Olive Branch Cemetery

Palestine, Anderson County, Texas

Cemeteries of Texas Coordinator: Dolores I. Bishop

Information provided by the State of Texas Atlas Site

Located 14 mi. north of Palestine on FM 315, then 3 mi. east on FM 837, then north on cemetery road .25 mi.


This part of Anderson County was settled in the 1850s. Many of the early settlers were from the vicinity of Brushy Creek, South Carolina, and it is believed that is why the streams in this area and the community were named Brushy Creek. A smaller creek near this site became known as Olive Branch. In 1858, as the community began to grow, a small one-room building was erected to serve as a church and school. A cemetery was established on land adjacent to the building. Although the land was not officially deeded as a graveyard until 1858, there are marked burials from as early as 1856. The oldest documented grave is that of Joseph H. Waddell, who died in 1856 at age six. Also interred here are many early pioneers and a number of veterans, including James Eastland (1827 - 1911), who served in the Mexican War and the Civil War, and later represented Anderson County in the Texas Legislature. Daniel Henderson, who deeded the land for the church, school, and cemetery, is also buried here. This cemetery is a visible reminder of the early settlers of Brushy Creek. The Olive Branch Cemetery Association, organized in 1978, maintains the historic graveyard. (1988)