Jeffers Cemetery

Navarro Co. Cemeteries of TX
Submitted by: Monetta Lockey
Coordinator: Dolores I. Bishop

One of the oldest Historical Landmarks in Navarro County is the Jeffers Family Cemetery, located in what later became known as the Monfort and/or Brown's Valley communities. This old cemetery is about three or four miles northeast of Roane and about twelve or thirteen miles northwest of Kernes.

There are broken tombstones that mark seven of these graves in this old cemetery (copied Jul 21, 1975, by Joe and Vennie Nelson).

Jeffers    Wm.    - Sep 01 1846    Broken Stone Age: 45 yrs Farewell
Jeffers    Sarah    Apr 22 1803    1887     Broken Stone W/o Wm.Age: 84 yrsHer End Was Peace
Jeffers    George W.    May 11 1846    Jan 26 ----    Broken Stone Husband, Dear Take Thy Rest The Summer Flowers Will Bloom While you, The Purest And the Best Doth Wither In This Tomb
Jeffers    Etta    Jul 17 1846    Jul 08 1881     Broken Stone She's Gone, The Tie Is Riven That Bound Her Spirit Here But Hope's Bright Angel Points To Heaven And Sweetly Whispers, Meet Me There
Jeffers    John C.    -    Apr 14 1854     Broken StoneAge: 30 yrs 3 mos 10 daysGone Home To Rest With My Lord
Scott    Caroline K.    -    Jul 03 1859     Broken StoneD/o Wm. And Sarah JeffersAge: 18 yrs 7 mos 17 daysAt Rest
Garner    G.W. (George Washington)    Mar 16 1815     Mar 27 1883    Broken StoneWhat To Us Is Life Without Thee Darkness And Despair Alone Where With Sighs We Seek To Find Thee This Tomb Proclaims That Thou Are Gone
Spencer    Carrie Lee    Feb 20 1891    Mar 05 1891    D/o Thomas Monroe & Ellen Maria Nelson Spencer
Carrie Lee Spencer: There is a memorial for this baby in the Spencer family plot in the Prairie Point Cemetery, near Bazette, Navarro County, Texas.

William and Sarah Pines Jeffers were in this area before 1846. He died and is buried in the Jeffers Cemetery in 1846, and Sarah Jeffers and her sons, Elijah Jeffers and John C. Jeffers were all registered in the 1846 Republic of Texas Poll list, all Navarro County. Some say they were here in 1838 and others say it was later. One of their sons gave Texas as his birthplace in 1845. According to the U.S Census, the Wm. Jeffers family was from Ohio and Illinois

William Jeffers was the first grave in the Jeffers Cemetery. Later other members of the Jeffers and related families were buried there.

Sarah Pines Jeffers was married to E.W. Brown Nov 21 1848 in Navarro County. (Note: If this is how the community became known as Brown's Valley, I do not know, maybe so and maybe not. It could have been named for another Brown family that came to this community ???)

William and Sarah Pines Jeffers children include the following. (Note: If this list is not correct or incomplete, I am sorry, other family records are not available at this time.)
1.    John C. Jeffers died in 1854 and is buried in the Jeffers Cemetery.
2.    Elijah Jeffers his wife was named Mary or Marion
3.    Isaac p. Jeffers married Lavina Caldwell
4.    Alethea A. Jeffers married John W. Caldwell   
5.    Andrew H. Jeffers married Amanda A. Browning
6.    Sam E. Jeffers married Ruth Jane Graham. He died in the War.
7.    George W. Jeffers married Heneretta Walker, both are buried in the Jeffers Cemetery.
8.    Caroline K. Jeffers    married William Scott, she is buried in the Jeffers Cemetery.
9.    Louisa A. Jeffers married S.H. George.
10.  James H. Jeffers
There were other children - names not available.

Other related families to the Jeffers families and who were in this area by 1850 or soon after, include the following: Graham, Edmonson, Mayes, Garner, Nelson, Killion, Bell Baxter, Barker, Conner and others.

Harem and Mary Louis Edmonson Graham came to Navarro County, Texas from Pleasant Hill, Missouri. They were here by 1850 or soon there after. Their children include the following. Their sons were:
1. Will Graham
2. John Graham
3. Dick Graham
4. Harem Graham
5. Rufus Graham
Their daughters and who they married were:
1.    Mary Ellen Graham married Manford Baxter
2.    Hester Ann Graham married: 1. James Rutherford Mayes, he died in the War with Yellow Fever. 2. George Washington Garner.
3.    Ruth Jane Graham married: 1. Sammie E. Jeffers, he died in the War. 2. John Bell   
4.    Beth Graham married ? Daniel
5.    Lera Graham married ? Hackler
6.    Sally Graham married ? Hughes

No further data on these families

James Rutherford Mayes and Hester Ann Graham were married in 1858 and their two children were born in Navarro County. They were:
1.    Louisa Jane Mayes, she married George W. Jeffers (a son of Sammie E. Jeffers and Ruth Jane Graham Jeffers).
2.    William Harvey Mayes, he married Alpha Omega Baxter (a daughter of Manford and Mary Ellen Graham Baxter).

James Rutherford Mayes died October 25, 1862, while serving in the Civil War and his widow was later married to George Washington Garner.

According to the U.S. Census, George Washington Garner was born in North Carolina and his son by a previous marriage was born in South Carolina. Their son was William Ceberry Garner; he served in the War (Confederate marker at his grave). Many of his descendents live in the Chatfield area. It is said that the Garners came to Navarro County from Cherokee County, Texas, but this I am not sure of. George Washington Garner was in the Monfort area by 1869 or before.

