told about the last cemetery…One we didn’t know about before that point where Sherry’s Great Grandparents were buried…Since it was getting late and we really wanted to see this cemetery we had been unaware of, we said our goodbyes, received directions, and hit the road one more time…

San Andres Cemetery

On the map this cemetery is called San Andres. Sherry’s Uncle called it Lebanon. No mater what it’s called it looks as though it’s just been found and is being reclaimed from the woods that grew up around it. But find it we did…And it was before the light was completely gone…

So The trip was a success all around. We found all of the places we were looking for, added a new site to our list of places to visit whenever we are in the area, and enjoyed a beautiful late spring day in the country. Blue skies, wildflowers and spring greenery…What more could a person ask for on a road trip?

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