Old Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Lamar County, TX
Old Mt. Pleasant should not be confused with Mt. Pleasant Cemetery near Deport in the southeast quadrant. Old Mt. Pleasant is located in the northeast quadrant of the county in Block 33 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993. Information obtained from Kathy Allred and Ann Spencer, PROVIDENCE BAPTIST CHURCH 1868-1983, history, (Wolfe City, 1984). pp. 9-10: "This old cemetery east of Providence Baptist Church is now abandoned. It is about one mile east of the church on a hill. The names have been extracted from the above book which contained no dates. The cemetery has not been officially recorded so some dates are not available at this time. There are more than 19 graves in the cemetery." This cemetery is believed to be the same as the Crane Cemetery.
From a photo copy of BACKWARD GLANCES- FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF THE LATE A. W. NEVILLE, EDITOR OF THE PARIS NEWS, 1936-1956, 'November 15, 1946: Thirty-three years ago when 'Uncle' Joe Givens lacked a few weeks of being 83 years old, he told some friends of what this part of Texas was like when he arrived. He was born in Kentucky in 1830, and came to Lamar County in 1856, after going to California where he remained a short time. He was not a Forty-niner by a few years, and neither did he make a strike, so he returned to his home and then decided to come to Texas. He recalled that when he reached Paris the country around looked rather 'wild' and there was an abundance of wild animals and birds. The talk having brought mention of a revival service then in progress, Uncle Joe told the group something of the old-time camp meetings, compared to which, he opened, the protracted revival meetings, of 1913 were tame affairs. The old-time camp meeting ground, he recalled, was built of double log cabins in the form of a square, with a large shed in the center where the preaching was done. People came from several adjacent counties, and some from across Red River in the Indian Nation to attend the camp meeting, and occupied the log cabins. Sometimes there were a dozen preachers, and they took turns in presenting the bliss of heaven and the penalties of hell in very plain words. The people were summoned to the preaching service by the preacher or one of the men blowing a horn. As showing the abundance of game in those days, Uncle Joe said on summer he and nine other men were a committee to kill venison for food during the meeting. They went out the day before the meeting was to begin, to a thicket adjoining Shockey's Prairie northeast of Paris, starting before daylight. Each of them killed a deer and they were back at the camp by 10 o'clock. They could have killed more, but didn't have room on their horses to carry more than one each. When a deer was killed they took out the entrails, broke the backbone and hung the carcass across the back of the saddle like a pair of saddlebags. Sometimes the deer were not fat enough to cook tastefully so they would catch some possums and cook with the venison. They could kill a beef any time, and sometimes one or more were used to help out on the venison if there was a big crowd to be fed. The camp meeting to which Uncle Joe referred was at old Mount Pleasant, five miles northeast of Paris, near where Uncle Joe lived. He said it was the oldest preaching place in this section. Uncle Jimmy Graham, for whom Graham street was named because his home and school were on that street, was the principal preacher at these early meetings. The shed and buildings, when Uncle Joe was telling his story, had long since fallen away, but the Methodist Church still owned the ground and graveyard near where the buildings had stood.'
Lamar County Texas Deed Book 2-Q, p. 36: 'The State of Texas Know all men by these presents: that County of Lamar we R. D. Wilkins, Robt. Caviness, John Emberson, Jesse Caviness, W. D. Long, Wm. Huddle and B. R. Shafer of the County of Lamar and State of Texas, for and in consideration of the lot or tract of Land hereinafter described being dedicated and former set apart for public use, to wit a Burial Ground, have granted, sold and conveyed and by these presents, do grant, bargain, sell and convey unto Marshall Ewer, Thomas Ingram and Jasper Crain, Trustees and to their successors, a certain tract of Land situated in the County of Lamar and State of Texas and described as follows to wit: Beginning at 2___? bushes on the South Boundary line of a survey made for John S. Lovejoy, and a corner of a survey made for John L. Moore move South with Moores line 30 poles to a stake, two willow oaks and ___? ___? Then West with Moores line 24 poles to a stake, Thence North 30 poles a stake, Then East 24 poles to the place of Beginning containing 4 1/2 acres more or less of the W. Askins Headright. To have and to hold the afore described premises, together with all and singular the rights, members, improvements, habitaments, appurtenances thereto in anywise belonging unto the said Ewer, Ingram and Crain Trustees and to their successors forever in fee simple, And we do hereby bind ourselves, heirs, executors, administrators to forever warrant and defend the right and title to the said premises unto the said Trustees and to their successors, against any person whomsoever, lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof, by transfer or _____? Witness our hands this 24th day of March A D 1883. R. D. Wilkins, John Emberson, Jesse Caviness, William Huddle, Robt. Caviness, W. P. Long.'
