McEwin Cemetery, Lamar County, TX
McEwin Cemetery is in the northwest quadrant of the county in Block 23 of
the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised
GPS coordinates are 33.76000 Latitude and -95.59470 Longitude
In Paris at the intersection on Loop 286 North and Hwy 271 North take Hwy 271 north for 3.5 miles to the intersection with FM 1499, Take FM 1499 westerly for 3.3 miles to a driveway on the right or north. (-95.59090 Longitude). The cemetery is north/northwest about 600 yards in a pasture near a large pool. It is nicely fenced but overgrown to waist high.. (The property belongs to Mark Buster.)
Information submitted, 24 June 1992, by Mary Posey Tallant, 3240 Robin Rd., Paris, TX 75460: 'McEwin Cemetery is located near Caviness in the northwest quadrant of the county somewhere off Farm Market Road #1499 in a field with a locked gate.' There are a total of 61 known graves in the cemetery with George B. Caviness being the oldest inscribed grave with a death date of 12 Feb 1862. The cemetery is in disrepair with most all the stones fallen and broken. Mrs. T.D. Ball, of Paris, is known to be able to find the gate that leads to the cemetery.
The cemetery was also recorded by Elizabeth Booth and all entries have been double checked against her records. Mrs. Booth reported another 29 unmarked graves in the cemetery. Also according to her William McEwin donated the land. There is no record of any McEwins buried here except William's daughter who married James B. Dodson. On 20 May 1992 THE PARIS NEWS recorded a story in its 'Looking Back' column saying that McEwin and Casey cemetery were moved in 1942. This was never done.
THE PARIS NEWS, Friday, April 19, 1996, p.4A: 'County Pioneers Need Resting Place. Those fond of local history know that cemeteries are a great window back through time. Lamar and surrounding counties are rich with little, country graveyards, some in great shape with organizations and maintenance funds and some in not so great shape with cows walking through them, weeds taking over and weekend vandals wreaking havoc on their sanctity. The Lamar County Genealogical Society says at least one or two uncharted cemeteries turn up every year, some with just a family headstone or two in the middle of a pasture. Others are known about and plotted on a map, but are hard to get to or have no one who puts forth any effort to keep them in respectable shape. One of those recently caught the attention of a concerned group who are mobilizing to save it from the elements of time, weather and lack of care. I got a letter from Robert Nance, a Fort Worth man with roots here, who wanted to tell me the story. In 1857, three men met to establish a church: William McEwin, a Cumberland Presbyterian, Robert Caviness, a Methodist, and Moses Sumner, a Baptist (note any names there.) They established Mount Tabor Church just east of what is now the Caviness community on Farm Road 1499. Some years later the church was moved west of Caviness. It was a custom for church members to be buried in a cemetery owned and maintained by their church in those days, and the original Mount Tabor cemetery still stands near the first church location. It's on a grant of land donated by McEwin. Somehow, some way through those years, a McEwin cemetery was founded not far from Mount Tabor, named, no doubt, for the man who owned most of the land in the area. A dispute exists as to whether it was moved from its original location in 1942, about the time the United States procured, land for the construction of Camp Maxey. A story in Nance's family exists that his grandmother told government agents they could not move another family member's grave and they honored her request. Whether or not McEwin cemetery was moved, it's now on land owned by a local resident who has agreed to offer his assistance to Nance and others who are working to clean it up from the weeds and establish a bank account for its maintenance. The oldest inscribed stone is for George B. Caviness, buried in 1862, and the newest is for Sarah Dodson Caviness, buried in 1916. There are 60 marked graves and 30 unmarked with many familiar surnames of Lamar County families represented. The cemetery is no longer fenced, though it was at one point, and some of the wooden markers are in danger of being lost forever rotting to harsh summer sun. Nance said cattle, vandals or both have taken their toll on the headstones. 'It's sad to see how the graves of some of the pioneers of Lamar County are faring,' he said. Many cemetery organizations exist in the Red River Valley. Some time-honored traditions include homecoming and clean-up day when picnics on the grounds are held while concerned family members pay their respects through labor and reverence to ancestors' final resting places. 'Our express purpose is to restore the cemetery to a condition that our ancestors would not be ashamed of,' Nance said. Anyone interested in joining their efforts can call Connie Ball at 785-1735, or by writing to Nance care of a Powderly address: Route 1, Box 196-1, Powderly, TX 75473.'
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