Pleasant Grove Cemetery
Submitted by Gina Heffernan
There is a historical marker on US Highway 79 South - about 11 miles southwest
of Henderson. The cemetery is surrounded by private land and accessible only by a private road. The owner of the surrounding property was kind enough to allow
me to photograph the site and record the remaining stones. I was told by this person, "There are probably more stones under the grass and top layer of sod. We keep it mowed but these are all that are left."
The historical marker reads:
"Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church South Cemetery
"The East Texas farming community of Pleasant Grove, also known as "Shake
Rag", was established during the 1850s by southern planters. Among the first
settlers were Judge Stephen Decatur Morris (1819-1898) and his wife, Mary
(Bradford) (1823-1906), on whose plantation early methodist worship services in
the area were held. About 1853, a sanctuary for the Pleasant Grove Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, was built. The Methodist Cemetery was established here
in 1873, with the burial of James Bradford Morris (b. 1856). He was the son of
Stephen and Mary Morris. Others buried here include Dr. Richard H.C. Shelton,
an eminent southwestern surgeon; other friends and relatives of Stephen and
Mary Morris; and Pioneer Settlers. Church trustees Seaton Moore, Simpson Moore,
and G.D. Boatwright purchased this land for the church and cemetery in 1877.
The pleasant grove church eventually disbanded, with the remaining members
joining St. Paul's Methodist Church in Henderson (11 mi. NE). By 1929, the year
of the last burial in this graveyard, most Methodist families were using the
City Cemetery in Henderson. The Pleasant Grove Cemetery remains an important
part of the record of early settlement in this part of Rusk County."
The remaining stones are for:
J. A. Morris Aug 25, 1856 - Feb 6, 1873
This is a rather tall monument with an almost illegible verse under the name and dates.
"Blessed are the dead, Which die in the Lord"
A cement ground cover is in front of JA's monument and a memorial bench sits at
the other end of it. It states:
"This stone was placed here by Wilbur Bradford Bugg
in loving memory of
Virginia (Aunt Honey) Morris Hanna 1846-1939 and Eugenia Virginia (Grandma) Arms Ayres 1867-1962, both
loyal members of Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church"
Those ladies are evidently not buried here.
A very old and worn headstone stands a few feet from this bench and says:
John B. son of George W & Mary Love
Born Sep 24, 1899 (The stone is broken through the date and I am not sure of
Died Oct 15, 1900
John's stone is broken in half and is in need of repair.
About 20 feet north of that stone is a more modern double stone for
Mary Hudson Boatright 1850-1881 and
Thomas Derring Boatright 1877-1929