Palestine, Anderson County, Texas
Cemeteries of Texas Coordinator: Dolores I.
Located 4 about 3 mi. E of Palestine, on Park
Information provided by the State of Texas
Micam Main of Illinois was granted a league of
land by the Mexican government in 1835. One of the area's first brickmakers,
Samuel M. Warden, died while working on Main's estate on Christmas Eve in 1847.
He was interred on this site. According to oral history, Warden's grave was
marked only with bricks of his own manufacture. His is believed to have been the
first burial in this cemetery. Virginia native Henry Clay Swanson (1822-1906), a
former member of the Alabama state legislature, moved to Texas with his brother,
James Madison Swanson, their families and slaves in 1851. "Colonel"
Henry C. Swanson owned a farm east of Palestine and later operated a mercantile
store in town. He purchased the land around the cemetery from Elisha Main, Micam
Main's son and heir, in 1854. The slaves and former slaves of Henry Clay Swanson
and James M. Swanson, as well as African Americans from Anderson County and
neighboring areas, were interrred on this site. Descendants of slaves attended
funerals here from 1872 to the late 1940s and early 1950s. A young girl was
among the last interred in the well-populated burial site in the late 1940s.
Others buried here include Tom Swanson, a former slave from Virginia to whom
Henry Swanson willed $100, and two of his brothers, as well as their
descendants. Thirty-six marked and approximately 23 unmarked graves are believed
to grace the cemetery. This is the final resting place of many of those whose
labor built Anderson County, Houston County, and the state of Texas. (2000)