Hope Well Methodist Episcopal Cemetery is an active African American cemetery that is located on the northern shores of Fairfield State Lake, adjacent to the southern side of Big Brown Mining Plant. It is associated with the Titus Farm Community and the church that goes by the same name. It is under the care of the Hope Well Memorial Cemetery Association. The Hope Well Methodist Church merged with the Jones Chapel United Methodist Church in Fairfield on July 28, 1968. There is another Hopewell cemetery located in Freestone County near Teague that is a traditionally Anglo-American burial ground and has sometimes been confused with this cemetery.
The Titus Farm Community, a primarily African-American settlement, formed in the area of Brown's Creek after Emancipation. It was also known as Brown's Creek Community. The Hope Well Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1874 in a log cabin on land given by Edward "Ned" (1812-1900) and Clorie Titus (1820-1890). Ned and his wife were among the slaves brought from South Carolina to Arkansas, and to Freestone County, Texas in 1852 by their masters, the Simeon and Nancy Lake Family. Ned and Clorie had eleven children: Timothy "Tite", Frances, Jim, Harriet, Henry, Emma, Sudie, Walter, Willie, Levi, and Guydon. Most of the burials stem from this family and their descendants.
J.A. and F.E. Hill later donated an acre of land to the Northern Texas Methodist Episcopal Conference for Hope Well Methodist Church on January 29, 1881. Henry and Susan Titus gave the land for the cemetery when their son, Arthur, died on July 7, 1888. He was the first known burial. He is the grandson of Ned Titus.
Titus Farm School, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Heroines of Jericho, and F.A. and A.M. Masons were also established in the Titus Farm Community. The Titus Farm School had an enrollment of 51 for the 1893-94 school term.
For directions from Fairfield: go east on Main Street of Fairfield until the street turns to FM Road 488, after approximately 2 miles, FM 488 will divide with FM 2570 to the right and 488 to the left. Take 2570 and remain on it for approximately ten or eleven miles when one will be at the Big Brown Mining Plant. Turn right on the first road that opens to the right. Proceed to the guard house and request a key to the cemetery. Follow the road to the left, around the plant on the shore of the lake. One will find a locked gate and a chain link fence around the cemetery.
Sources: Wilbur Thirkield (Bill) Bonner-Titus - Freestone County Archives: http://files.usgwarchives.net/tx/freestone/cemetery/hopewell.txt; The Freestone County History Book, Vol. II, Page 500
GPS Coordinates: 31.82194, -96.2027
- Added: 3 Apr 2010
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2348890
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