| According to local tradition this site was established as a community graveyard about 1873, the year Eastland County was organized and one year prior to the community of Merriman's selection as county seat. Although there are many unmarked gravestones in the cemetery, the earliest recorded burial is that of Orthosias Scarborough (d. 1879). The first legal record of the Merriman Cemetery occurred in a deed executed by the Taylor Charcoal Company conveying two acres for use as a public burial ground to trustee M.V. Brewer in 1891. Oil discovered in 1917 on land owned by John H. McCleskey (buried here in 1918) started an oil boom that ultimately threatened the sanctity of the Merriman Cemetery. Oil spectulators reportedly offered members of the Merriman Baptist Church a large sum of money to lease the cemetery grounds for drilling. The congregation, although its association with the cemetery is uncertain, turned the offer down. Josie Fox Duncan (d. 1940) deeded 75 acres to trustees of the cemetery in 1938 to provide an income for its perpetual care. The cemetery contains graves of early settlers, veterans of conflicts from the Civil War to Korea, and victims of a 1916-17 influenza epidemic. (1993) |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Merriman Cemetery Historical Marker Location Map, Ranger, Texas
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