Lamar County Texas Deed Book 2-Q, p. 90-91: 'The State of Texas Know all men by these presents: that County of Lamar we R. D. Wilkins, Robt. Caviness, Jno Emberson, Jesse Caviness, W. P. Long, Wm. Huddle and B. R. Shafer of the County of Lamar and State of Texas, for and in consideration of Thirty four and 85/100 Dollars to us in hand paid by Joe Givins, for which he has this day executed his note Nov. 1st 1883, bearing Ten percent per annum interest from date until paid and vendors lien is hereby reserved on the Lands herein described, have granted sold and conveyed, and by these presents, do grant, bargain sell and convey unto the said Joe Givens and to his heirs and assigns a certain tract of Land situated in the County of Lamar and State of Texas, and described as follows, to wit: A part of the lot known as the Mount Pleasant Church property. Beginning at the NW corner of 4 1/2 acre tract deeded by us to Marshall Ewer, Thomas Ingram and Jasper Crain for a Burial Ground by deed bearing date 24th day of March 1883, Thence South Thirty Poles, a stake in SB line of original 13 acres tract held by us in trust. Thence West 46 poles with said line to a stake 11 feet South of Hickory Marked X. Thence North thirty poles to a stake and ask on the SB line of Lovejoys survey. Thence East with its line 46 poles to the place of beginning, containing 8 1/2 acres, more or less out of the W. Askins Headright. To have and to hold the above described premises, together with all and singular the rights, members, improvements, habitaments and appurtenances thereto in anywise belonging unto the said Joe Givens his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple. And we do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators to forever warrant and defend the right and title to the said premises unto the said Joe Givens his heirs and assigns, against any persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof. Witness our hands the 27th day of March A D 1883. R. D. Wilkins, B. R. Shaffer, John Emberson, Jesse Caviness, William Huddle, Robt. Caviness, W. P. Long.'
THE PARIS NEWS, Sunday, Nov. 26, 1944: 'Mount Pleasant-Providence Settlers
Formed One of First Temperance Groups in Lamar Co.-- by Joe B. Caldwell (Information
given by J.P. Ford, Mrs. J.O. Sisson, Mrs. F.O. Reed and Mrs. Roy F. Thompson
On a cool, windswept hill, about five miles northeast of Paris, stand three stately cedars, lofty sentinels that were planted by loving hands a century ago to mark the burying place of pioneer dead. In early days the hillside was covered with great old oaks but a woodchopper, apparently unmindful of the vigil these sturdy oaks were keeping over that sacred ground, chopped them down, and in the process of falling the trees or from age and erosion many of the tombstones are flattened out. This is the old Crane burying ground, and nearby once stood a church called Mount Pleasant. This first church community was established and the Mount Pleasant Church was built by Matthew Reed- who came to Texas in 1844- John Gaines, Bill Stephens, and Jasper Crane, Elby Crane, who was buried there in 1853 and John Crane Sr. buried there in 1867 at the age of 89, no doubt supervised the building of this pioneer church, as both were becoming aged when the church was built. Others of this early community were the Baileys, Guthries, Garrets, Russells and Wilsons and doubtless a few more early families whose names are lost in the passing of time. Although the early Mount Pleasant Church was a Baptist, many other denominations worshiped there, James 'Daddy' Graham, who established a school in Paris that still bears his name, preached at Old Mount Pleasant, although he was a Methodist. The old church was of logs and like others of its time, could not accommodate the large crowds that attended the services, as here came frontier folk for miles around for spiritual comfort and social contacts denied them except at rare intervals, and a large brush arbor was constructed beside the church from time to time where great revivals were held, revivals that built foundation of Christian fellowship that exists to this day- 100 years later.
