| Born in South Carolina in 1788, William McMillan, Sr., moved to Alabama where he was married in 1823 to Elizabeth Wren. The couple had four children: William, Jr. (b. 1824), Elizabeth (b. 1828), Matthew (b. 1829), and Marshall (b. 1835). The family settled in Texas in the late 1830s, obtaining a land patent from the Republic of Texas in 1846, shortly before the authority of the Republic was formally transferred to the new state of Texas. The area surrounding the family's new home was designated McMillan's Post in 1848 and William McMillan, Sr., was first postmaster. The postal station was discontinued in 1866, and William died that year. The McMillans set aside a place on this site for burials of family and friends and others in the community who had no access to other burial grounds. It is believed that William and Elizabeth McMillan and other family members were interred here in unmarked graves before the first headstone was placed for 24-year-old pioneer Sophrona A. Dobbs in 1868. A high infant-child mortality rate bears witness to the harsh conditions of pioneer life, as do the five known graves of victims of the 1919 influenza epidemic. For many years the cemetery has been maintained by families of those interred on the site; in the early 1950s a cemetery association was organized to care for the property. A descendant of the Reeves family, which is prominently represented in the cemetery, gave additional acreage in 1976 with the stipulation that the cemetery bear the Reeves name. With more than 234 marked and 80 unmarked graves, the Reeves-McMillan Cemetery is a chronicle of Panola County history. (1999) |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
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