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Moore's Springs Cemetery, Lamar County, Texas
LOCATION: Moore's Springs Cemetery is located in the southeast quadrant of the county. It is in Block 41 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993.
DIRECTIONS: From Loop 286 take Highway 271 south about 1 mile and turn north on Cobb Ranch Rd (CR 12140). Go down this road 8/10 of a mile and the cemetery is on the left.
GPS COORDINATES: 33° 39' 6.6447'' N, 95° 29' 14.1137'' W
(33.6518457 Latitude and -95.4872538 Longitude)
OLDEST KNOWN BURIAL: The oldest inscribed grave is that of Telitha Jane St. Clair Moore who died 9 Jan 1873.
NUMBER OF GRAVES: There are 87 known graves in the cemetery. (July 2017)
SIGNS/MARKERS: There is a state highway marker for the cemetery.

Historic Texas Cemetery: No    Texas Historical Commission Marker: Yes (1992)

The Texas Historical Marker reads: Moore's Springs Cemetery - Levin Vinson Moore (1809-1899) brought his family to this area from Tennessee in 1836. They established a farmstead near a natural spring, and soon were joined by eleven other families from the southern United States. The earliest marked graves in this cemetery, which started on the Moore farm, date to 1873. Moore family members, as well as many of their neighbors, are interred in the historic graveyard. It was officially recorded in the county deed records in 1895 after Robert H. Moore, a son of L. V. Moore, donated a 1-acre tract of land for burial purposes. (1992)

LAST ENUMERATION: Records are maintained by the Moore's Springs Cemetery Association.
ADD'L INFORMATION: Robert L. Groves, (deceased), formed a cemetery association and restoration in January 1987 and welcomes all who are interested to join him. According to Mr. Groves, the cemetery was started 10 Nov 1836 and was called Moore's burying ground. He also states that in August 1895 the land was deeded to 15 or so families in the nearby community. He is responsible for the recording of these records. There are 59 graves including the unknowns. The oldest inscribed grave in the cemetery is that of Telitha Jane St. Clair Moore who died 9 Jan 1873.

The following is the background informaton used to obtain the Texas Historical Marker in the cemetery.

