| James Madison Shelby (1814-1889), a native of North Carolina, moved with his large family from Alabama to Texas in the 1870s. They first lived in Smith County, then moved to southeastern Henderson County. There they established a Presbyterian church named Morrison Chapel for the minister who preached there. Services were held in the home of James and Amanda Ann Henderson Shelby until a small building was erected. Church members buried their loved ones in an adjoining cemetery. James Madison Shelby was interred in Morrison Chapel Cemetery upon his death. The extended Shelby family relocated again in 1891, this time to an area three miles northeast of the center of Athens. Amanda Ann Henderson Shelby lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Jeff Decal and Susan Ella Shelby Horn. Mrs. Shelby gave the Horns seven acres of land, reserving two acres for a Presbyterian church and cemetery. Religious services were held in the Horn home until Thomas Dunklin, another Shelby son-in-law, received the contract to construct a church building called Shelby Chapel in 1895. Amanda A. Shelby died in 1896 and was interred with her husband. The first burial in Shelby Chapel Cemetery was that of J. D. and Susan Horn's infant son in 1897. Shelby Chapel and the Athens Cumberland Presbyterian Church were united between 1901 and 1905. The church remained Presbyterian until 1964 when it became a non-denominational community church. Many armed forces veterans are interred here, including Confederate soldiers. Members of Shelby Chapel and their descendants continue to be interred in the cemetery, which remains as a chronicle of area settlers. (1999) |
This page last updated: 11/2/2010 09:40:59
Shelby Chapel Church and Cemetery Historical Marker Location Map, Athens, Texas
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