Campbell Cemetery, Lamar County, TX
Campbell Cemetery is in Block 47 near the Atlas community in the southwest quadrant of the county. It is in Block 47 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993.
The cemetery is located about 6 miles southwest of Paris. Take Highway 137 south off Loop 286. Then turn right (west) off of 137 onto Farm Market Road 1506, toward Ambia. Turn north on CR 22910. The cemetery is located about 1/4 mile down at the dead end of County Road 22910. The lane leads to a private home, and the cemetery is on the right hidden within a cedar grove before you reach the gate to the private home. A historical marker identifying the cemetery as a Texas Historic Cemetery is near the entrance.
GPS coordinates are 33° 35' 28.49 N, 95° 37' 08.09 W. (33.5912170 Latitude and -95.6188477 Longitude)
Campbell Cemetery contains 1 1/2 acres sold for $2.50, on Sept. 21, 1906, by executors James H. Hood and Walter Hood, Lamar County Deed Records Book 82, p.205. It contains more than 120 known graves, with many unidentified not counted. The oldest burial is that of Andrew Campbell in 1843. The cemetery was recorded by Tony and Elizabeth Booth on 31 January 1971. The cemetery was cleaned by descendants of the families buried there in 2013.
Also found in the Daughters of the American Revolution Cemetery Collection compiled in 1940, parts of which were donated by the Joseph Ligon Chapter of Paris and copied by Sallie Lee Lightfoot of Paris. The book was located in the Corsicana Genealogical Library, Corsicana, TX., and copied by Betsy Mills and Elizabeth House.
A Warranty Deed located in Lamar County Records Book 82, page 205 filed for record 1 Sep 1896, dated 24 Aug 1896 states: 'Know all men... that me, J. A. Campbell and wife C. J. Campbell of the County of Lamar... in consideration of $12.50 to us in hand paid by the Campbell Graveyard Community... have conveyed.. unto the said Campbell Graveyard Community and to their heirs... to wit about 7 miles south of Paris, and apart of James Campbell Headright and the said land is known as the Campbell Graveyard and being one and one half acre and said land is fenced and the land here in conveyed is all fenced including said fence and all improvements therein and shall be known as the Campbell Graveyard... witness 24 Aug 1896...'
THE PARIS NEWS, Tuesday, August 25, 1998, page 1B:
'In the Woods
Monuments buried deep in the woods that surround Campbell Cemetery
By Bob Merriman
News Staff Writer
Isaiah Davis was born Dec. 16, 1783. When in his late 20s or early 30s, Davis was a soldier in the War of 1812, a private with the Tennessee Mounted Volunteers.
Eunice Wilson Davis, Isaiah's wife, was born in North Carolina in 1787, the year representatives from 13 states met in Philadelphia and put together the U.S. Constitution.
Isaiah and Eunice are buried in Campbell Cemetery, a few miles southwest of Paris. Isaiah died in 1854; Eunice in 1868.
Campbell Cemetery is at the end of a private road. It is a wild place, overgrown, with brambles and thorned vines to tangle feet. There are tall straight cedar trees never trimmed, and whose lower branches are dry and brittle and grow parallel to the ground.
The Davis grave markers are the first thing a visitor sees when walking into the cemetery area. Isaiah's marker is a bronze tablet from the Department of Veterans Affairs; Eunice's a bright white stone with recessed black letters. Both markers are new, placed by relatives this year.
Other markers are old. Few in the one-acre cemetery are close together. Many stones indicate families of the people buried there of some wealth. Other stones reflect lesser affluence.
John W. Crisp is buried in Campbell Cemetery. The tablet for his grave is mortar over stone, with birth and death dates written in when the mortar was wet. Crisp was born March 9, 1823, and died in 1845. Because there is little spacing between words, a message on the stone is difficult to read, but we learn: 'He lived a Christian and died in full assurance of blessed immortality.'
Beneath an elevated area lie seven Campbells. A large granite gravestone sits in the middle of the platform. On the front left half of the stone are the names James Campbell, May 7, 1780 - May 7, 1847; and Mary Campbell, March 4, 1793 - April 23, 1877. On the right half is Andrew J. Campbell, April 4,1825 - ____ 1843.
On the back side of the stone are listed Carroll Campbell, March 4, 1852 - March 4, 1853 and James R. Campbell, April 27, 1859 - June 7, 1868 on the left side, with William Campbell, Feb. 15, 1822 - Oct. 25, 1908 and Elizabeth S. Campbell, Dec. 16, 1830 - Oct. 28, 1894 on the right.
