Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996 Page: 4
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THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
By John B. Meadows
Among my earliest recollections are
visits with my dad Henry E. Meadows to
cemeteries in San Angelo, Comanche, and
Newburg, as well as frequent trips to the
family ranch at Fort Lancaster and the
obligatory hike to the fort's graveyard.
Reading Joseph H. Norris' tombstone at
Fort Lancaster always conjured images of
the Old West and what life must have been
like in the frontier days. The stone reads,
"J.H. Norris, a W.P. Lane Ranger from
Marshall, Texas. Died November 19,1861.
Aged 24 years." W.W. Heartsill, in his
autobiography "Fourteen Hundred and 91
Days in the Confederate Army" referenced
Ranger Norris' death and the carving of his
tombstone, which lies at the foot of
Lancaster Hill near the Old Government
Road, the lower road from San Antonio to El Paso, also known as
the Chihuahua Trail.
I remember frequent trips with my grandfather, Dr. Jno. B.
Thomas, to cemeteries in Midland and Big Springs. The visits to
the cemeteries would prompt many questions about who these
relatives were and always provided wonderful opportunities to
learn family history. I suspect my memories of trips to the cemeteries
are reflective of similar visits that many readers may have also
experienced. I still seek to discover the resting place and history of
ancestors; most recently in Dudley, Texas, I found the grave
markers for my great-grandparents David and Eliza Jane Thomas,
as well as those of my great-great grandparents, Buford and Eliza
Smith. The importance of preserving this part of Texas history, and
my own family's heritage, is significant.
The cemeteries of Texas and the necessity for their preservation
is the focus of this spring's issue of HERITAGE. Gerron Hite,
architect for the Texas Historical Commission, who heads the
preservation efforts at the State Cemetery in Austin, has written an
article on the history of the State Cemetery
as well as plans for both the restoration of
the burial grounds and historical monuments,
and the new building projects (including
a visitor center, exhibits, and new
pathways). Hite also offers information that
many of you involved in local preservation
projects may find useful about cleaning old
A second article, by Alice Henry, tells
about the efforts of the Parker County
Historical Society to restore the City
Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford, a
burial site for many famous Texans including
frontiersman Oliver Loving, Governor
S.W.T. Lanham, and actress Mary Martin.
This project has recently received a grant
from the Texas Historical Foundation to
assist the PCHS in its restoration efforts.
We also include an update on the Texas Jewish Historical
Society's project that has documentedJewish burial sites across the
state. This group was presented the THF Preservation Award
several years ago, and under the leadership of Gertrude and Don
Teter, has continued its efforts. Additionally, in an article from Kay
Hindes of the Atascosa County Historical Commission, we learn
of that group's progress in identifying the historical resources of
their county, including 43 old cemeteries. This issue also includes
a short report from a newly-formed group, "Save Texas Cemeteries,"
whose mission is to identify, preserve, and protect the state's
In closing, I again encourage you to kindly consider a matching
donation to the Charles and Sadie Seay Fund. Each of your
contributions will be matched and used to establish a perpetual
fund, the income of which will be used for future grants. Your
continued interest and support of the Foundation is appreciated.
God Bless Texas.
4 HERITAGE *SPRING 1996
THE TEXAS HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
A non-profit organization devoted to historic preservation requests applications and nominations for
There are currently openings on the Board of Directors of the Texas Historical Foundation. The Board is seeking to recruit new
members who will reflect the full range of historical, preservation, and archaeological interests that the Foundation has traditionally
supported. It is also important that the Board represent the different geographical areas of the state. At present we are seeking to
increase representation from South Texas and the Panhandle, and we encourage applications from those areas. Send cover letter and
curriculum vita to:
John B. Meadows * Texas Historical Foundation * Box 50314, Austin, Texas 78763
For more information on Board service, call (512) 453-2154 or by e.mail at THF@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
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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/m1/4/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.