The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 162
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
German Protestant necrogeography reveals considerable southern Anglo-
American influence, as is seen in the abundant plantings of iris, facing of
tombstone inscriptions to the west rather than the east, arrangement in
family plots, and modest marker size. Grass is removed from many in-
dividual plots, but there is no effort to clear the entire cemetery and there
are relatively few grave mounds. Surprisingly, the German language on
stones persists to about i930, comparable to the Catholic situation, in
spite of the more complete assimilation of the German Protestants. Less
biographical information is provided, and birthplaces are rarely shown
(Figure I8). Perhaps these Germans did not feel quite so alien because
they were Protestants in a Protestant culture realm.
To traverse rural North Texas is to witness not only environmental con-
trasts, but also pronounced differences in traditional religious ways-of-life.
The Catholic Germans came and built holy places and "cathedrals" on the
Texas prairie, a pretty far cry from the Cross Timbers board chapels.
Europe seems ages removed from the woodland religious landscape, but its
imprint is still vivid there on the prairies. All of this religious diversity is
rapidly disappearing. The folk cultures of North Texas are no more im-
mune to the modifying influences of the modern urban world than are the
other traditional lifestyles of rural America. Each year more of the rural
Protestant churches are abandoned, soon to succumb to neglect, vandalism,
or the bulldozer. Bare-earth cemeteries are planted to grass, and grave
mounds are levelled because it is difficult or impossible to find hired help
to maintain them in the traditional way. The depressing sameness of
"perpetual care" is introduced. Tastes change, and many younger people
regard bare-earth cemeteries as "ugly" or "desolate." Sonic booms open
serious, ugly cracks in the graceful Romanesque arches of Lindsay Church,
and the Catholic officialdom sends Irish-American priests to tend German-
American parishes. Sooner than we imagine, it will all be gone.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/194/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.