Carlton Cemetery is commemorative of the growth and decline of a fading community as agriculture and railroads changed the destiny of small Texas towns. Local lore places the first grave at this site in 1867 when J. E. Pinkerton, a farmer, was killed by a band of Indians. After hitting solid rock, area settlers moved 200 feet to the north, where they established Pinkerton's grave with a 16-inch high solid native stone bearing only his initials on a chiseled shield. The village of Carlton was organized in 1876 and named for Dr. F. M. Carlton, who was buried here in 1897. James Monroe McCarty rests in the first dated grave, inscribed January 21, 1872. Of 1,278 graves counted in 1997, 213 are unmarked. Of these, 22 anonymous graves date from the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. Also buried here is Deputy Sheriff Audie Gibson, killed by bandits in 1932. Carlton natives have faithfully maintained the cemetery in honor of their relatives, friends, and the many local veterans who served their country. The Carlton Cemetery Association was formed in 1957. L. W. Fine, cemetery overseer, was the last person to be buried by his neighbors in 1957. Burial services have since been assumed by funeral homes. (1998)
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