CAISON-HEATH CEMETERY

aka Heath Cemetery

Rusk Co. Cemeteries of TX

1861-1949

From " 71 Rusk County Cemeteries" by Mary F. Dunn

Information on Sylvester

Complied by Gloria B. Mayfield Sept 1971

VANDALS STRIKE HISTORIC RUSK CO. CEMETERY

Location: Located between SH 79 and CR 839 in the south east corner of Rusk Co, north of New Salem, TX. This cemetery is abandoned and has not been used since 1949. There is a fenced area that contains one grave and 9 sites that appear to be unmarked graves .   Located in the Pleasant Grove Community near the Cherokee County line.  It is south of Highway 79 towards Lake Striker. 

 

LAST NAME FIRST NAME BIRTH DIED INSCRIPTIONS
Caison Larkin May 16 1795 Dec 22 1863 husband of Sarah E. 
Caison Sarah E. May 4 1802 Oct 6 1861 wife
Caison W. C. Nov 2 1839 Mar 14 1881
Caison Elmina Apr 30 1894 age 47-4-21
Caison Catherine Jul 1 1841 Sep 19 1862 w/o W. C.
Caison Little Babe Aug 23 1873 Aug 23 1873 I/o W. C. & E.S.
Caison Infant Dec 24 1879 Jan 6 1880 I/o W. C. & E.S.
Caison Tylee B. Sep 27 1874 Sep 16 1878 d/o W.C. & E. S.
Caison William Nathan Dallas Dec 26 1866 Oct 26 1869 s/o W. C. & E. S.
Caison James Larkin Oct 30 1860 Feb 28 1870 s/o W.C. & C.D age 9-3-28
Caison Mary Elminer Willimoth Feb 26 1869 Sep 26 1874
Caison Infant Aug 23 1873 Aug 23 1873 b/o W.C. & E.S. Caison
Heath Burrell W. Dec 20 1841 Mar 3 1917
Heath Mary Jan 27 1822 Feb 18 1874 w/o Thomas
Heath T(homas) J. Nov 7 1817 Jun 6 1889
Heath R. F. Arp 15 1856 May 29 1900 m Dec 18 1878
Heath Henry C. Dec23 1886 Jul 11 1913 Wood of the World
Heath Daughter Jan 20 1910 Jan 20 1910 d/o T.P.Heath
Hunt Lucinda E. Oct 2, 1844 July 18 1896 w/o J.C.
Ramey John M. 1864 1948 Masonic
Ramey Mary M. Apr 25 1876 Feb 28 1912 w/o J.M.
Ramey Anna Dec 14,1891 Mar 4 1892 d/o J.M.& M.M.
Ramey Lonie Drury Oct 18, 1899 July 22 1900 s/o J. M. & M.M.
Ramey inf dau May 4 1908 June 3 1908 d/o J. M. & M.M.
Ramey inf son Feb 8 1912 Feb 13 1912 s/o J. M. & M.M.
Boatright Aristimisia Jun 14 1860 Sept 13 1862
McMillan J.L(Larkin) Apr 10 1868 Jul 9 1897 s/o Mary A.
McMillan Mary A. June 6 1847 Sept 15 1918 d/o Thomas J. & Mary Heath
Conner Mattie E. June 10 1864 Jul 28 1939
Haskins Shirley Louise Sept 27 1864 Sept 27 1949  
Scott Mary Elminer Aug 17 1866 Nov 7 1868 age 2-2-20
Sylvester E. McCall 1825 (Sept 25 )1901 Masonic M: Dec 23 1865
Sylvester Nicey Ann Kennedy Ball) (Jan 3) 1839 (Sept 5) 1884 d/o George Washington & Mariah Pope Thompson Kennedy

