| Settlement in this area along Steele Creek began in the 1850s. Known by several names over the years - including Steele Creek, Tidwell, Shady Grove and Pleasant Grove - the community centered around a Methodist church named for the Rev. David J. Tidwell (1802-1883) who settled here with his family in 1853. A post office was established in 1856 with David Tidwell as postmaster, and soon the settlement included two general stores, the church, homes and a school. Although burials in the community cemetery probably began earlier, the oldest documented grave here is that of Nancy Hogan, wife of J. M. Hogan, who died in February 1858. The cemetery includes about 175 marked graves, and an unknown number of unmarked ones. Inscriptions on the gravestones provide a testament to the sometimes harsh living conditions in frontier Texas and document a large number of infant and child deaths, as well as apparent epidemics that took the lives of several members of individual families. Located on land formerly owned by the Chisum family, the four-acre graveyard was deeded to the citizens living along Steele Creek by Mary Chisum, widow of J. R Chisum, in 1886. Initially known as Steele Creek Cemetery, it eventually took on the Tidwell name. Records indicate that burials ceased to occur here in the 1930s, and the site was largely abandoned until members of an association of Tidwell community descendants was formed in the 1980s to assume maintenance of the site. (2001) |
This page last updated: 9/28/2009 23:14:27
Tidwell (Steele Creek) Cemetery and Community Historical Marker Location Map, Thornton vicinity, Texas
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