Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Glimpse into Kyle Cemetery: My GGGGrandfather James Malachi Gray and Wife Are Buried Here

Kyle Cemetery is located about 8 miles southwest of Elkhart, Anderson County, Texas off Farm Road 319 that leads to Red Town. "The country road leading off 319 to the cemetery is not passable at this time, and I reached it by going through the private property of Mrs. Margaret Moore," stated Velma Kyle Dodd in June, 1985.

Karla Lang, Special Collections Librarian, a distant cousin, and a friend went to Kyle Cemetery iin the early 1990s and photographed 89 burial sites that included some headstones, but mostly depressions in the ground where headstones had been located, but are now mostly gone. The cemetery is on oil and gas lease property and is not available to the general public. Karla explained that they walked for over a mile through rough land to get to the cemetery. The cemetery location is very overgrown with brush and fallen trees. I do not believe that it was ever fenced and cows have possibly trod over it.

This is the present gate to the oil and gas lease property where Kyle Cemetery is located.

Lanny Medlin, a professional Texas photographer and historian, shared pictures with me last summer through Karla Lang that appear at the Kyle Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas website.
See: for Kyle Cemetery.

Kyle Cemetery was established in the 1870s on land that belonged to W. R. W. Kyle. He was an M.D. and was ordained to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1855. Others who have owned the land are O. G. Rogers, Dr. Walkup, and Ms. Moore who owns it now (1985).

Evidence of the condition of Kyle Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas in the early 1990s.

The cemetery is located on a little knoll in the woods. Many of the monuments are in bad shape, and several are broken and scattered about. This old cemetery received its last burial in 1923.

Further evidence of the condition of Kyle Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas in the early 1990s.

Ivey Maurice Brinson, a second cousin recalls, "I walked through the Kyle Cemetery with my father, Ivey McRae Brinson. He is buried at Antrim Cemetery across the county line in Houston County. In the 1970s we went to Kyle [Cemetery]. It was in real bad shape with large trees growing at the graves. We were looking for my GGGGrandfather James Malachi Gray's (b. 1830, Alabama-d. 1922, Texas) grave marker, but never found it. I heard that Uncle Jimmy Gray, a grandson of James Malachi Gray and with the same name, and buried at Antrim Cemetery, had two daughters, Lura and Ethel Audry. They put a marker there after our visit."

Double headstone for GGGGrandfather James Malachi Gray and wife Henrietta Elizabeth Williams Gray at Kyle Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas, probably placed by Great-Granddaughters Lura and Ethel Audry.

James Malachi Gray (1830-1922) was born in Fayette County, Alabama. At the age of 19, he married Henrietta Elizabeth Williams in 1848 at Pleasant Hill (also known as Antrim Community), Texas. His granddaughter Genoa Gray is also buried at Kyle Cemetery.

Headstone of Genoa Gray, 1877-1882, granddaughter of James Malachi and Henrietta Elizabeth Williams Gray.

Genoa Gray had other siblings who were Wilbert Henry Gray (1887-), Athur C. Strickland (1888-), and Paxton Hemby Gray (1892-).