When John Kettle Armstrong and his wife Sarah bought 160 acres here in 1844, they were among the first settlers. Sarah died in 1856 and Armstrong set aside this tract for a cemetery. Tradition says the Armstrong slaves were interred outside the grounds. After Armstrong's death in 1860, his second wife Margaret Fisher married a Mr. Stewart. For years the Armstrongs and Stewarts allowed everyone to use the graveyard which was called Stewart Cemetery. After the railroad started the town of Gladewater, a cemetery association organized in 1911 and changed the name of the graveyard to Rosedale. An additional five acres were purchased from J. K. Armstrong and his wife. Permits for burial were sold instead of lots. When the East Texas oil boom began, this policy allowed all surface and mineral rights to remain with the association. In 1932 two oil wells were drilled on the burial ground. The association used the profits to build a caretaker's cottage, roads, a rock fence and to landscape the grounds. In 1973, after 41 years, the wells were plugged. Still in use, the burial ground has about 265 unmarked and 750 marked graves. Many of the older plots are covered with large red rocks.
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