Although few records exist of the Roanoke I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Oddfellows) Lodge No. 421, it is known that lodge members purchased land at this site in 1897 for use as a burial ground. Consisting of approximately five and one-half acres, the cemetery always has been maintained as a public graveyard and never was limited to the families of lodge members. Memberships in the Roanoke Lodge eventually were transferred to Denton along with those of other rural I.O.O.F. Lodges. The first person buried here was James DeWitt Pressley, who died in 1897. One tombstone bears an earlier date, however. Mrs. Calvin Abner Sams was buried on family property upon her death in 1882, but she was reinterred in the Roanoke Cemetery in 1914. Near the trunk of the Hanging Tree in the northeast section of the graveyard is the burial site of an alleged horse thief, who was hanged there in 1906. Another section was reserved for the families of the crew who worked on the railroad here during the 1920s. A reminder of the area's early history, the cemetery contains the graves of many pioneers, including members of the Sams, Fanning, Cowan, Seagraves, Buell, Lassen, Boutwell, Taylor, Mitchell, and McMahon Families. (1985)
Copyright © StoppingPoints.com, 2010. All Rights Reserved.