Lee / Hazel Dell Cemetery, Lamar County, TX
Lee Cemetery, sometimes called Hazel Dell or Lee Hazel Dell, is located in the southern tip of the southeast quadrant of the county. It is in Block 61 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993.
To reach the cemetery, proceed south on FM 1497 from its intersection with Loop 286 South. Continue on FM 1497 for 6 miles. Turn left (east) to continue on FM 1497 for .7 miles. Turn right (south) on FM 1498 and follow it for about 6 miles. Turn right (south) off 1498 onto County Road 15900. Cemetery is 1/4 mile from main road and then about 100 feet east of the road across a barbed wire fence.
GPS coordinates are 33° 28' 11.62 N, 95° 31' 10.03 W. (33.46760 Latitude and -95.51884 Longitude)
Part of the graves are inside a chain link fence and the rest are scattered and broken. A sign reads, 'Private Cemetery founded by Rev. and Mrs. D.C. Lee in 1895.' The cemetery has always been known as the Lee Cemetery. Because there are 3 Lee Cemeteries in the county, Hazel Dell is added to differentiate between the others. The cemetery contains 41 graves including the unknowns. The oldest inscribed grave in the cemetery is that of Sammie Lee who died 21 Sep 1895. The cemetery was recorded by Betsy Mills and Elizabeth House on March 2, 1992. Supplemental biographies and dates of the deceased were provided by Carmen Lee Burks [deceased], who was genealogical historian of the family the cemetery is named after.
Elijah Lee was the son of Frances Richey and Clemmon Lee. He was born in Buncombe Co., NC, and died at Blossom, TX. In 1894, Hannah Rhea and Elijah Lee Sr., their children and their families and several relatives came to Lamar Co., from Monroe Co., TN. Most settled around the Slabtown and Hazel Dell areas where they bought land along Hickory Creek. William Charlie Lee and Marion Giles bought a sawmill and equipment, hauling their lumber to Paris. Elijah Sr. mostly supervised his adult grandsons in the construction of homes. He also bought and sold several tracts of land. After depleting the supply of lumber, the land was then sold for farming. Rev. David Columbus Lee, a Baptist minister, and his family settled several miles east. After a year they sold that land and moved to land they owned where the cemetery is now located. The 'Lee Clan' built a Baptist church where D.C. and his brother in law, Isaac Giles, took turns preaching. By 1901 the family had lost most of its members, believing the creeks to contain malaria. On Nov 7, 1901, Rev. D.C and wife Nancy deeded part of their land for a Baptist Church [LCR Bk.102 p.417], naming Elijah Sr., deacon, and William C. Lee, clerk their successors and trustees. In 1993, Elijah Lee's grave was unmarked.
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