Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poteet Area Cemetery Restored

At one time there was a cemetery, in the middle of a pasture, on land now owned by Dr. Norman Jacob. Folks from the area remember it but, in the years before Dr. Jacob bought it , tractors knocked down the headstones, scattering the pieces. Ranch manager Darrell Hickey has been picking them up and storing them away for years. Recently, Dr. Jacob decided it was time to try to identify those buried there and restore the cemetery.

A neighbor, who remembered the location of the graveyard, was called in to help. He knew the site because of the huge oaks nearby. Darrell constructed a sturdy pipe fence, adding in a large cross and gate. The top piece of one headstone was intact and revealed three names. Darrell found three large pieces of sandstone, took them to Hurley Monument Company who donated their services to shape the stones and engrave the names.

The Atascosa County Historical Commission went to work researching the names on the headstones. Buried there are John T. Russell ( 1822-1879 ), his brother Charles S. Russell ( 1820-1886 ) and G. Raney, a two year old child of farm laborer John B. Raney. John T. was married to Wilhelmena who was born in Germany. Charles S. was married to Martha Jane Lee. It is not known if the wives were buried there.

Because of the caring generosity of Dr.Jacob and the hard work of Darrell Hickey the little cemetery may recieve the designation as a Texas Historic Cemetery, recording it with the state and the county clerk's office. This will protect the little graveyard for years to come.

ACHC will rededicate the cemetery and honor those buried there on Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Everyone is invited, bring a folding chair if you like. There's lots of shade and cold water will be provided.

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