New Church Built-- In the early 1870's this first log church was replaced by a new church building constructed about half a mile west of the original site and this second church was renamed Providence. This church founded on the faith of its forefathers, and of such sound material construction, stands today and accommodates many progeny of the original settlers of the community; truly a fitting monument to those old pathfinders. Active in the building of the new church were the Gains, Landers, Givens and Mullins families and the later church was built on land contributed by Uncle Joe Givens as also was the cemetery alongside. Others who settle round about the Providence-Mount Pleasant community as the years went by, but prior to 1900, were the following: Ingram, Meeks, Rhodes, Rose, Coldwell, Barnett, Goode, Bartee, Grubbs, Rosson, Parchman, Whitten, Hoffman, Franklin, Sisson, Taylor, Crane, Pike, Herron, Nowell, Freeman, Upton, Barber, Bullard, Hice, Moore, Madding, Stuart, Nance, Saffold, Francis, Fletcher, Dulaney, Tibbs, Tyler, Morris, Nixon, Coker, Neel, DeWitt, Smith, Hickman, Walton, Saylors, Messenger, Adams, Stone, Goff, Strickland, Burke, Yeats, Holland, Perrin, Bybee, Patterson, Scarborough, Carroll, Baker, Woolsey, Peace, Keith, Long, Casey, Harris, Holmes, Burnett, Luck, Walters, Hightowers, Mathews, Brandon, Jumper, and Morgan. Early pastors were the Reverends John, Jerry and Sam Crane, J.O. Sisson, Harden, Hunter and Buckner. The Reverend Sisson preached for 15 years and during one of his revivals held in a brush arbor alongside the church there were 54 conversions. The Reverend Buckner often walked from Paris out to the church to preach; he later established Buckner's Orphan Home at Dallas, a world famous institution. He is also mentioned in connection with other early churches in Lamar County. There were seven of the Crane boys, son of Jasper Crane, and five of them were preachers. They too preached in many of the other early churches of Lamar County. Here was established in the early days one of the first temperance groups in Lamar county.
The society was called 'Friends of Temperance' and the following charter was granted them under date of Aug. 27, 1872: 'Friends of Temperance, State Council of the State of Texas. Know ye, that the State Council of the Friends of Temperance have granted and do grant unto J. M. Gaines, W. H. Nowell, T. Mullins, J. Schencke, J. Cromwell, Jos. Proctor, Henry Clark, Robert Givens, Frank [Francis O.] Reed, Miles Wilson, W.A. Rice and James Irvin, a charter to Providence Council No. 244, located in the Providence Church.' This charter, a well printed and dignified appearing document, is signed by Wm. Carey Crane, president, and J. E. Porter, secretary.
Help Make County Dry-- Other church and social groups joined with Providence in the temperance movement and succeeded in making Lamar County dry the latter part of the 19th century, and the sentiment of the county remained preponderantly in favor of prohibiting the legalized sale of liquor ever since. The good wife of one of the early preachers, Mrs. J. O. Sisson, still pert and chipper despite her 81 years, lives in Paris. Mrs. Sisson vividly recalls the early history surrounding the church community at Providence. And all though some 60 years have elapsed since her wedding to the Rev. Sisson, she recalls with a chuckle that on her wedding day, three other suitors beside her bridegroom took dinner at her home. Yes, some of those early-day belles cut quite a swath. All of the real old-timers who settles the early church community of old Mount Pleasant have long since passed on, and most of the earliest settlers who established the church at Providence are likewise at rest in the peaceful cemetery nearby, but many of their offspring still live in the vicinity and there is hardly a family in Lamar County who does not bear blood or marriage relationship to some of them. Yes, they founded well, spiritually and physically, and the results of that firm foundation are exemplified in the lives of their people in Lamar County and throughout the Nation.'
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