EDGAR Family Cemetery
Decoration Day 2013
A Decoration Day at the old EDGAR Family Cemetery is scheduled for Saturday, April 6th. The cemetery is remote, on private land, near the location of the old Edgar family homestead in the Edgar community, between Cuero and Yoakum. The Edgar family’s first-born son, Joseph Smith Edgar, was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21,1836 (almost 177 years ago).
The cemetery dates to 1863 when the first burial is believed to have occurred there. The James Edgar family had moved to DeWitt County, TX from Maury County, TN in late 1853 to settle on a third of a league of land (1,476.1 acres) which was a first class headright grant, awarded to their first-born child, Joseph Smith Edgar, for his presence in Texas prior to the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on 02 Mar 1836. Ten children are known to have been born to James Edgar and his wife, Selah Witherington, between 1818 and 1835. There were nine boys and one girl, and they all came to Texas.
The 17-year-old Joseph came first, in late 1835. He joined the Texas Army, and he was a member of Capt. Robert Calder's Infantry Company K, 1st Regiment, Texas Volunteers at the Battle of San Jacinto. In addition to the headright grant described above, Joseph was also awarded a donation grant of 640 acres for his service at the Battle of San Jacinto and a bounty grant of 320 acres for his service in the Texas Army in general.
Unfortunately, Joseph died before he ever saw any of the land he had earned. He died 09 Jul 1837 at the home of Capt. James Gibson Swisher on the Swisher Farm near the Old Gay Hill community in Washington County. Capt. Swisher was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and he was from the same area in middle Tennessee as was the Edgar family.
In addition to Edgar family members, numerous other burials occurred in the old EDGAR Family Cemetery of relatives by marriage and of friends and neighbors. Some of the surnames of those known to have been buried in the cemetery include: Abel, Batchelor, Bates, Bell, Bennett, Bouldin, Brown, Carr, Dikes, Donnell, Duke, Dykes, Edgar, Farquhar, Hadley, Hugo (or von Hugo), Jacobs, Ladd, Lee, Luce, Mahler, McAdoo, McCormick, McMeen, Means, Mikes, Mikesh, Murphey, Newsome, Nyegaard, Odom, Pincham, Powers, Pridgen, Rackley, Reader, Robinson, Skeen, Sparkman, Strown, Taylor, Welch, Witherington and Young.
There will be two 3-hr work sessions at the cemetery, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and a visitation period in early afternoon for those unable to attend either work session. A lunch at a local restaurant will include an organizational meeting aimed at forming an EDGAR Family Cemetery Association (“EFCA”) with the objectives of restoring, regularly tending, and preserving the cemetery.
Anyone interested in attending a work session, the visitation at the cemetery and/or the luncheon should contact the EDGAR Family Cemetery Association via email at EFCA1853@gmail.com. More information about the cemetery, the EFCA, and Decoration Day 2013 can be found at the cemetery’s website at http://parkerhannah.com/EdgarFamilyCemetery/Welcome.html.
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