MOORE'S SPRINGS CEMETERY, LAMAR COUNTY, TEXAS
     Its Value as a Historical Landmark-- Moore's Springs Cemetery in southeast Lamar County, Texas, is proof of the location of the early settlers who migrated to Texas during the 1800's. By studying the lives of the people who are buried there, one can recapture a part of the history of Texas.
     Moore's Springs Cemetery is located on a one-acre tract, donated out of a 1,280-acre tract in the Joshua Moore III Headright in Lamar County by Robert Homer Moore, the youngest son of Levin Vinson Moore, who migrated to the Arkansas Territory on November 10, 1836, from Hardeman County, Tennessee. The deed filed in the Lamar County Deed Records on August 19, 1895, describes the Moore's Springs Cemetery as follows:
     A portion of the Joshua Moore Head Right Survey. Beginning in the South Boundary Line of the Clarksville Road due North from the North East corner of the L. V. Moore Family Burying Ground at F. M. Turner's north West corner. Then South with said Turner's West Boundary line (19) Poles to corner a stake, Thence West (6) Poles to corner a stake. Thence North (19) Poles to the South Boundary of the Clarksville Road. Thence East with the said Road to the Beginning. The said tract of land to include what is known as the Moore Graveyard and the land between the graveyard and the Clarksville road the same being situated about four miles East from Paris on the L. V. Moore Homestead place.(FN:2)
     In 1888, the Blossom Prairie newspaper, THE BEE, published a biographical sketch from an oral interview with L. V. Moore, born in 1808, who told of later leaving Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee on the trip to Texas. The early settlement of Lamar County had already begun when he arrived in November, 1836, and about sixteen other families resided in what is now Lamar County until the following year when the lure of cheap and rich farming land resulted in a large migration to Texas.(FN:3)
     A photograph of the Moore homestead reveals a dog trot style dwelling with fireplaces typical of early pioneer construction.(FN:4) The cabin is no longer standing on the Moore home place. However, from this item and various other readings, it appears that the Moore's Springs community, church, and cemetery were so named because the Moore family was there. Others who came at the same time or soon after the Moores' arrival in the area were the Hamilton, Brantley, Reid, Kelly, Snell, Turner, Williams, DeWitt, Caldwell, Walker, and Landers families, and members of these pioneer families are buried in Moore's Springs Cemetery.(FN:5)
     In July, 1866, L. V. Moore was appointed a Commissioner of Lamar County, along with John Hobbs, R. J. Patton, and S. B. Rucker.(FN:6) According to A. W. Neville, a Lamar County historian, a letter from L. V. Moore to Ed. H. McCuistion, President of the Lamar County Historical Society, pinpoints the location of the first store in Paris and establishes L. V. Moore as an early pioneer on whose memory many historical locations in Lamar County were established. Also, according to Neville: 'Leven Moore, whose headright and home was where is now Moore Springs east of Paris . . . came to Lamar County in the early 'thirties.'(FN:7)
     Census records for 1840 through 1900 prove that man of the Moore's Springs folks buried in the cemetery migrated from the same sections of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee and, as their children reached marriageable age during the migration and settlement of the area, became relatives by marriage. For example, Sam Kelly and his wife Amanda appear in the 1880 North Carolina census,(FN:8) but are buried in Moore's Springs Cemetery.(FN:9) One of the earliest burial dates is on a stone marker for George W. Moore, who was born on January 31, 1848, and who died in Red River by drowning on July 16, 1873.(FN:10) He was the eleventh child of L. V. And Elizabeth Williams Moore.(FN:11)
     Other early burials are those of Lucinda Williams, 1816-1884, and Hamlin L. Williams, 1802-1888. Hamlin was a brother-in-law of L. V. Moore and made the forty-five day trip by an ox team and covered wagon from Hardeman County, Tennessee, with the Moores.(FN:12) The next deaths noted on the stones are those of J. Q. A. Walker, 1887, according to the church history,(FN:13) and Frances L. Walker, 1897. Brothers records J. Q. A. Walker's death as 1877.(FN:14) Amanda Kelly, who died in 1891, was born in North Carolina and married John Kelly, who was born in Ireland and was killed in the Civil War while fighting with CSA Co. G, North Carolina Infantry. Samuel W. Kelly, 1857-1910, was born in North Carolina; William McDonald Kelly was born in Texas in 1890 and died in 1913; and Dan A. Kelly was born in North Carolina in 1856 and died in 1937.(FN:15) Sam W. Kelly, an early Paris, Texas, merchant, owned and operated several cotton gins near Paris in Givens and Reno. D. A. Kelly and S. W. Kelly are listed as owners in the cemetery deed.(FN:16)
     Robert H. Moore later inherited the land where the cemetery is situated, as the youngest son of L. V. Moore, and on August 19, 1895, he deeded this property to Mrs. S. A. Snell, W. G. Moore, T. M. Turner, M. V. DeWitt, D. A. Kelly, S. W. Kelly, James K. Reid, Albert H. Moore, Andy Caldwell, Fannie A. Walker, Ki Landers, and Gill Reid, ' to include what is known as the Moore Grave Yard . . .'(FN:17) R. H. Moore is listed as having fought in nine Civil War battles and many skirmishes while a member of the 9th Texas Regiment from Lamar County, according to FIGHTING WITH ROSS' TEXAS CAVALRY BRIGADE, C.S.A.: THE DIARY OF GEORGE L. GRISCOM, ADJUTANT 9TH TEXAS CAVALRY REGIMENT, ed. Homer L. Kerr.(FN:18) Among the earliest birth records shown on any of the markers are those of Elizabeth Williams Moore, born October 25, 1808, and L. V. Moore, born January 25, 1809. He died in 1889, and she died in 1899.(FN:19)
     Several World War II markers are in the cemetery: Charles O. B. Wilson, October 2, 1923 - July 27, 1983 (U. S. Army), George E. Clark, 1914 - 1945 (U. S. Army), and Leonard Young, May 6, 1906 - August 7, 1973 (a known World War II veteran).(FN:20) There are three known Civil War veterans buried there: Robert H. Moore, William Green Moore, and Martin DeWitt. Robert H. Moore served in Co. G of the 1st Texas Cavalry in Ross' Texas Cavalry Brigade. William Green Moore served in Lamar Cavalry, Co. G, 1st Texas Cavalry, 27th Regiment.(FN:22) Martin DeWitt enlisted in Co. C, Alexander's Regiment, and served in the trans-Mississippi department, becoming a first lieutenant and quartermaster by the end of the war, and in 1866 he married Ellen J. Moore, daughter of Levin V. and Elizabeth Williams Moore.(FN:23)
     Also, there are two known Masons buried in the cemetery: William Green Moore, a Past Master of Masonic Lodge No. 27, and Samuel W. Kelly, also a member of Lodge No. 27.(FN:24)
