Stringer Cemetery

Upshur County, Cemeteries of TX

Submitted by Cheyrl Turner Velten (2004)

Note and photos by Shirley Bray (2009)


I was also told by the owner that there are graves of 12 slaves buried there but there are no markers and no visible signs of other graves. There is not an actual cemetery there, no fence, only graves. These graves are in an overgrown pasture south of Shady Grove. There is no road to them and they are very hard to find, even if you know where to look, and on private property.  


The three tombstones are broken or crumbling, some are buried except the tombstone of:  
Jefferson Stringer                       
born March 23, 1811, in South Carolina
died on February 4, 1891 Shady Grove, Upshur County, Texas
His is still visible but barely legible.
His third wife is buried there as well but the stone is not visible.

Caroline Elizabeth Myhand, sister of his second wife, Nancy Dinkins Myhand 
Born: 28 Dec 1819 in  GA, USA
Died: 28 Sep 1906 in Shady Grove, Upshur, TX.  
Marriage: 1 Jan 1853 in Harris, GA, USA   

In the 1860's, the family moved to Upshur County and settled in the old Paint Rock Community where Jefferson Stringer was a Primitive Baptist minister. Jefferson and Caroline raised three sons and six daughters to adulthood. One son, Jonathan Davis Stringer, followed in his father's footsteps as a Baptist minister, preaching in Marion and Cass Counties, Texas, where he died in 1928 in Queen City, Texas.
2009 Second Information by  Shirley Bray
The Stringer Cemetery is located about 1 mile south of Shady Grove, TX on FM1002 on the old homeplace of Jefferson and Caroline (Myhand) Stringer.  It is a private family cemetery on land still owned Stringer descendants.  The entrance to the property has a locked gate and a No Trespassing sign so visits must be cleared through property owner.  The entrance road ends in a grassy clearing with an old home on the left and an old barn on the right.  The cemetery can be located if you follow a 45 degree angle from the southeast corner of the house about 250 yards into the forest.  Rows of planted pine trees were found between the old home and the natural forest where the cemetery is located.    There is no set path to the cemetery.  On February 14, 2009, a team of 5 determined Stringer researchers (and spouses) located this old cemetery in an area surrounded with natural forest, underbrush and brambles.  They found the following:
Tombstone #1:
Rev. Jeff Stringer
Born Mar 23, 1811
Died Feb 4, 1891
This good sized tombstone is white, yellowed with age, has a carving of clasped hands and sadly is broken in half.   A bible verse is found near the base of the tombstone.  The writing is still very readable and the forest seems to have protected it from deterioration. 
Tombstone #2:
Jeff Stringer
Mar 23, 1811
Feb 4, 1891


Caroline E. His Wife
Dec 28, 1819
Sep 28, 1906
This tombstone is the stone of Jefferson Stringer's 3rd wife, Caroline Elizabeth (Myhand) Stringer, even though his name is at the top.  It is the gray of concrete and pitted.  It is taller than his, all in one piece though the top section is loose and clearly readable. A bible verse, Rev. xiv:13, is found near the base of the tombstone.
Other Tombstones:
Small white tombstone (similar to a footstone) - bearing initials "CES".
Small white tombstone (similar to a footstone) - bearing initials "JS".
[These are not located at the foot of Jefferson and Caroline's graves so we are unsure if they are truly footstones or other burials.]
Long rectangular white stone laid flat in the ground near the front of Jefferson Stringer's stone - bears the initials "JS".  [unsure what this stone is but it is not the base to another stone].
Family stories passed have told of slaves buried with Jefferson Stringer.  He's confirmed to have had only one slave who came from Georgia to Texas with him.  One slave was with him in 1860 when freedom came and chose to stay with Jefferson so possible the slave's family is buried here also.  Only one rock was found in the location of the Stringer graves which might seem to be an unmarked grave.