Added

Gina Heffernan - ginagale@bigfoot.com
      February 15, 2001
      Updated January 26, 2002
************************************************************************
This cemetery is in very poor condition, only two monuments are unscathed. 
It is located near Lake Striker in a  heavily wooded area. Trees have 
toppled and fallen across the yard and large trees have grown up through 
some of the graves. Vandals have broken and scattered almost all the 
stones. I believe there are many more graves which I could not locate or 
identify. There are two areas of particular interest. One is an old cairn. 
It consists of many of the large rust colored rocks we find in this area. 
The other is the area which has been fenced off. It contains a broken 
headstone with the inscription "Gone but not forgotten" and "Weep not, she 
is only sleeping". The foot stone is present, but also broken. The fence 
posts are inscribed "Patented Dec 17, 1895". Some of the markers in this 
cemetery appear to be almost new, and are obvious replacements for older 
ones.
From Henderson, take Hwy 79 east. Turn left (south) on County Road 4187.  
Go about one mile and turn left on County Road 4188. Go about two miles and 
start watching on the right for a grass and dirt road to the right. There 
is a fairly large cleared area where you may park. (There are several 
trails in that area. The one you want will have a creek on the right just a 
short way down where people have dumped their trash. If you miss the trail, 
you will come to Hwy 839. Backtrack about two miles and the road will be on 
the left.) You cannot drive down the road, it is rutted about three feet 
deep in some places and it is on private property. Lucinda's stone is lying 
on the right at the foot of a tree not far from an old gate. You will walk 
about a quarter of a mile and the cemetery is on the left in the woods and 
you have to watch for it.
The names are spelled as they are on the stones - I double checked the 
McMillen stones because a previous transcription spelled them the same. 
There are two identical stones with "son of W.G. and E.S. Caison", both are 
broken in half. The top (with the name) of one is missing and the bottom 
(with the dates) of the other is missing. I double checked this also, the 
"son of..." line is present on both stones, so there are 2 of them. These 
stones are William Nathan Dallas and Unknown Caison. TYLEE B. may be 
misread as TYLEEB. W/O is "wife of". My notes are in parenthesis, the other 
comments are on the stones.
The earliest burials I found were of Baby Caison (died on 9/17/862) and his 
mother Catherine Caison (died two days later). The latest burial was J. M. 
Ramey who died in 1948.
ALPHABETICALLY
CAISON, Baby 09/17/1862- 09/17/1862 (Baby 1)
CAISON, Baby 08/23/1873- 08/23/1873 (Baby 2)
CAISON, Catherine  07/01/1841- 09/19/1862 (died two days after Baby 1)
CAISON, Elmina 12/09/1847- 04/30/1894 47 yrs, 4 mos, 21 days
CAISON, James Larkin 10/30/1860- 02/28/1870 
CAISON, Mary Elminer Willmoth 02/26/1869- 09/26/1874 daughter of W. G. & E.   S. Caison
CONNER, Mattie E. 06/10/1864- 07/28/1939
CAISON, Tylee B. 09/27/1874- 09/16/1878 daughter of W. G. & E. S. Caison
CAISON, Unknown 12/24/1879- 01/16/1880 son of W. G. & E. S. Caison
CAISON, W. G.  11/02/1839- 03/14/1881 
CAISON, William Nathan Dallas (stone broken) son of W. G. & E. S. Caison
HEATH, Burrell W. 12/20/1841- 03/03/1917 
HEATH, Henry O. 12/23/1886- 07/11/1918  Woodsmen of the World
HEATH, Infant 01/20/1910- 01/20/1910 daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T. P. Heath
