Chatfield Texas Cemetery Association

 

History of Cemeteries of Chatfield, Texas

Board Members

Old Chatfield Cemetery Census

New Chatfield Cemetery Census

Veterans

Texas Revolution Veterans

Family Histories

Chatfield, Texas and Environs

Cemetery Listing on Find-a-Grave

In Memorium

Donations

Purchase Spaces

Annual Picnic

Links

Membership

Contacts

 

   

Annual Picnic 
2012 Chatfield Cemetery Association
Homecoming Picnic & BBQ Lunch


Saturday, July 7th, 2012
12:00 Noon

$7.00 Donation

 

Children Under 3 - FREE
Ages 4-12 - $3.50
Adults Ages 90+ - FREE

Chatfield-Tupelo Community Center
FM 1603 Chatfield, TX 75105

 

For Tickets contact Rob Jones at 903-654-2066 or at shadows1865@msn.com
 
Annual Homecoming Picnic
 
 
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

 

  Chatfield Cemetery Association Co-Sponsors Dedication of Historical Marker Honoring Chatfield Native General Lucian K. Truscott

Photographs from the Truscott Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony & Reception

 

 

The History of the Cemeteries of Chatfield, Texas


The Old and New Chatfield Cemeteries

The History of the burial grounds at Chatfield date from the time of Capt. Robert Hodge's settlement there in 1849. Having emigrated from Kentucky with his family and slaves, he discovered a lone grave of recent origin in a peaceful wooded area on his 1280 acres. This grave, that of David Mize. suggested that this site would be appropriate for a cemetery, and the Old Chatfield Cemetery came into being as Capt. Hodge marked off five acres. Two descendants of David Mize now live in Corsicana, Mrs. L. G. Highnote and Mrs. Louis Gibson.

As with any frontier society, civilization in the making, deaths added to the graves in the subsequent decades after the cemetery's founding. Mrs. Nancy Sturdivant Griggs, the daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran, was laid to rest in 1871. The James Blair Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a commemorative marker at her grave in 1941, the only such marker in any Navarro County Cemetery. The R. H. Witherspoon family and the W. P. Thorp family are descended from this pioneer woman and still live at Chatfield. Others include Presley Donaldson's grave. It states on the slab "born April 4, 1789 died March 22, 1863". He lived during the life of George Washington.
As the new century neared, the people of Chatfield realized the need for expanded acreage to the cemetery. No adjoining land was available, but a five acre tract about 300 yards east of the original ground was selected as the site of the new Chatfield Cemetery. The community purchased the land in 1899 and later that year the wife of a resident filled the first grave.

Chatfield natives, spurred only by pride and love, have continually maintained both graveyards. In 1924 and 1925, when L. P. Hodge was principal of the Chatfield School, the students raised the necessary funds to place markers at the grave of each Confederate veteran. Later, Mr. Hodge donated land for additional parking space. The Chatfield Cemetery Association has charge of keeping the cemeteries today. For many years, the people have held a Fourth of July Picnic, with all proceeds going to the Cemetery Association. Under the capable direction of longtime association president Mrs. U. W. Ray, the picnic was known as one of the highlights of the summer season throughout Navarro County. Mrs. Ray retired a few years ago, but the picnic is still an important source for the upkeep of the cemeteries.

by J. M. Hodge and Robert N. Jones, Jr.

 

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Board Members

Jeannie McCarty, President
Rob Jones
Barbara McVay
Terry Montfort
Benny Phillips
Nancy Sykes





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Old Chatfield Cemetery Census

Two historical surveys of the burials in the cemetery have been done. The first was performed by Mrs. Balfour H. Clark, Mrs. Walter Fendley, Mrs. A.B. Horn and Mrs. Wesley Edens in 1940 and was published by the James Blair Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.   In 1980, the second survey was performed and published by the Navarro County Genealogical Society.    These two surveys are reproduced here in their entirety.  The original documents may be viewed in the Genealogical Section of the Corsicana Public Library in Corsicana, Texas.



Old Chatfield Cemetery Burial Census by Horn & Edens.pdf

  First census performed by Mrs. Balfour H. Clark, Mrs. Walter Fendley, Mrs. A.B. Horn and Mrs.    Wesley Edens. 






Old Chatfield Cemetery Burial Census by the Navarro Co. Genealogical Society.pdf
  Second census performed in 1980 by the Navarro County Genealogical Society.   





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Veterans

Many veterans lie in eternal rest at the Chatfield Cemeteries. There are veterans from the War of 1812, Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, War Between the States, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam.

 



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Chatfield, Texas and Environs


The community known as Chatfield in northeast Navarro County originated in the late 1840's as a trading post established at a spring by an Indian trader, Norman Chatfield. A road established during the Republic of Texas already traversed the area and followed roughly the roadbed of FM 1603 through the present day village. In the early days of statehood, families used this road and others to enter Navarro County.

In 1849-1850, a retired riverboat captain from Kentucky, Robert Hodge, came to the area looking for land upon which to settle his family. He found only a few scattered families living in the entire northeast part of the county. Norman Chatfield had long since moved on, but his name still identified the area as "Chatfield Springs" or "Chatfield Point." Captain Hodge purchase d 1280 acres here and moved his family and slaves, establishing a prosperous plantation. Committed to building up the area, the Captain laid out a town site, sold lots, and encouraged immigration to the area.
 
