Pleasant Grove Cemetery

Rusk Co. Cemeteries of TX

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 
the year.)
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