Notes from the past…


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Tombstone Tuesday: Graham-Mason Cemetery

G-M Cem Graham-Mason Cemetery is located 1 1/2 miles southeast of the little hamlet of Irene in Hill County, Texas. It contains less than 30 marked graves and is the final resting place of Jennie Margaret Melton, the wife of my great granduncle Francis Lee Turner. Jennie Turner was only 23 years old when she died in 1887, leaving 3 small children behind.

Graham-Mason is a wonderful example of a restored and well-kept rural Texas cemetery.  The Graham-Mason Cemetery Association is very active in both the care of the cemetery and in following the many descendents of its first “inhabitants’, the William Graham family. The Association’s yearly meeting occurs in the spring, usually in April, when the Texas Bluebonnets are at their finest!

The lovely photo above was taken by Judy Graham in 2003.

mary The oldest headstone here is that of 6-year-old Mary H Graham, who died in 1866. Her original headstone is almost unreadable and had been replaced with a beautiful granite marker.

marker3

According to the family history, slaves and former slaves are buried in the cemetery proper and also in the woods nearby. There is at least one grave marked only with rocks.

Graham-Mason is believed to be the only rural cemetery in Texas to display both a Texas Historical Marker and a Texas Historic Cemetery Medallion.


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Women’s History Month, Day 11: Jennie Margaret (Melton) Turner

Jennie was the wife of my great granduncle Francis Lee Turner. Jennie & Frank were married 21 May 1882 in Hill County, Texas. Three children were born of this union: Mattie (27 June 1883), Lizzie (19 Oct 1884) and Baby Claudie (19 Apr 1887).

Jennie unexpectedly died on 21 May 1887, her 5th wedding anniversary and barely a month after Claudie’s birth.

Claudie himself died 25 Jan 1888 of unknown causes.

Apparently the loss of his beloved wife and only son just months apart was more than Frank Turner could bare. He sent his surviving girls to live with his brother John Joseph Turner, and disappeared… never to be seen again!

Jennie and Claudie are buried together in Graham-Mason Cemetery in rural Hill County, Texas.

JenMMelton stone

Oldest daughter Mattie Turner died in 1984 at age 101, and Lizzie survived until a month past her 98th birthday.


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Tombstone Tuesday: Halbert Graham

Halbert C Graham

Halbert C Graham

Born May 16, 1875

Died Aug 4, 1888

“A precious one from us is gone,
A voice we loved is stilled,
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled”

Graham-Mason Cemetery
Hill County, Texas

Halbert Graham was related to the Grahams and Meltons, who were the family of my great-granduncle Francis Lee Turner’s wife Jennie Margaret Melton. I guess that makes him a distant cousin of mine by marriage. Some day I’ll really look into the Grahams. Tons of ‘em in Hill County, Texas in the late 19th century!