History of Lynn Creek
submitted by: Carla Moore
Lynn Creek Cemetery lies in the northwest corner of Jack County, Texas, 12 miles out of Jacksboro. You go 11 miles north of Jacksboro on 281. The sign says Lynn Creek Cemetery where you turn onto a gravel road, east. Go .9 of a mile and there will be a sign on the left saying Lynn Creek Cemetery. Turn left and the lane into the cemetery is about .15 mile.
Lynn Creek Cemetery’s first grave is that of an unknown cowboy who died when his horse fell with him in 1878. In the next twenty years several more people were buried in this same area, including many stillborn babies and young children. Life was hard during these years and many children never grew to adulthood.
On November 15, 1898 three men purchased 5.5 acres of land for a cemetery, including where these graves already existed. These men were J. A. Jackson, Gabe Washburn and Tom Allen. They were Lynn Creek Cemetery Association’s first trustees. They paid W.H. & his wife, M.A., Farmer, $80 for the land.
I, Carla Moore, served as secretary/treasurer from 1979-2001. I have studied the cemetery’s old record books for many years. I was elected Historian in 2003. From 2002-2004, my husband, Doyle Moore, Jr., and I have located many graves that were lost. Several were located from names found in the oldest record books. These graves are now marked with metal crosses painted white. We had three very old, 1901, 1896 and 1889, monuments that were broken and had been for many years. These we repaired and cleaned them up where they can be read easily. One other monument of a child that died in 1888 was broken many years ago. Only the upper half remained. We replaced this marker in 2006 with a small granite marker. I am including pictures of the repaired monuments and the new one. Some of our oldest sandstone markers are only partially readable and some only have initials. We have twelve rock crypts with names for all of them. The death dates for these twelve people are from 1879-1887. Most of these are children. We have 80 graves of unknowns, most of whom are in the old section of the cemetery.
The total number of graves in Lynn Creek Cemetery is 707 as of January 2007. One One of these graves holds the bodies of three small children who died together in a fire that destroyed their home and took their lives. We have nine Civil War veterans, six WW I, twenty-six WW II, one Korean War and one Vietnam War. My husband and I place flags on these graves several times a year and have since 1996. Our Civil War veterans are James Hammil, Henry Jackson, John Jackson, Thomas J. Jackson, Francis Marion Martin, Robert T. Powell, Thomas B. Pursley, Reuben Jackson and George Washington Jones.
Lynn Creek Cemetery is well kept. We have had an organized association to oversee the cemetery since 1898. Our association today consists of three directors, president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, historian, grave records keeper and his assistant. These people meet three or four times a year, as needed, to discuss any business. Every second Sunday in May we have Decoration Day services. We have a program and business meeting. We elect new officers every other year except for the directors. They are elected for life, each one at the death of an existing director. Right now we have a director, Marvin H. Jackson, who will soon have his 95th birthday and is no longer able to function as a director. A younger man, Larry Shields, has been appointed to serve in his absence. At Marvin Jackson’s death a new director will be elected by the people who attend the Decoration Day services. It is open for nominations or they can just elect the man who has been serving as director. Our other directors at this time are Clyde Bloodworth and Ronnie Wigington. Burial records are kept by Doc Wigington with Doyle Moore as his assistant. One of them goes to the cemetery to meet with a family who needs to choose a new lot at the death of one of their loved ones. Our president at this time is Monty Jackson, vice president is David Jackson, secretary/treasurer is Mary Ann Wigington and historian is Carla Moore.
One man who served the cemetery for many years in one capacity or another is Willard York Hanna. Willard served as president, vice president and director. At his death, in 2003, he was a director. Besides serving as an officer he was always willing to work at anything he was needed to do. Another man of his caliber was Jasper Shields. He served as secretary and chaplain for awhile. In 1944 the cemetery association decided the job of burial records keeping was too much for the secretary to handle along with the rest of it. So, it was made another office and Jasper Shields was the first one to be elected. He had resigned as secretary so that he could do this. He met with families who needed to choose a burial site when a loved one had died. Then he kept records on who was buried in every space. He held this position until his death in 1984. A nephew of his, Winfred Weir Shields, was elected to take over where Jasper left off. When his health began to fail a few years later he had to resign. Doc Wigington was elected at that time, 1991, and still holds this position.
We have a constitution and by-laws, which were duly recorded in the Jack County, TX Courthouse on May 13, 1980 in the Deed Records in Volume 407, page 240. This cemetery is used by local families and is full of many relatives. I would have to say the majority of those buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery has the Jackson name or they are related to the Jacksons. Many Jacksons settled in the Squaw Mountain region and are buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery near where they lived. Of all the known persons buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery 95 have the Jackson name and at least another 11 were women born to a Jackson family.
