Pleasant Grove Cemetery
There is a historical marker on US Highway 79 South - about 11 miles southwest of
Henderson. The cemetery is surrounded by private land and accessible only by a private
road. The owner of the surrounding property was kind enough to allow me to photograph the
site and record the remaining stones.
aka Boatright or Shake Rag
I was told by this person, "There are probably more stones under the grass and top layer of sod. We keep it mowed but these are all that are left." There are photos of this cemetery at the Tombstone Photo page.
The historical marker reads:
"Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church South Cemetery
The East Texas farming community of Pleasant Grove, also known as "Shake Rag", was established during the 1850s by southern planters. Among the first settlers were Judge Stephen Decatur Morris (1819-1898) and his wife, Mary (Bradford) (1823-1906), on whose plantation early methodist worship services in the area were held. About 1853, a sanctuary for the Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was built. The Methodist Cemetery was established here in 1873, with the burial of James Bradford Morris (b. 1856). He was the son of Stephen and Mary Morris. Others buried here include Dr. Richard H.C. Shelton, an eminent southwestern surgeon; other friends and relatives of Stephen and Mary Morris; and Pioneer Settlers. Church trustees Seaton Moore, Simpson Moore, and G.D. Boatwright purchased this land for the church and cemetery in 1877. The pleasant grove church eventually disbanded, with the remaining members joining St. Paul's Methodist Church in Henderson (11 mi. NE). By 1929, the year of the last burial in this graveyard, most methodist families were using the City Cemetery in Henderson. The Pleasant Grove Cemetery remains an important part of the record of early settlement in this part of Rusk County."
The remaining stones are for:
J. A. Morris Aug 25, 1856 - Feb 6, 1873
This is a rather tall monument with an almost illegible verse under the name and dates.
"Blessed are the dead
Which die in the Lord"
A cement ground cover is in front of JA's monument and a memorial bench sits at the other end of it. It states:
"This stone was placed here by Wilbur Bradford Bugg in loving memory of
Virginia (Aunt Honey) Morris Hanna 1846-1939 and
Eugenia Virginia (Grandma) Arms Ayres 1867-1962, both
loyal members of Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal
A very old and worn headstone stands a few feet from this bench and says:
George W &
Born Sep 24, 1899 (The stone is broken through the date and I am not sure of the year.)
Died Oct 15, 1900
John's stone is broken in half and is in need of repair.
About 20 feet north of that stone is a more modern double stone for
Mary Hudson Boatright 1850-1881 and
Thomas Derring Boatright 1877-1929
This Cemetery is also known as the Boatwright Cemetery and there is more information in the Archives.