By 1860, Captain Hodge had seen his dream of a thriving community become a reality. Settlement of the rich farmland around Chatfield had continued steadily throughout the 1850's. The 1860 Census showed more than two hundred inhabitants in the area of the unincorporated village. It listed two blacksmiths, four merchants, two lawyers, two doctors, a ginner, a millwright, a waggoner, and a carpenter living in Chatfield and the area surrounding it. One of the three largest furniture manufacturing firms in antebellum Texas, Crawford and Porter, operated there using the fine hardwoods of the nearby Trinity River bottomlands. A steam flour mill had been constructed with a capacity of 600 bushels of wheat ground daily. Both Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges existed with a school operated jointly by the fraternities. Several churches met in the same building.
A correspondent for the Navarro Express, a newspaper published in the nearby county seat of Corsicana, described Chatfield in a June 2, I860 article,
  
(T)he village of Chatfield appears to be attracting more attention at present than any other part of the county; and from the information that comes to us from day to day of its rapidly growing prosperity, we took it upon our humble self to pay said Chatfield a flying visit; and what was our astonishment to find, instead of a small eight by ten village, a flourishing town that  bids fair to be a rival to our own county seat.

The correspondent further described Chatfield as

situated in a beautiful grove of timber, on high rolling land, surrounded by a
number of fine springs, accessible by good roads at all seasons of the year,
and having the advantage of being situated in the corner of Navarro (County) . . .
inhabited by as intelligent and moral people as can be found in the Union. . . .
 
After the War Between the States, the growth of Chatfield was dealt a telling blow. The H. & T.C. Railroad laid its track six miles west of the community. Chatfield then settled into being a small cotton farming community. Education, however, was still important to area citizens, and a private boarding school was established in 1896 with the help of Captain Hodge's widow. It was named Elizabeth Institute in her honor. The music teacher was a Mrs. L. K. Truscott whose son, Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., born at Chatfield in 1895, would become one of the great American army commanders in World War II.
 
With the Great Depression and World War II, the population of the community continued to decline. Only in the last few years has this trend begun to reverse itself as people move from the Metroplex. Chatfield now boasts an active community center, a progressive volunteer fire department, a newly built post office building, a strong Crime Watch Program, a Methodist Church, and a water supply corporation that serves much of the eastern half of Navarro County.   About 200 people live in and around Chatfield.

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In Memorium

This page is created for people to submit a memorial for a loved one buried at either the Old or New Chatfield Cemeteries.  A donation of __ is required.  Text and photographs along with your check for a donation of __ or more may be mailed to:

 
Chatfield Cemetery Association
P. O. Box 45
Chatfield, Texas  75105


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Donations

Donations, which are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by federal law, are the primary means of support for the Old and New Chatfield Cemeteries.  The Association receives no government funds and must depend on the generosity of its members and supporters.  Every year, maintenance costs, including mowing and limb and brush removal, continue to rise with the cost of living.  The Board is committed to maintaining the cemeteries in a manner that honors the memories of the pioneers, patriots, and loved ones who are no longer with us.  You would expect no less!  But it takes money.  Please be generous with your donations which can be mailed to:

Chatfield Cemetery Association
P. O. Box 45
Chatfield, Texas  75105

Some find a monthly donation easier.  If you would like a monthly automatic draft from your bank account, please click here to download a bank draft form.

Also, you can remember the Chatfield Cemetery Association in your will. The Association and its Board cannot provide you legal advice, but please talk to your attorney when making decisions about disposing of your estate.  Your insurance agent also can discuss with you about designating the Association as one of the beneficiaries of your life insurance.


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Annual Picnic


2012 Chatfield Cemetery Association
Homecoming Picnic & BBQ Lunch


Saturday, July 7th, 2012
12:00 Noon

$7.00 Donation

 

Children Under 3 - FREE
Ages 4-12 - $3.50
Adults Ages 90+ - FREE

Chatfield-Tupelo Community Center
FM 1603 Chatfield, TX 75105

 

For Tickets contact Rob Jones at 903-654-2066 or at shadows1865@msn.com
 
Annual Homecoming Picnic
 
 
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

For many years, the "Fourth of July Picnic" has been the principal fund raiser for the Association.  Many can remember this event being held on Independence Day at Sands Tank.  In later years, it was moved to the Chatfield-Tupelo Community Center. For greater convenience, it now is held at the Community Center at Noon on the closest Saturday to Independence Day.  It is the cornerstone of a "Homecoming Weekend" involving the whole community.  The Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department sponsors a fireworks display Saturday night and the Chatfield United Methodist Church has special services on Sunday.

Please remember the Picnic.  Delicious homemade specialties are donated by the members and shared with all in a "covered dish" lunch.  The meal is priced reasonably for a family to attend, and all proceeds benefit the Association in the maintenance of the Cemeteries.


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Chatfield Cemetery Association Links




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Chatfield Cemetery Association Contact Information

Chatfield Cemetery Association
P.O. Box 45
Chatfield, TX 75105

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