The children of George Washington and Hester Ann Graham Mayes Garner were:
1.    John Hiram Garner, he married Annie M. Conner.
2.    George Washington Garner, he married Florida Texas Baxter.
3.    Sarah Ellen Garner, she married Edward Jefferson Nelson
4.    Elviria Edmonson Garner, she married J. Thomas Ashley.
5.    Wiley Beasley Garner, he married Janie Barker.

All these children were born and grew up in the Montfort Community, and it is assumed that they all attended school at the old Prairie Ridge School between Montfort and Roane. The Garner home was about one half mile, south of the John Holiday Laningham farm, west of the Bradley (Montfort) schoolhouse. George Washington Garner is buried in the Jeffers Cemetery.

Family tradition says that Thomas Nelson, from Georgia, came to Texas and Navarro County in the early 1850's, perhaps 1851-1852, with his daughter, Ann Hasseltine Nelson and his son Jefferson W. Nelson and perhaps sons named App Nelson and Harve Nelson. We have no information about the last two named, except the family stories about a brother who went to Oklahoma Territory and the family lost contact. Ann Hasseltine Nelson was married about 1852 in Navarro County, to Thomas G. Slater. She died about 1859 and not much is known about her family, except she was the mother of three children, Harvie Love Slater, Emma Slater, and Hassie Slater. This family lives west of Corsicana. (No further data here).

Jefferson W. Nelson and Mary Caroline Killion were married Oct 17 1859 in Navarro County. Not much is known about the Killion family, except Isaac Killion was in the Chatfield and Porter's Bluff Community by 1850. His known children were:
1.    G.W. Killion
2.    Marion Killion   
3.    Jasper Killion
4.    Mary Jane Caroline Killion

The Killion family was from North Carolina and Illinois (U.S. Census).   

Jefferson W. and Jane C. Killion Nelson lived in the Chatfield Porter's Bluff and Montfort area, when Jeff went to War in early 1862. When the War was over and Jeff returned home, they lived in several places in the community, before settling in the "House That Jeff Built", about a mile due north of the Jeffers Cemetery. This house is still standing and is used for storing feed. In later years, Mr. Jim Cates lived in this house when he owned the Montfort store. It is located up in the field, south of the old Monfort home.

Jefferson W. Nelson use to go on "Trail Drives" and helped drive cattle from Navarro County to Shreveport, Louisiana. He owned many heads of cattle during his lifetime and at one time he was Cattle Brand and Hide Inspector for Navarro County. He was a farmer and raised cotton and other farm products. He was also a carpenter and built several houses in the Chatfield, Porter's Bluff, Montfort and Roane communities, including the one the Nelson family lived in. They lived in this house until around 1900 when Jeff and Jane Nelson, Monroe and Ellen Spencer and Ed and Sarah Nelson went to Oklahoma Territory (Near Madill) for a few years. When they returned back to Navarro County, they all returned to the Montfort area, but Jeff and Jane Nelson later moved to Rice, where Jeff was a Justice of the Peace when he died on 1911.

The children of Jefferson W. and Jane Killion Nelson were:
1.    Julia A. Nelson, she never married.   
2.    Edward Jefferson Nelson, he married Sarah Ellen Garner.
3.    Rachel Tabitha Nelson, she married Jack Baker, from England.
4.    Thomas N. Nelson, he married Emma McChristian.
5.    Ellen Maria Nelson, she married Thomas Monroe Spencer.    
6.    Harvie Haden Nelson, he married Rose Ella Dyer.

Jefferson W. Nelson, Jane C. Nelson, Thomas N. Nelson and perhaps a young son, Henry Nelson, are all buried in the Old Cemetery, at Chatfield, Navarro County, Texas.

There are many descendents of the Jefferson W. Nelsons and the George Washington Garners still in Navarro County, including a great grandson, Jerry Newton Shelton, who is the present sheriff of Navarro County.

All these families were well represented in the Civil War, some of which were:
1.    Jefferson W. Nelson
2.    James Rutherford Mayes(died in the War with Yellow Fever).
3.    Sammie E. Jeffers (died in the War)
4.    J.H. Jeffers
5.    E.J. Graham
6.    John H. Landingham
7.    Willie Graham
8.    George Jeffers
9.    William Ceberry Garner
10.   Burl Edmonson

And others that I do not know their names.

Another one of the Jeffers son was killed in the War, but I do not know his name.

Compiled by:
Joe and Vennie Nelson
July 1975

Jeffers Marriages in Navarro County, Texas

1.     Mr. E.W. Brown and Mrs. Sarah Jeffers Nov 21 1848: S.C.     Cross, Chief Justice, N.C.

2.     Isaac P. Jeffers and Lavina Caldwell Feb 23 1848: S.C. Cross, Judge of Probate, N.C.   

3.    Branch Jeffers and Mrs. Elizabeth Miller Aug 13 1853: R.T. White, CCC N.C.   
4.    Andrew H. Jeffers and Amanda A Browning Thursday, Aug 09 1855: Geo M. Hogan, J.P. for B#2, Navarro Co., TX
5.    John W. Caldwell and Alethea A. Jeffers Feb 25 1848: S.C. Cross, Judge of Probate, N.C.

6.    William Scott and Caroline K. Jeffers Jan 21 1857: A. Druen, CCC N.C.

7.    George W. Jeffers and Heneritta Walker Jan 08 1872, Parson D. Joplin