The Masonic Library in Waco, Texas, has records that list William Green Moore, oldest son of L. V. Moore, as a charter member of the Masonic Lodge formed in Starksville, later Blossom Prairie, and now Blossom, Texas, Masonic Lodge 303. He was also listed as the Worshipful Master of the Paris Masonic Lodge 27 in 1857.(FN:25)
     These early settlers were merchants, farmers, ranchers, preachers, soldiers, and elected officials, and they filled other occupations that make a community self-contained and viable. The necessary research and the work in forming a cemetery association to preserve the final resting place of these pioneers provides motivation for our younger offspring and future students of history to learn more about their forebears in Lamar County who fought in wars and defended the community from Indian attacks, yet gathered periodically to clean the cemetery and participate in covered dish picnics, work days, and of course, the funerals of their families and friends. Today, the cemetery is becoming a place for our present generations, as they learn of our work, to connect with these pioneers and to observe and meet for a time of remembering those who have labored long before us.
     One of the last marked burials is that of Herbert Reid, who was born on February 25, 1905, and who died on April 10, 1987.(FN:26) Herbert was in charge of the maintenance at Moore's Springs Cemetery for forty-five years until age caused him to give up his job as caretaker. Vandalism and several years of undergrowth resulted in the formation of the Moore's Springs Cemetery Association, which was chartered in May 1987. It is a non-profit unincorporated association, employer's IRS tax number 75-2326017. The president is R. L. Groves. There are two vice-presidents, Philip Rogers and Milt Barton. The Board of Directors consists of Robbie Brantley, Lou Ellen Hayes, Philip Rogers, Milt Barton, and R. L. Groves. The association meets on the second Saturday of each May. Memorial and work days have started, the new fence is in place, and plans are going forward to construct a replica of the Moore's Springs Church and school at the north end of the grounds.(FN:27)
     The land surrounding the cemetery was owned by Joe P. and Bud Cobb. In 1989, they financed the Lamar County Commissioners' purchase of materials and paved the one-mile county road from Highway 271 to the old Clarksville Road. These landowners have set aside five-acre tracts across the road from Moore's Springs Cemetery for estate development, and the cemetery will soon no longer be on a lonesome county road in the country, but in a growing populous area where residents will be close by daily because Moore's Springs Cemetery is easily accessible by taking Highway 271 South from Paris one mile to the first (unnamed) county road, going north one mile to the corner of the county road and the old Clarksville Road. A Texas Historical Marker within the cemetery would be a place for future generations of school children, many of them the descendants of these pioneers, to come and view for study a vital part of Lamar County history.
Through the Moore's Springs Cemetery Association, regular maintenance is now under contract, all the markers have been raised, and all the plots have been numbered and staked,(FN:28) and it would be fitting, as interested visitors gather to remember past generations, that we commemorate their contributions to Lamar County, as well as to our state and nation, through the dedication of a historical marker noting the final resting place of these Lamar County, Texas, pioneers.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Dan R. Moore, 'Descendants of Joshua Moore (III),' 'Family History Moore,' (Unpublished family history in private files of Dan R. Moore, 310 Stroud Street, Cleburne, Texas 76031).
  2. Deed, Robert H. Moore to S. A. Snell et al, Lamar County Deed Records, Vol. M., Book 52, page 11.
  3. 'A Short Reminiscence: Life of L. V. Moore and Wife,' THE BEE, c. 1888, (Clipping in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).
  4. Photograph of Levin V. Moore and Elizabeth Williams Moore on sixtieth wedding anniversary, February 18, 1888, Moore's Springs, Texas, (Photograph in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).
  5. Ronald G. Brothers, 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas,' (Unpublished manuscript in the private files of Ronald G. Brothers, 3301 FM 1417, Apt. 1222, Sherman, Texas 75090).
  6. A. W. Neville, THE HISTORY OF LAMAR COUNTY (Paris: North Texas Publishing Company, 1937), p. 136.
  7. A. W. Neville, 'Backward Glances,' PARIS NEWS, November 10, 1931.
  8. U. S. Bureau of the Census, TENTH CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES: 1880 POPULATION, Supervisor's District No. 2, Publication District No. 188, Schedule 1, Inhabitants in Judkins Township, Warren County, North Carolina, June 12, 1880. (Notes from this census in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).
  9. Ronald G. Brothers, 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas.'
  10. Dan R. Moore, 'Descendants of Joshua Moore (III),' 'Family History Moore.'
  11. Frances Hamilton, Leven V. Moore Genealogy (Unpublished chart in the private files of Frances Hamilton, 559 Church Street, Paris, Texas 75460).
  12. Dan R. Moore, 'Descendants of Joshua Moore (III),' 'Family History Moore.'
  13. R. L. Roberts, 'Moore's Springs Church History,' (Unpublished paper prepared by historian associated with Abilene Christian College and located in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).
  14. Ronald G. Brothers, 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas.'
  15. R. L. Groves, research notes in private files located at 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
  16. Deed, Robert H. Moore to S. A. Snell et al, Lamar County Deed Records, Vol. m, Book 52, Page 11.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Dan R. Moore, 'Descendants of Joshua Moore (III),' 'Family History Moore.'
  19. Ronald G. Brothers, 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas.'
  20. R. L. Groves, research notes in private files located at 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
  21. Homer L. Kerr, ed., FIGHTING WITH ROSS' TEXAS CAVALRY BRIGADE, C.S.A.: THE DIARY OF GEORGE L. GRISCOM, ADJUTANT 9TH TEXAS CAVALRY REGIMENT (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1976).
  22. A. W. Neville, HISTORY OF LAMAR COUNTY, pp. 112-113.
  23. BIOGRAPHICAL SOUVENIR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS (Chicago: F. A. Battey and Company, 1889), p. 250.
  24. R. L. Groves, correspondence and photocopied documents from The Masonic Grand Lodge Library and Museum of Texas, Waco, Texas, located in his private files at 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ronald G. Brothers, 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas.'
  27. Minutes of the Annual Meeting, May 1, 1987, Moore's Springs Cemetery Association (Minutes located in the files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).
  28. R. L. Groves, Notes on Moore's Springs Cemetery Association (Notes located in his files at 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460).

