Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996 Page: 15
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REGULAR ATTACKS BY VANDALS ON
WEATHERfORD'S HISTORIC CEMETERY
WAS THE MOTIVATING FACTOR fOR THE
PARKER COUNTY HERITAGE SOCIETY TO
UNDERTAKE A PROJECT TO FENCE,
LIGHT, AND INSTALL GATES AT THE
FINAL RESTING PLACE Of SUCH WELLKNOWN
TEXANS AS OLIVER LOVING,
GOVERNOR S.W.T. LANHAM,
SAMUEL REDGATE, BOSE IKARD,
AND MARY MARTIN.
Cleanscape, took the lead in forming a
cemetery committee. Both members of the
Parker County Heritage Society, they
brought their plan before that group, which
agreed to be the lead organization to solicit
contributions. Both Cleanscape and the
Park Board approved the project and the
Weatherford City Council gave the new
committee their blessing and support. The
next step was to get preliminary estimates,
put together a proposed budget, and make
fundraising plans. Even with the city's promise
to provide site preparation and furnish
lighting, the estimate for fencing, arched
gates, and marker repair and restoration
added up to a whopping $95,000. Local
citizens expressed skepticism that the group
could raise that kind of money.
In January of 1995 vandals struck again
in the worse attack on the cemetery ever
recorded. Seventy-nine tombstones and
monuments wee overturned, broken, battered,
or desecrated. "That event just proved
how much we need the fence," Warren
explained. "It motivated the committee to
greater action." The Parker County Heritage
Society dedicated all the proceeds
from their Candlelight Home Tour for 1994
and 1995 plus other funds, giving more
than $18,900 to the project. The committee
began to advertise locally and send out
letters to private foundations asking for
grants. As word got around, contributions
began to come in - in amounts ranging
from $5 to $500. The Chilcutt Foundation,
already supplying money for maintenance
at the cemetery, contributed $5,000. The
Texas Historical Foundation offered another
generous contribution. Seeing that
the goal looked attainable and recognizing
the cemetery as a tourist site, the City
Council allocated $10,000 from hotel/motel
tax proceeds for the project.
By February of 1996, the committee had
collected almost $60,000 - enough to go
ahead with initial bids. Warren said the
Above: This imposing headstone with a draped ur on top marks the grave of M.L Dalton who was returning home to Palo Pinto in 1870 after marketing a herd
of cattle in Kansas. Between Weatherford and Palo Pinto, he and two other men were attcked and killed by Indians. The attackers broke open his trunks and scattered
the contents but overlooked a shoe containing $11,400. The money was discovered by a settler who delivered it to Mrs. Dalton. Page 14: Corinithian columns grace
the four comers of this large monument, a memorial to D.C. Haynes, owner of a local opera house.
HERITAGE * SPRING 1996 15
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996, periodical, Spring 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45406/m1/15/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.