The area on which the stone lies and the Campbells are buried is about 16 feet square, with a foot-high granite border and a roughly 18-inch tall pyramid at each corner. The surface of the area is more than a foot from the ground. The surface seemed unusually solid and even. A shoe scrapped through accumulated leaves, dirt and twigs revealed a stone surface, presumably covering all the approximately 250-square-foot area.
North of that area, three Campbell children are buried - Willie, who died in 1888 at 11 months; Laura Maude, born and died in 1892; and Stella, who was 15 months old when she died in 1900.
In another area of undergrowth is a small crypt, burrowed into by animals.
There is a stone for Thomas H. Scott, born July 30, 1820, in 'Mad Co.' Alabama, died March 14, 1900, in Lamar County. Next to Scott is 'Elisabeth, wife of T. H. Scott,' June 16, 1813 - Nov. 12, 1877, and the inscription, 'Farewell dear wife.'
About the time a visitor decides nothing else is to be seen, more stones appear between the trees or in the thick undergrowth.
In one area is a large piece of granite, about 4 feet across, 2 feet deep and 5 feet high, for John Wooldridge, March 3, 1834 - Feb. 17, 1892, and G. F. Wooldridge, Nov. 20, 1850 - June 17, 1906.
More to the south are three fenced areas, one chain link and two wrought iron. The chain link is relatively new and still shiny, but vines grow across the top and through the links, locking shut the gate.'
THE PARIS NEWS, April 29, 2014: Campbell Cemetery receives Texas Historical
A new Texas historical marker was unveiled April 12 when a few remnants of the original Campbell clan from the Paris area during the Republic of Texas era met at the family cemetery on CR22910 outside of Paris.
“This was the culmination of several years of hard work to make the site more accessible to the public,” said Pat Naiser, seventh general Campbell clan member. “Few of the people involved live in Paris or anywhere near. One family came all the way in from Mississippi, but they felt it was time to see what they had accomplished from long distance.”
Naiser said when she saw photos of the old Campbell Cemetery, she decided to do something for her mother who had passed away in 2011.
“I heard stories all my life about Campbells, Wooldridges, Davises and Stringers from Paris. I wanted to honor her and her ancestors. I didn’t even know there was a family cemetery. I thought everybody was buried in Evergreen, but I found out I was wrong.”
She discovered the cemetery while searching veterans of the Revolutionary War from her mother’s side of the family.
“I came to realize the Campbell descendants from that time in our nation’s history pretty much all ended up in Paris. After more poking around on the internet, I met our now family genealogist Martha Boone, from Vicksburg, Miss. Then I heard more about the cemetery and the condition it was in from the ladies at the Genealogy Library in Paris. I didn’t have a clue what to do to get started,” said Naiser, now the cemetery group ad hoc chairman.
“As far as we could tell back then, the descendants of the people buried there had long gone. We were wrong on that fact, too. We were given the name of the Fowlers who own the property adjacent to the site and contacted them. To my surprise and everyone’s relief, it turned out Bill Fowler was a cemetery buff. We put the word out on some blogs, were able to get a little funding from other descendants, and we were off.”
After three years of cutting down bad trees and clearing leaves and debris, the cemetery no longer holds the title of snake playground.
“In the past, people would come to visit and were afraid to go inside because of the waist-high brush and rattlesnakes,” Naiser said.
Stone markers in the cemetery were damaged. The ones still intact are listing, and the rest are broken in pieces on the ground. Some have disintegrated to the point the words are no longer readable, Naiser said. Boone discovered almost all the people buried there were closely connected by blood and is in the process of linking them on the FindaGrave website.
“Betsy Mills and Sherry Furgeson Ball from the Historical Society and the Genealogical library in Paris got us on the right track. Betsy was instrumental in helping us obtain the [historical] marker. She was able to steer us through the paperwork on the application and saw it through to the end,” Naiser said.
The committee plans to remove the rest of the bad trees, put up a fence and then level and repair the stones.
Naiser said it will take a lot more money than they have for those repairs.
“We are also researching how to re-build the cemetery association. The bylaws are not to be found, and a lawyer is needed to help us write new ones,” Naiser said.
Anyone who might have ancestors buried in the cemetery, or are interested in joining the group, contact the Paris Genealogical Library. To contribute or for information, email Naiser at email@example.com.
To search for names of those buried in this cemetery, click here.
To view pictures of the headstones, click here.
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