The Circuit Riding Preacher
by Mrs. Alice Price
Thomas Burns was born in 1810 in Mississippi. He came to Texas with his father and helped drive the Indians out of Texas and into Oklahoma. He settled in Red River County and received a headright land grant from Texas for 640 acres of land in 1841. He was a well known Methodist preacher and rode the circuit on horseback. He married Miss Mary Bailey. Their children were Melissa, Nealy, Jeff, Van, John, and Green, who also made a Methodist minister.
Mrs. Burns died, and seven years later he married, but the name of this wife was unknown. Rev. Burns moved to Jack County in 1854 and held camp meetings there.
Three years later Burns married Parthenia Morrison. They had two daughters, Ann, who married Jessie Underwood, and Katie who married Joseph Merrill.
Burns at one time owned land in the Mitchell Bend, all the way around to Possum Hollow. His son John by his first marriage died and was buried in the Burns field, with solid rock placed over his grave which is still located on what is now known as the Sam Grissom farm. Burns moved to Hood County in about 1870.
He donated the land for the Nubbin Ridge Cemetery when his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Edens’ baby boy, only nine days old, died April 21, 1878. There was no cemetery, so Burns donated land for one.
About two years later on July 10, 1880, Thomas Burns died and was the second person buried in the cemetery. The Edens’ baby was the first. Both graves are covered with solid rock, coffin-shaped tombstones, and the reading on them is still legible.
Mrs. Burns (lovingly called Granny) died at her home in the Mambrino community in 1924, is also buried in the Nubbin Ridge Cemetery.