Athens Cemetery After citizens petitioned for its closure, an unofficial burial ground in this area (Large Lot 13) closed in 1857. That same year, local residents buried prominent planter, Mason and school superintendent William J. Brantley here on one acre donated by Pleasant Tannehill to Masonic Lodge No. 165. Adjoining land was set aside for the interment of a girl, named Ward, who could not be buried in the Masons' Cemetery. The two adjacent burial grounds eventually joined, and further donations of land by Nathaniel Pope Coleman (1823-1888), Joseph Marion la Rue (1825-1887) and Joseph Thomas la Rue (1864-1930) added to what is now known as the pioneer section of this cemetery. An association established in 1922 bought an additional 12 acres from Matthias E. Richardson, Jr. (1850-1919), designating the front portion as a park. A trust initiated in 1959 by Sid Williams Richardson (1891-1959) continues to help fund the site's upkeep. Chronicled here are the generations that forged the rich heritage of the City of Athens, along with veterans of the Indian wars, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2002
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