Big Rock Cemetery

Photo added by Jeff & Cheryl

Big Rock Cemetery

Location
Van Zandt County, Texas, USA
Memorials 127 added (68% photographed)

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We must first mention that without the help of the original "Big Rock" cemetery contributors Jeff and Cheryl we might still be searching for this cemetery.
The reason we have added another site for this cemetery is due to the many photo additions, a few new interments and the discovery of some previously overlooked interned that does not appear on any records. We have also included unique GPS coordinates on each headstone recorded.
The cemetery entrance is located at N32 21.981 W95.56.190. As best as your research can calculate there are near 250 interred in this cemetery with only about one third being accounted for with the majority presumed to have been black. Records indicate several sites here that we were unable to locate so therefore will not have photos. Sadly nature is reclaiming this cemetery.
We have also included here a few facts and a bit of interesting history about the area.

Facts –

Most common surnames is "SMITH".

Birth Date of earliest grave is for "ARCHIE BOWMAN B. 1806".

Most current burial as of this date 6/2011 is "Bernice (Smith) Dial, 2010".

Oldest person is "ELIZA WYNNE DIED AT 102".

Oldest marker is for "R.H. HOLMES 1855"

BIG ROCK, TEXAS – By Ruth S. Abbott
Big Rock is situated in the Southern part of Van Zandt and Northwest part of Henderson County on what was the Old Porter's Bluff to Tyler stagecoach road, later called the Goshen – Walton Road.
Big Rock probably derived its name from the fact that it was the largest of four rocks in this area. From a high vantage point on top of Big Rock you can see the countryside for miles in every direction.
The first watermill erected in Van Zandt County was located at Big Rock. It was built by W.W Stirman and was operated for several years. S.S. Rohrer built a larger mill some years later that had a carding machine attached that would card raw wool into rolls. This machine was in use during the Civil War.
The first post office at Big Rock was in 1858, called Big Rock. W.W. Stirman was the postmaster. By 1890 the post office at Big Rock was called Rosenas and remained thus until October 31, 1905 when it was moved to Eustace.
One teacher taught all grades in the one-room school house until 1937 when the Big Rock School was consolidated with the Eustace School District.
There was never an organized church at Big Rock. The schoolhouse was used as a place to hold church services for all denomination and people of all faiths would attend these meetings. Revivals were usually held in the summertime when the crops were layed-by.
Big Rock had a mercantile store in the community at various times. One of the owners was Mrs. Howey who married F.B. Atherton. There was also another store operated by Marvin Thompson.

Social life at Big Rock was no different from other communities. They had school plays, ballgames, picnics and swimming in the summer time.
Some of the early family names were –
Stirman, Rohrer, Cockerel, Morehead, Mallary, York, Durham, Lewis, Thompson, Stegall and Ray.
There was also a settlement of blacks in the Big Rock Area. In the early years they had their own school, lodge, and churches and would have a barbecue each year on June 19. Jim Abrams prepared the barbecue by cooking it all night in a pit he would prepare. They would invite both whites and blacks to these affairs.
Their cemetery is at the foot of Big Rock cemetery with tombstones dating back to the early 1870s.
Some of the early black settlers were –
Abrams, Smith, Brookins, Bowman, Dixon, Brown, Tarkenton, Polk and Garrett.

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GPS Coordinates: 32.3663500, -95.9365000

  • Added: 18 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2406784