We received the certificate for our "Walker Cemetery" to be historical. Now to get the fence up and have a dedication. If you are interested in helping with the fence or want to attend the dedication please contact me.
WALKER CEMETERY, WASHINGTON COUNTY, BRENHAM, TEXAS
In 1817, William Harvey Dever left home at the age of 15 years, to meet up with Moses Austin in Missouri, who was planning to taking settlers to Texas. He, along with Reuben (a slave sent by his mother), decided not to wait for Moses Austin and set out on his own, entering Texas at Pecan Point just above Sherman and making his way to the gateway to Texas, a renegade outpost called Nacogdoches. Crossing the Brazos River at Hidalgo Bluffs on January 1819 at the age of 17 William Dever settled near a cedar break two miles from where Washington on the Brazos is now. He and Reuben built a four-room house of cedar logs and was the first log cabin between Louisiana territory and San Antonio.
After Moses Austin visited Texas in 1821, William wrote his mother trying to persuade his mother and her new husband to move to Texas. Arabella and John Harrington were not in the first group known as the “Old Three Hundred” but believed to have come with the second group. During the travel, Arabella’s husband, John, and her son, Elijah, were both killed in a sawmill accident in Arkansas. Arabella continued her journey with her three young children by Harrington. Arabella was one of only a few women to receive a full land grant of a league of land from Mexico, situated on the New Years’ Creek. The city of Brenham now stands on her grant for which she originally sold 100 acres for the purpose of establishing the town as a county seat. Her home, a dog run, was constructed on a hill southeast of Brenham. Arabella Harrington was well known and respected as a mid-wife and cared for the ill as well as feeding travelers.
William Dever and his wife, Catherine Early Dever, were very respected and often had visitors such as Dr. Burleson, the founder of Baylor College, and Rev. Homer S. Thrall, of the first Methodist preacher in Texas as well as Sam Houston. William was an excellent marksman. He was a sentinel and witness to the drawing of the Texas Declaration of Independence although he was called away to move families out of the path of the approaching Mexican Army, including his own family, and thus did not get to take part in the signing of the document. It is reportedly said that he, along with 17 others were sent to the relief of the Alamo arriving too late to assist but was one of the parties that cut Vince’s bridge to cut off the retreat of Santa Anna’s army. William and Catherine had eleven children.
Both William Dever and Arabella Harrington are listed in the Texas Poll List of 1846.
Next to the Harrington league was that of James Walker – listed as one of the ‘Old Three Hundred’. Under a neighborly and friendly bond of the families, James Walker set aside one acre of his land near the property line for a cemetery therefore how it got the name Walker Cemetery. Arabella Harrington was the first to be buried in that cemetery upon her death on April 2, 1860. There are several unmarked graves believed to be the children of William and Catherine Dever. Their daughter, Francis Arabella, who died at the age of 14, has a marker as does her parents. The last known burial in the cemetery was that of Rebecca Walker, wife of James Walker, in 1880. There are at least two children that are, at this time, not believed to be family therefore it is thought that at one time the cemetery was not just for the Harrington/Dever/Walker families. Some people buried there are believed to have been moved to another cemetery in town but this is yet to be confirmed. The one-acre was deeded and recorded to always be available for the family’s access. The land where the cemetery is located now consists of 86.5 acres, now owned by the Watson Family which was a gift deeded from Rodeck in 1899. The current land trustee is Ruby Ehrlund.
In 2008 a non-profit status was obtained in order to create a bank account in which to collect money to renovate and maintain the Walker cemetery. There is no association set in place at this time but Linda Woods requested and was given RIP Guardianship over the cemetery in 2007.
Deed Records. Office of the Washington County Clerk, Washington County Courthouse, Brenham, Texas.
Texas History Online, recorded by Dixie Ann Foster.
Texas Poll List of 1846.
Watterson Folk of Bastrop County, Texas by D. L. Vest.
Family letters and verbal shared family history passed down.
A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl, Shelby. She wanted to know what the looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to and said, 'Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today.' After a few minutes, returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. 'Oh,' she said, 'on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus . When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.'
for the wonderful donation just received for the Cemetery plaque. That is a big help. Still waiting to hear from Austin - hopefully it won't be long now!
Also, found out we can purchase bricks with names on them for $100 to be placed in front of the new fire truck museum there in Brenham. If you are interested let me know and I will give you the details.
We are still in great need of funds for putting a permanent fence around the one acre site as well as if we want to put marker(s) up designating it as historical, once approved of course, and then in recognition of Arabella and William - similar to the one for John Walton Harrington. If you want copy of the wordage of J.W.H.'s I can email it to you. Please feel free to leave your comments here or email me. You can mail donations to me at 10122 CR 534, Whitewright, TX 75491. Receipts are given. If you wish to deposit funds directly to the Chase account you can contact me and I will give you the information you would need. If you wish to be on the mailing list for mail-outs including a financial report on the bank account set up for the fence, upkeep etc of the cemetery please email or write me to be sure you are on the list.
Just a note - Brenham was spared from the direct hit of hurricane Ike therefore no damage is believed to have been done at the cemetery - however, I have not been there since nor had contact with anyone who has.
We would love to hear from you ... and if you would like to serve on a cemetery committee in any position please let us know. Everyone is greatly encouraged to be involved - it is our heritage --- and one to be very proud of.
I rush to the mailbox each day hoping - hoping - but not today it seems :( I long so much to get the news that our cemetery in Brenham has been deemed historical. But then rises another situation - the marker - put one up or not? What are your thoughts on it and if we do put one up - we will have to decide on the wordage as well as how to raise donations to pay for it. Give me your thoughts please. If you do not want to post on the blog for everyone to read then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org THANKS