John and Gresella
Letter concerning Burial of Early Settlers
By: Frances Pratt
: Re: Martin Cemetery
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 13:12:42 EDT
Dear Mr. Frank Saffarrans,
I viewed with interest the Martin Cemetery information, contributed by Warren Rogers. However, the grave of my great, great grandmother which is in Martin Cemetery, Lipan, Texas, did not appear on the list of those buried there.
There is one large stacked rock grave, near the back of the cemetery. I believe it was near a storage building, and slightly to the left on the entry to the cemetery. I took pictures of it in 1995 or 1996. The grave monument is of flat native rocks stacked on top of each other, maybe 6 feet long by three feet wide, and about 2 feet tall. On the top of this grave (near its head) is another flat stone, about a foot wide, and about 2 feet long.
I was out in the cemetery with Mrs. Seymour of Lipan in 95 or 96. She was trying to help me locate the grave. We searched and searched, but could not find my great, great grandma’s grave, until Mrs. Seymour lifted this flat stone, and there underneath was the inscription for my ancestor. It read in mixed capital and lower cased letters, scratched into the stone underneath. It had to have been an act of love to carve the inscription by hand, and then carry the native flat stones to stack on top of her grave. Since she died in July, it was probably very hot at the burial.It read:TO THe
MRS G A
Jan 7 1828
July 3 1885She was the wife of John Snelson, who is buried in Blueflat Cemetery in Gordon, next to his son-in-law, James H. Creed. Her name was Gresella or Griselda McKee Snelson. She had several children who were buried nearby, some in Nubbin Ridge Cemetery, just out of Granbury, and two in Jaybird Cemetery on a private ranch about 9 miles south of Thurber, Texas in Erath county, yet maybe only 10-15 miles from Martin Cemetery. Those two graves were: Ann Snelson, and W.H. Snelson (William was my great grandfather), brother and sister.
In Nubbin Ridge Cemetery, Mrs. M.E. Creed (Mary E. Snelson Creed) and her brother, Alford Snelson are buried. Other Snelsons are buried near Cleburne in Johnson county, and one other daughter, Frances Ellen Driskill is buried in Denton, and another son, James, is buried in Wichita Falls, while his wife, Violet Cash Snelson is buried in Nubbin Ridge Cemetery in Hood County.
The Snelson family is mentioned on page 155 of the Hood County History, written by T.T. Ewell, published in 1895. “Some of these men might be appropriately classed with our early pioneers. They are all representative farmers and stockmen...” The Snelsons, indeed were stockmen, and had registered their brands in Hood County. Early school records from Hood County show Snelsons living in the area in the 1870’s. Several Snelson marriages also occured in Hood County in the 1880’s also.
Most of this family of Snelsons lived near Lipan and the Thurber area, apparently in their early Texas days. In the 1880’s, they started taking up homesteads near the tributary of Rush Creek in Erath County, which is still very close geographically to Lipan.
I am so curious about this area. And if you have a source for anyone who has collected history on the area, I would very much like to be in contact with them.
Mrs. E.J. Seymour’s husband was a descendant of the Tolbert family that had lived for 6 generations on the same land in Lipan. Alford Snelson married Virginia Mariah Tolbert on July 14, 1878 in Hood County. I figure the Snelsons were in that area at least by then.
I hope that my great great grandma’s grave can now be added to the list of those buried in Martin cemetery. I also am interested in that style of grave marker that she has. There are two identical type of stacked flat native rock graves over in the Jaybird Cemetery near Thurber, near the grave of Griselda’s son, W.H. Snelson. If anyone has information on the choice of that style of monument, I would very much like to learn of its history. Thank you for allowing me to participate in this exchange of information. And thank you for having such a fine research site available to so many. I wish more groups would do the same good work that your county folks have done.
Frances Pratt, Edmond, Oklahoma