Thursday, October 26, 2017

Davidson Cemetery

By Edna Tate

I have a hobby. Do you? Mine is low energy and can take you many places. Guess what it is. Mud wrestling? No! Taking guided tours of Walmart? No! My favorite hobby is touring cemeteries where you can see the events of history tied together.

A great place to do this is Davidson Cemetery in Palo Pinto County, Texas. Tall trees shade most of the grounds while a Thurber brick wall surrounds the private family cemetery. Only descendants of the original pioneer families and those married to descendants are allowed burial there. Visitors to the cemetery can walk around, read inscriptions, or take the challenge of researching the history behind the names engraved on the stones.
Davidson Cemetery

 Who is buried at Davidson Cemetery? Frontiersmen, Civil War veterans, ranchers, homemakers, and social leaders who shaped the history of Palo Pinto County found their final rest here. Locals name the cemetery after Joseph Peter Davidson who settled in the area in 1856.

Joseph Peter Davidson, known affectionately as “Uncle Peter,” worked as a surveyor helping new settlers find land for homesteading. The Davidson family played a prominent role in the civic life of Palo Pinto County, becoming the charter members of the first Methodist church in the county. He also helped organize the first Masonic fraternity in Eastland County, Alameda Lodge number 467.

Davidson died of pneumonia on March 13, 1897. After his burial near his home in Strawn, his friends S. Bethel Strawn and W. Stuart named the cemetery in honor of their friend. In 1922, the children of J. N. Stuart and W. M. Allen erected the ornate Thurber brick fence. The Texas Historical Commission erected a historical marker to Davidson outside the cemetery gates in 1978 where it still stands today.

A walk through any cemetery gives hints about the history of any area. Further research about those buried in Davidson cemetery reveals the history of the Eastland, Palo Pinto and Strawn frontier. Each grave makes a contribution to the tale of the Davidson Cemetery.