Friday, March 19, 2010

Dr. V.M. Holland and his wife Evangeline, with his Uncle S.T. Allison organized major moment and restoration projects in the 50's like this one.

Latitude: 32.1501615 Longitude: -94.5410376 USGS GNIS FID: 1350123

Fairplay, Panola Co. Cemeteries of TX

By Panola Co. Hist. & Genealogical Assn(1998)

Photos and submitted by Gloria B. Mayfield, Cemeteries of TX(2003)

Location:- North of US Highway 79, one mile west of Fairplay.- Situated on a hillside near the original home of Pivines and John Williams Families, where Panola County's first Methodist Church was organized by Littleton Fowler at the Williams Home.- A small weather worn replica of the log church building which once stood there is at the back of the cemetery; and an official marble stone marks the place where Bethel Church stood.- That church was later moved to Fairplay and it is active as Allison's Chapel.- -

In 1952, descendants and interested citizens erected a memorial gate and large marble monument, with this tribute; "In memory of our Pioneer Forefather, 1837 1922.- Remains of John Allison rest here;- He was Panola County's First County Judge.

In 1952 other graves were numbered and a small marker was placed by each grave, bearing the assigned- number.- At that time a large memorial stone was erected with identification for as many graves as descendants could secure.- There are seven graves either child or grandchild of John & Betty Williams, 4 slaves of the Allison's and at least 40 known unmarked grave.

1 comment:

  1. Noticed this write up in the Panola Watchman today:

    Williams Cemetery recently celebrated the arrival of its new historical medallion.

    Purviance Williams donated the site of old Williams Cemetery in 1837. He was buried at the cemetery in 1857. On the grounds, in the northeast corner, there was a log building which functioned as a church and school. The church was instrumental in the development of the area and served as a temporary shelter for new settlers and travelers.

    The congregation was known as Bethesda Church. Later, land one mile east of the cemetery was given by Samuel G. Allison for the church and was named Allison Chapel Methodist church.

    Slaves of John Allison were also buried in the cemetery. When the slaves were freed many of the slaves chose the names of Allison and Gillespie. John was known for keeping slave families together and treating them well.

    Mordie Holland and family constructed a covered tabernacle in 1958. The descendents meet annually at this tabernacle on the first Sunday of October to celebrate their heritage.

    Some of the notables buried at Williams Cemetery include:

    Elijah Allred came from Randolph county North Carolina on his good horse Shirk, heeding Sam Houston’s call for volunteers to fight for Texas independence. His brothers Stephen and Renne joined him in 1839, bought 4605 acres and settled in the new town of Fairplay.

    Renne Allred’s grandson, James V. Allred, was the 33rd Governor of Texas.

    John Allison whose father and uncle served in the revolutionary war and were granted land in what was west North Carolina which is now middle Tennessee. He was the first county judge of Panola County and gave the county its name. He was buried in the cemetery. His grave is marked with his birth on March 1791 and death on November 27, 1870.

    Naomi Gillespie, wife of John Allison, was also a first cousin to the 11th US president, James Knox Polk. She and her husband served at the president’s wedding.

    Thomas Gillespie Allison, oldest child of John and Naomi Allison, was a Panola county judge, served as a state representative and was a member of the state constitutional convention. He remembers being at the purchase of west Tennessee from the Indians and saw Sam Houston and Davy Crochet at the ceremony.

    S.T. Allison, oldest son of Thomas G. Allison, wrote “A History of John Allison and Family” in 1956.

    Sara Jane Northcutt was born circa 1853 to George Northcutt and Sara Kincaid Northcutt. She died in 1855. The family was travelling and buried her in Williams Cemetery. They returned a few years later to erect a grave covering which is still standing today.