| John Whitmire, the son-in-law of early settler F. L. Kirtley, is credited with naming this town in 1854 by saying, What a Grand View! Kirtley donated 2.5 acres for a Baptist church and cemetery in 1856. Intending to lay out a town plat, James F. Scurlock purchased about 1400 acres of land surrounding the cemetery the same year. The oldest marked burial here is that of James F. and Rebecca Criner Scurlock's child, James C., who was born and died on June 4, 1857. By 1860 Grand View included three general stores, a blacksmith shop, a church building and Lodge No. 266, A.F & A.M., chartered in 1861 as the first Masonic lodge in Johnson County. After James Scurlock's death during the Civil War, his family sold the town site to F. M. Sansom. Several stores, a saloon, and more churches were established as the community grew. Of the many graves in the cemetery, one has taken on the status of local legend. A pair of young travelers came to Grand View one evening in summer 1867. The young woman was found murdered the next morning with no sign of her companion. The people of the community buried her in a handmade coffin and marked her tombstone Annie, the name on an embroidered handkerchief she carried. The African American section of the cemetery contains the graves of many residents, including the unmarked graves of Scott and Elmira Matlock. They were among Grand View's earliest settlers. The railroad came through about a mile southeast of the town in 1881, and by 1883 the main section of Grand View had moved to it. The cemetery gradually took over the entire old town site. The cemetery continued to serve the community, now known by the single word Grandview. The cemetery and the original town site remain as a chronicle of the pioneers of Johnson County. (1999) |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Related Themes: Texas C.S.A., Texas Confederate States of America, Confederacy, Texas Cemeteries, Texas Cemetery Markers, Texas Freemasons, Masonic Lodges, Freemasonry
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