HEATH, R. F. 04/15/1856- 05/29/1900 married 12/18/1878
HUNT, Lucinda E. 10/2/1844- 7/18/1896 W/O J.C. Hunt (about 1/4 mile from    cemetery on trail, maiden name Caison)
MCMILLIEN, J. L. 04/10/1868- 07/09/1897 
MCMILLEN, Mary A. 06/08/1847- 09/15/1918 
RAMEY, Infant 02/13/1912- 02/13/1912  Son of J.M. & M.M.
RAMEY, John M. 1864- 1948 Mason Symbol
RAMEY, Mary M. 04/25/1876- 02/28/1912  W/O J.M. Ramey (died 15 days after      infant)
S?, T.M. (foot stone only) T.M.S.
SCOTT, Mary Elminer 08/17/1866- 11/07/1868 (stone broken)
SYLVESTER, E. McCall 1825 - 1901 (double stone with Nicy Ann) Mason Symbol
SYLVESTER, Nicy Ann 1839 -1884 (double stone with E. McCall)
No Name 12/26/1866 -10/26/1869  2ys, 10 mos
Unknown  (iron and heavy gauge wire mesh fence around broken head and foot 
     stones)
Chronologically:
CAISON, Baby 09/17/1862- 09/17/1862 (Baby 1)
CAISON, Catherine  07/01/1841- 09/19/1862 (died two days after Baby 1)
SCOTT, Mary Elminer 08/17/1866- 11/07/1868 (stone broken)
No Name 12/26/1866 -10/26/1869  2ys, 10 mos (may be William Nathan)
CAISON, James Larkin 10/30/1860- 02/28/1870 
CAISON, Baby 08/23/1873- 08/23/1873 (Baby 2)
CAISON, Mary Elminer Willmoth 02/26/1869- 09/26/1874 daughter of W. G. & E. 
     S. Caison
CAISON, Tylee B. 09/27/1874- 09/16/1878 daughter of W. G. & E. S. Caison
CAISON, Unknown 12/24/1879- 01/16/1880 son of W. G. & E. S. Caison
CAISON, W. G.  11/02/1839- 03/14/1881 
SYLVESTER, Nicy Ann 1839 -1884 (double stone with E. McCall)
CAISON, Elmina 12/09/1847- 04/30/1894 47 yrs, 4 mos, 21 days
HUNT, Lucinda E. 10/2/1844- 7/18/1896 W/O J.C. Hunt (about 1/4 mile from 
     cemetery on trail, maiden name Caison)
MCMILLIEN, J. L. 04/10/1868- 07/09/1897 
HEATH, R. F. 04/15/1856- 05/29/1900 married 12/18/1878
SYLVESTER, E. McCall 1825 - 1901 (double stone with Nicy Ann) Mason Symbol
HEATH, Infant 01/20/1910- 01/20/1910 daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T. P. Heath
RAMEY, Infant 02/13/1912- 02/13/1912  Son of J.M. & M.M.
RAMEY, Mary M. 04/25/1876- 02/28/1912  W/O J.M. Ramey (died 15 days after    infant)
HEATH, Burrell W. 12/20/1841- 03/03/1917 
HEATH, Henry O. 12/23/1886- 07/11/1918  Woodsmen of the World
MCMILLEN, Mary A. 06/08/1847- 09/15/1918 
CONNER, Mattie E. 06/10/1864- 07/28/1939
RAMEY, John M. 1864- 1948 Mason Symbol
CAISON, William Nathan Dallas (stone broken) son of W. G. & E. S. Caison
S?, T.M. (foot stone only) T.M.S.
Unknown  (iron and heavy gauge wire mesh fence around  broken head and foot     stones)
There is an earlier transcription for this cemetery at the Rusk County 
Library and comparing this transcription with the one in the library 
answers some of the questions about who is buried here.

I have more information on this cemetery. I was contacted recently by a grandaughter of Lucinda Caison Hunt. It seems there was an article published in the Tyler newspaper about this cemetery several years ago that said that Lucinda was the mistress of W. C. Caison. This is not true, Lucinda was a cousin to WC and was married to John Carter Hunt. WC's father was Larkin and Lucinda's father was Seth - brothers.

The article went on to say that women who were kept by men other than their husbands were called "witches" in those days. Hence the rumor that Lucinda was a witch and the name "the Witch's Grave" for the cemetery. It is unfortunate for the descendants of the people buried in this remote cemetery that this rumor was started. It has resulted in a great deal of damage to headstones and the cairn.