Chinn's Chapel Cemetery

Copper Canyon, Denton Co. Cemeteries of TX

Submitted by Betty Finley 


Chinn's Chapel Cemetery is located in the southeastern quadrant of Denton County, Texas (Figure 1).  A specific location is one mile north of the intersection of Chinn Chapel Road and Farm-To-Market Road 407.


The cemetery was begun after Texas won her independence from Mexico in 1836.  With the new status, immigrants were encouraged, necessary, and welcomed if the vast area was to develop into a viable republic.  In 1842 the first settlement, in what is now Denton County, was established in the extreme southeastern portion, named Hebron.  Immigrants continued their migration into north central Texas and, by 1858 two thousand lived on land grants to the Peters Colony.  Chinn's Chapel was the fifth settlement established in 1845, the year Texas was admitted into the Union as the twenty-eighth state.


With the growth of the community, a building was necessary to serve as a meeting place.  In 1858, a building was erected in a day and a half from oak logs cut and hewn by men of the community from the Cross Timbers.  Earlier, it had been suggested that each family using the nearby Lockhart Springs be responsible for bringing a log to the site in order that the building could be built.  The building (figure 2), which stands today in the southeastern quadrant of the cemetery, was used at various times for a meeting hall, school, Methodist Church, and a haven for several weeks to newly-arrived settlers while their houses were being constructed.

At Chinn's Chapel, as well as other frontier settlements, medical technology and facilities were primitive, and at best, crude.  Therefore, a cemetery was established at the site of the building and named in memory of Elisha Chinn and his wife, Mary Chinn, who came to Denton County in 1853.  That maintained cemetery continues to be used today.  A walk over the grounds and study of early-dated headstones reminds one of a community's legacy, born in the 1840's, sustained, and endured by the indefatigable spirit of its hardy pioneers.  

Place of birth Alabama.  Son of Abraham Marshall Bartee (1803, Alabama - 12/31/1875, interred Alabama) and Mary Elizabeth Axon (Wright) Bartee (1807,

South Carolina - Aft. 1871, interred. Roxana, Alabama).  Husband of Mary Elizabeth (Dillard) Bartee (1/15/1851, Alabama - 3/13/1896, interred Chinn's Chapel Cemetery).