Grayson County Residents Uncover Forgotten Cemeteries - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson County Residents Uncover Forgotten Cemeteries

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Keeping Texoma's past alive. A few Grayson County residents are working to preserve two forgotten cemeteries. Both are threatened by the passing of time and future developments. KTEN's Katy Blakey has more.

In the shadow of Denison's future - forgotten ancestors of it's past. Two cemeteries dating back to the 1880s. Thick brush has grove over the graves and vandals have made off with headstones, but a few local historians are working to uncover their history.

"I didn't start paying attention to it until they started construction on Cigna, " said Tina DiToma, a member of the Grayson County Historical Commission. "That's when I started watching it and paying close attention to this area."

Nestled behind Cigna, overlooking Denison, is the Loftin-McClain Cemetery.

"There were down tree limbs. It was really in bad shape."

A boy scout began cleaning up the site for an Eagle Scout project - cleaning out brush and raising a new fence - protecting a community's past.

"I know this area use to be called the Ellsworth community. So I know a lot of the residents buried and property owners around here were buried here."

Just down the road, behind the future site of Reba's Ranchhouse is Pool Cemetery.  Historians believe it is an all-black cemetery, possibly a "slave" cemetery and have been trying to locate living relatives of those buried.

"It's hard to find a family anymore. [It's] absolutely important. [That we] honor the memories of the people past."

Residents like DiToma are now working to make these cemeteries historical sites which will offer extra protection against encroaching developments. And honoring words etched on a gravestone, 'Tho lost to sight, To memory dear.'

"I think we owe all these people some respect and appreciation," said DiToma. "Part of that means respecting the places they're buried and honoring those sites."

Historians believe there are a dozen or more lost cemeteries in Grayson County. And they are hoping to find them. So if you have any information you can contact the Grayson County Historical Commission: http://www.co.grayson.tx.us/Historical/GCHMain.htm.

Katy Blakey, KTEN

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