| Originally part of a Spanish land grant issued in 1794 to Ignacio Pirfirmo, the surrounding land was acquired in 1870 by former slave William Gasby. This cemetery was established when Gasby donated four acres of the land for a burial ground to be used by the neighboring black community. While the earliest marked grave, that of Mouzeria Thompkins, dates from 1889, there are many sites marked only with rocks, indicating the cemetery probably was in use prior to that time. William Gasby was a prominent leader in the black community and in the development of the nearby town of Geneva. He owned and operated a blacksmith shop and cotton gin on his property. Upon the death of his first wife, Mary, Gasby married Bettie Elizabeth Clay. All three are buried in this cemetery, as are many of their descendants. Another prominent black leader buried here is Alfred Canton, a minister who helped organize the County Line Missionary Baptist Church in 1868. Also known as the New Zion Cemetery for its association with New Zion Methodist Church, this graveyard is an important part of Sabine County history. |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
William Gasby Cemetery Historical Marker Location Map, Geneva, Texas
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