Swanson Cemetery

Palestine, Anderson County, Texas

Cemeteries of Texas Coordinator: Dolores I. Bishop 

Located 4 about 3 mi. E of Palestine, on Park Road 70 

Information provided by the State of Texas Atlas Site 


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)