LOCATION: Hickory Grove Black Cemetery is located south of the community of Petty in the southwest quadrant of the county. It is in Block 44 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993. DIRECTIONS: To get to the cemetery, take 82 West of Paris about 13 miles to FM 137. Turn south toward Petty. Continue on FM 137 about 4 miles. Cemetery will be on the right just past the main Hickory Grove Cemetery. GPS COORDINATES: 33° 33' 08.38 N, 95° 48' 45.79 W.
(33.54624 Latitude and -95.74238 Longitude
OLDEST KNOWN BURIAL: The oldest inscribed grave is that of Cherry Lee who died 8 Dec 1883. NUMBER OF GRAVES: There are 171 known graves in the cemetery. (July 2017) SIGNS/MARKERS: There is a sign for the cemetery.
Historic Texas Cemetery: Yes Texas Historical Commission Marker: Yes (2010)
The following is from the Historical marker outside the cemetery:
HICKORY GROVE CEMETERY This historic burial ground is the resting place of former slaves, freedmen and descendants of African Americans who came here in the 1800s. Samuel and Dicie Lucinda (Lee) Swann bought 153 acres, including this cemetery site, from W. T. and Cornelia Booth in 1881. Dicie’s mother Cherry Lee (d. 1883) is the earliest marked burial here. She came to Lamar County from Alabama with Herbert Lee and his family and slaves. In 1899, Samuel Swann deeded three acres to the Methodist Episcopal Church as a burial ground. Among those buried here are military veterans, a preacher, several masons and eastern star members, community leaders and families who have called this area home for generations. LAST ENUMERATION: The cemetery was first recorded in April 1992 by Patricia Ferguson, Ruth Renfro, Cleo Weaver and Roberta Woods. The oldest known burial is that of Cherry Lee who died 8 Dec 1883. The cemetery was revisited on 3 Apr 1995, by Ron Brothers and Butch and Betsy Mills. ADD'L INFORMATION: TH PARIS NEWS, Monday, June 4, 2012:
Local cemetery earns historic recognition
Lamar County has yet another Texas Historical Marker to its name.
The Hickory Grove Black Cemetery in Petty has been recognized by the Texas Historical Commission as a "significant part of Texas history" and been awarded an official historical marker.
A ceremony was recently held at the cemetery on Highway 137 about 3.6 miles east of Petty. Skipper Steeley served as the speaker for the event, and local Boy Scout Troop 3990 presented the colors.
"The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation," said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC. "Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state's history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources."
A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: Historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history; and the age requirement depends on the topic.
The earliest known inscribed burial in Hickory Grove Black Cemetery took place on Dec. 8, 1883, and was for Cherry Lee. She was a former slave who was born in Alabama and probably arrived in Texas after 1850 with Herbert Lee, his family and slaves. She was age 60 on the 1870 Lamar County, Texas Federal Census. Dicie, her daughter, married Samuel Swann who bought 153 acres, including this cemetery site in 1881 from W. T. and Cornelia Booth.
Descendants of the Rolison and Posey families undertook this project to get volunteers and funds to clean, restore and renovate the cemetery grounds and tombstones. Donations made to Hickory Grove Black Cemetery Association, Inc., are tax deductible and may be sent to: Joyce Kirksey, 4412 Bonaparte Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73110.
There are three types of Texas Historical Markers: Subject markers are posted solely for public education awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection.
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