Wise County, Texas
of Texas Coordinator: Brenda E.
provided by the State of Texas Atlas Site
Aurora Cemetery, on Cemetery Road about .5 mile south of FM 114 in
oldest known graves here, dating from as early as the 1860's, are those of the
Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate
veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly formed Aurora
Lodge No. 479, A.F. & A.M., in 1877. For many years, this community burial
ground was known as Masonic Cemetery. Beauchamp, his wife Caroline (1829-1915),
and others in their family are buried here. An epidemic which struck the village
in 1891 added hundreds of graves to the plot. Called "spotted fever"
by the settlers, the disease is now though to have been a form of meningitis.
Located in Aurora Cemetery is the gravestone of the infant Nellie Burris
(1891-1893) with its often-quoted epitaph: "As I was so soon done, I don't
know why I was begun." This site is also well known because of the legend
that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was
buried here. Struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad,
the original town of Aurora almost disappeared, but the cemetery remains in use
with over 800 graves. Veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the
Korean and Vietnam conflicts are interred here.