In 1951 a rock chapel was built and donated to the Lynn Creek Cemetery by John and Nettie Carter. The Carter family was very influential in the operations of the cemetery. They were always willing and able to help in any way they could. Ruth (Carter) and Robert Peek have stood up when people were asked to help and always did more than they were asked to do. Robert served as vice president several years. The tabernacle, at that time, was very old and in bad shape. It was built in 1912. The chapel was to be used by anyone associated with the cemetery to use as they needed it. The old tabernacle was torn down in 1991 and a new one was built. The new one has a concrete base, steel benches with backs and a metal roof. In December 1987 William P. Jones died and was buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery alongside his parents. He willed three houses on lots in Wichita Falls, Wichita County, TX to the cemetery. They were sold and the money was used to build the new tabernacle. In 1990 Mrs. Nettie Winn died. She left money in her will to drill a water well for the cemetery.
Our only regular expenses are the mowing and electricity for the water well. We still operate mainly on donations. We have a perpetual care endowment fund that was begun in 1972. Occasionally we have to use interest from one or two quarters a year to pay part of our expenses.
The first records in print for Lynn Creek Cemetery Association: “Minutes of previous meeting read, approved and corrected and adopted. November 18, 1899 Lynn Creek Cemetery Union adopted the following By-Laws: The officers elected as following W.M. Shields, president T.E. Allen, vice president and trustee W. D. Casey, secretary Allen Jackson, treasurer and trustee Gabe Washburn, trustee Officers are to hold said office two years from June 6, 1899.
Minutes were approved and adopted December 4.
December 4, 1899 The Lynn Creek Cemetery Union had a called meeting. Worked laying off lots for each family. The meeting was called to order by President. The minutes read for last meeting was approved and adopted. Mr. (Carl Craughn or C.C.) Cooper, Mr. (Tom or T.E.) Allen and Mr. (Christopher Columbus or C.C.) Bloodworth was to elect speaker for the 6th of June 1900.”
“List of those that have paid (1899):
J. A. Jackson J. B. Jackson R. H. (Harris) Jackson C. (Clell) M. Cantrell
J. G. Jackson M. (Matt) W. Strickland W. H. Drake Jiney Bart Dink Robertson Bun Riggs John Hammer W. M. Jackson T. M. Jackson J. O. Jackson
These facts were told to me by my husband’s mother and grandmother, Cora Edna Hughes Moore and Millie Eviline Robertson Moore, several years ago People used to come to Decoration horseback or in wagons. They came as early as possible so they could visit with people they hadn’t seen since the previous Decoration Day. They caught up on the gossip. They all spread their lunch on the ground together. After lunch they gathered the flowers they had brought to decorate loved one’s graves, mostly wild flowers and honeysuckle. There was a fence on the side of the cemetery where they entered it. There was a wooden stile built for people to cross the fence into the cemetery. They marched into the cemetery, singing, and placed their flowers on the graves. Afterward, everyone gathered under the old wooden tabernacle for the program and business meeting. Many recited poetry or did readings. It was Mother’s Day so some told what their mothers meant to them. There was much singing and usually a preacher or two to speak.
Two very dear women, Georgia Leach Bryant and Dovie Powell Smith, were born in 1902, They both recited poetry as little girls at Decoration Day services. As they got older they did readings and told of their memories when they were young. Georgia died in 1998 and Dovie in 1999, each being buried alongside her husband in Lynn Creek Cemtery. The business meetings were mainly for electing officers. These officers took care of the business during the year and they made a report to the people on Decoration Day.
Millie Eviline Robertson was 8 yrs. old when her mother, Elizabeth Robertson, was struck by lightning and killed. She was buried next to her baby son, Waymon. On either side of them is an infant grandson and across the road from their graves is the grave of a granddaughter. Millie Eviline Robertson married Joe E. Moore in 1896. Their home place is only six miles from Lynn Creek Cemetery. Buried there are Joe and Millie, their son and wife, Doyle, Sr. and Cora Edna and their daughter and husband, Mary Louvenia Moore and Challis Bacon Bloodworth. This is just an example of a family from this area. There are many families with most of the family buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery. There are still two more generations of Moores living on the old home place who will be buried in Lynn Creek Cemetery and one bears the Jackson name.
Compiled by Carla Moore for the designation of Lynn Creek Cemetery as a historical Texas cemetery in January 2007.
Carla Moore, Historian of Lynn Creek Cemetery Assn.
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