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Pinhook Cemetery, Lamar County, Texas
LOCATION: Pinhook Cemetery is located in the extreme northeast quadrant of the county near the county line. It is in Block 19 of the Lamar County Road Map produced by American Drafting and Services revised December 1993.
DIRECTIONS: From FM 195 North, the cemetery is about a mile (south) down County Road 45600 on the left.
GPS COORDINATES: Not available
OLDEST KNOWN BURIAL: The oldest inscribed grave is that of Mary E. Bryan, who died 26 Sep 1891.
NUMBER OF GRAVES: There are 19 known graves in the cemetery. (July 2017)
SIGNS/MARKERS: There is not a sign for the cemetery.
LAST ENUMERATION: The cemetery was recorded by Ron Brothers in December 1990.
ADD'L INFORMATION: The following is account of the community. THE LAMAR COUNTY ECHO, Thursday, April 20, 1989, p. 1: 'Pinhook Finally Has Its Name Restored - If you drive out FM, 195 northeast of Paris today you'll see newly erected signs marking the southwest and northeast limits of the Pinhook community. The signs replace those that identified the community as 'Faulkner' for nearly 40 years, and according to some residents, puts to rest a disagreement over the name of the community. The community, located 18 miles northeast of Paris, was given the name Pinhook when pioneers settled there. It led a quiet existence for more than 100 years, suffering few disparaging remarks about its uncommon name. But around 1950, some residents decided the name Pinhook wasn't very dignified, so they renamed the community Faulkner for a gentleman who once operated a cotton gin there. A petition went to the Texas Highway Department to change the highway signs from Pinhook to Faulkner, and the deed was done. But it wasn't over. 'There has been a lot of saber-rattling between the natives of the community in recent years,' says lifelong Pinhook resident Jesse Swindle. 'There were some hard feelings at times, and a lot of discussion. But hopefully this (name change) will end all the strife.' Action taken by the Lamar County Commissioners Court in December officially renamed the community Pinhook. County Judge Robert Burns then forwarded a request to the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation for new signs to be erected, completing the action. The Pinhook community's tranquil existence has seldom been interrupted, except for the fact that it was first a part of Miller County, Arkansas, and then part of Red River County when Texas claimed the area south of the Red River from Arkansas. Finally, Pinhook became a part of Lamar County when the county boundaries were set for the northeastern region Texas. Pinhook was the original name of the settlement of Paris before it became the county seat of Lamar County. Those officials named the town Paris and left the name Pinhook available for the small settlement near the Red River. The community was settled sometime between 1800 and 1850, according to historical reports. It was a thriving community during the early history of Texas. The first known group of French immigrants to Texas settled only three miles from Pinhook along the Red River in the early 1800s, only to be killed by Indians who claimed the territory. Pinhook encompassed a large part of northeast Lamar County during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The community had two cotton gins, including the one operated by a Faulkner. A school served the area for many years. There were also two or three stores, a grist mill, a blacksmith shop and later a garage. Several hundred people resided in the region. Pinhook even had its own baseball team that included such stars as Jesse Baxter, Marshall Phillips, Little Charley Phillips, the Haley and the Gardner boys. But like most rural Texas communities, all these things disappeared with the advent of better roads and faster transportation that led to the larger cities. Pinhook has never been incorporated, doesn't have a post office and exists out of tradition rather than law. Today, the community is smaller, encompassing approximately eight square miles, and is inhabited by 65 residents. One of its early natives, William A. 'Bill' Owens provided the motivation that led Swindle and other residents to ask the county commissioners court to change the community's name back to Pinhook. Now famous as an educator and an author, public television is planning to film a documentary on the life and writings of Pinhooks famous native. That event is to occur sometime in late spring or summer, according to Swindle. Owens was born and raised in Pinhook, attending the country schools there. He was a smart young man, Swindle recalls, but always had aspirations to become someone. Swindle said his grandfather, U. S. Swindle, helped raise Owens, and Owens' best friend was an uncle, Pat Swindle. Owens finished school in Pinhook, attended Paris Junior College and East Texas State University. He later taught school at Texas A and M University, was dean of the literary department at Columbia University, and has written numerous books. His novel, THIS STUBBORN SOIL, describes the life and times of growing up in Pinhook. That book is the emphasis for the upcoming documentary filming, part of which will take place in Pinhook. He (Owens) has dignified the name of Pinhook, Swindle contends, not only is the name a tradition, it is now embedded in the written history of the community. With its original name on road signs welcoming visitors and passers-by, and its dignity restored, Swindle said Pinhook residents can now settle back and enjoy another century of history in the making. I doubt that there will be anything overwhelming occur here, he said. We will just help hold the world together.
PICTURE(S):

Pinhook Cemetery


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