|Andrew Wesley Chapel Cemetery|
Also known as: Andrew Chapel Cemetery
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Located on Farm-to-Market Road 1680, Just southeast of Waelder and just past the Southern & Pacific Railroad crossing, south of IH-10.
The Threadgill Family claim in their own history book entitled Threadgill: Book 2, by Janis (Heidenreich) Miller and Wordna (Threadgill) Wicker, their Caucasian ancestors, Minister Alexander Stephen (1809-1869) and his wife Sarah (Threadgill) Kindred, with his sister-in-law Lucy (Threadgill) Kindred (the widow of A. Stephen's brother named Peter Elisha Kindred) joined together to build a Methodist Episcopal Church in the Peach Creek Community in which they lived and called it Andrew Chapel.
Conversely, the African-American Winkfield Family of Gonzales County lay claim to the cemetery's namesake by legacy of their ancestor called Andrew Winkfield. The Andrew Winkfield closest to the era of when Andrew Chapel Cemetery was established was born January 1st, 1877; not of the age to have owned large amounts of acreage as the Winkfield's profess. However, the 'Andrew Winkfield' they may be referring to is Andrew Winkfield's father named Anderson Winkfield who did own several hundred acres of land and was originally from Tennessee, having been born circa. 1831. It is not known when he arrived to Texas from Tennessee, but he did marry to his wife named Lucy Ward on December 26th, 1866 in Gonzales County, Texas. What may also be a contributing force in his legacy of this area called Peach Creek was his illustrious father named Surry Winkfield Sr. who himself owned 130 acres of land in 1880. Anderson and Surry Sr. may still then be related to the well-heeled John Winkfield who owned 540-acres of property in the same year. John Winkfield is believed to be tied to both Surry Winkfield Sr. and Anderson Winkfield through some strong relation.
In fact, concerning Anderson Winkfield's person, the 'Waelder Siftings' section of the Gonzales Inquirer empathizes with him in 1893 when it is described that his entire home and contents of a lifetime were destroyed by fire in one short hour. He is then described as 'an honest and hardworking Negro'. The 1880 Agricultural Census of Gonzales County gives a description of Anderson's property as being comprised of 150-acres of woodlands and 40-acres of tillable lands of which he manages by the help of 5 horses.
'Andrew' is said to have owned the vast majority of the 'pre-Wesley Chapel community', and the area was dubbed Andrew Chapel in homage to his legacy of strength and his proprietorship. The name of the cemetery on death certificates of those interred are any variation on Andrew Chapel including 'Andrews Chapel', 'Andrews', 'Andy Chapel', 'Andre' as well as 'Wesley Chapel'.
The name of the community of Wesley Chapel, which had its own church and school of the same name (which is spoken of in the Gonzales Inquirer in the years 1876 and 1878 and then again in 1880), is said to have caused marked confusion for the entire area near this branch of Peach Creek. So much so that it began to be associated with Andrew Chapel Cemetery because of its namesake's church and school being less than a quarter mile away. Some histories suggest that a Wesley Chapel Church and School sat within the confines of the Andrew Chapel Cemetery property, but this allegation has yet to be proved or disproved. Overtime the two (Andrew Chapel and Wesley Chapel) became synonymous. Given that the Wesley Chapel Community and its church and school are said to be existing in the late 1870s, this would imply that Andrew Chapel Cemetery was well established before that point and Anderson/'Andrew' gave/lost/sold or bequeathed his lands to formulate areas dubbed part or wholly of the Wesley Chapel area before literature was published establishing Wesley Chapel as its own entity in 1876.
The church of Wesley Chapel was most assuredly named for Methodist Episcopal founder John Wesley. It is handed down that the chain link fence running through the cemetery partitioned black from white internments. This is proved after careful research. In fact the 'white side' has comparatively less internments than the more voluminous 'black side'. The Caucasian burials primarily consist of those belonging to the Halliburton Family and because of the fence, gives off the allusion that this half of the cemetery is Andrew Chapel Cemetery; seemingly marked by the red sign which bares that name. This suggests that the other side (the black side) is 'Wesley Chapel Cemetery', when in fact they are both part of the same hallowed ground called Andrew Chapel Cemetery.
Not concerning the cemetery, but interesting to point is that the Gonzales Inquirer reports a student population of 111 for Wesley Chapel School on September 18th, 1893 and would be allocated $513 of the Gonzales County Public School Fund. Wesley Chapel was the second highest in student population for rural black communities in Gonzales County that year, besides Elm Slough's 117. The Wesley Chapel School is also indicated as being in School District #6.
The community of Wesley Chapel lost its church building, the first time, when it is said to have burned in February of 1896, and then rebuilt on the property on the lands belonging to the black farmer Green Hardaway in District #2, by Deed, i.e. suggesting the school was relocated. The second time it was torn down in the mid to late 1940s.
The Andrew Chapel Cemetery name was hyphenated in 2009 to Andrew Wesley Chapel Cemetery by executive decision of the Board of Directors for the respective cemetery. This alleviated confusion about any individual's relative being buried at Andrew Chapel or at cemetery they believed to be called Wesley Chapel, given the name where their relative lived known as the community; or hamlet; or region; or area of Wesley Chapel.
|Interactive map and GPS data:|
GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 29.67389, Longitude: -97.24917
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