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    BIOGRAPHICAL SOUVENIR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS. Chicago: F. A. Battey and Company, 1889.
    Brothers, Ronald G. 'Moore's Springs Cemetery,' 'The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas.' Unpublished manuscript in the private files of Ronald G. Brothers, 3301 FM 1417, Apt. 1222, Sherman, Texas 7509).
    Deed. Robert H. Moore to S. A. Snell et al. Lamar County Deed Records. Vol. M, Book 52, page 11.
    Groves, R. L. Unpublished research notes in private files located at 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
    Hamilton, Frances. 'Levin V. Moore Genealogy.' Unpublished chart in the private files of Frances Hamilton, 559 Church Street, Paris, Texas 75460.
    Kerr, Homer L., ed. FIGHTING WITH ROSS' TEXAS CAVALRY BRIGADE, C.S.A.: THE DIARY OF GEORGE L. GRISCOM, ADJUTANT 9TH TEXAS CAVALRY REGIMENT. Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1976.
    Moore, Dan R. 'Descendants of Joshua Moore (III),' 'Family History Moore.' Unpublished family history in private files of Dan R. Moore, 310 Stroud Street, Cleburne, Texas 76031.
    Moore, Levin V. and Elizabeth Williams Moore. February 18, 1888. Unpublished photograph in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
    Moore's Springs Cemetery Association. Minutes of the Annual Meeting. May 1, 1987. Papers located at the home of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
    Neville, A. W. 'Backward Glances,' PARIS NEWS, November 10, 1931.
    Neville, A. W. THE HISTORY OF LAMAR COUNTY. Paris: North Texas Publishing Company, 1937.
    Roberts, R. L. 'Moore's Springs Church History.' Unpublished paper prepared by R. L. Roberts, faculty, Abilene Christian College, and located in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
    'A Short Reminiscence: Life of L. V. Moore and Wife,' THE BEE (Blossom, Texas), c. 1888. Clipping in the private files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.
    U. S., Bureau of the Census. TENTH CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES: 1880 POPULATION. Supervisor's District No. 2, Publication District No. 188, Schedule 1, Inhabitants in Judkins Township, Warren County, North Carolina. Unpublished notes located in the files of R. L. Groves, 4020 Lake Shore Drive, Paris, Texas 75460.

    THE PARIS NEWS, Wednesday, January 13, 1999, page 1B: '(Picture) Historic designation - by Bob Merriman, News Staff Writer. Moores Spring Cemetery, southeast of Paris, has been designated an Official Historic Texas Cemetery by the Texas Historical Commission. The cemetery is the first to receive the designation in Lamar County, said Robert Groves, who has cared for the cemetery since 1987. Receiving the designation took about four months, Groves said. 'Part of the requirement was to send in black and white photographs, but I couldn't find any black and white film anywhere in Paris,' he said. Instead, Groves used color film to photograph the cemetery, got the film processed and printed, and submitted the photographs. The use of color photographs did not meet with state approval, but when Groves explained his reason for using that type film, the historical commission sent him a roll of black and white film. Texas has about 50,000 cemeteries, the Historical Commission estimates. Resources for historical studies, cemeteries help identify settlement patterns and present information on religious practices, styles of life and genealogy. Other groups should seek historical designation for other cemeteries, said Ron Brothers, president of Lamar County Genealogical Society. 'It is highly important that every effort be made to preserve the heritage left by early pioneers of our area, not only in the perpetuation of their legacies, but in the preservation of their final resting place,' Brothers said. Dr. William deG Hayden of Lamar County Historical Commission also praised Groves's work, saying the commission 'congratulates the Moores Springs Cemetery Association for the splendid job they have done in preserving and bringing recognition to the cemetery.' 'Hopefully, many others will emulate their efforts in preserving the historical fabric of Lamar County.' The state commission hopes to preserve cemeteries through historical designation. Old cemeteries are threatened by urban expansion, the commission says. Many cemeteries simply disappear, some one tombstone at a time, others through wholesale destruction for housing developments. In rural areas, subdivision of land and construction of new housing also contributes to cemetery destruction. A Commission booklet, Preserving Historical Cemeteries, is available at no cost. To get the booklet, contact Gerron Hite at 512-475-4167 or access at gerron.hite@thc.state.tx.us. Other Texas Historical Commission programs are available by accessing www.thc.state.tx.us.'

PICTURE(S):

Photographs courtesy of Lawrence and Sue Dale.

Moores Springs Cemetery

Moores Springs Cemetery


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