Fannin County, Texas

The Lindsey-Randolph Cemetery

Randolph, Texas

Thomas  Lindsey, donor of the land for the Lindsey-Randolph Cemetery, was born in Tennessee in 1794.  His wife, Rebecca, was born in Virginia in 1800.  They were living in Arkansas in 1833, when a son, Thomas W., was born.  Their daughter, Elizabeth was born in Arkansas, in 1817.  Another daughter, Rebecca, was born in Texas, in 1840.

Thomas Lindsey and his family came to Fannin County, Texas, in 1837 and settled nine miles southwest of the town that is now Bonham.  Mr. Lindsey was the first settler in the area.  He acquired a large landholding.  The 1850 census showed him the owner of eight slaves.

In the late 1840s, Mr. Lindsey donated four acres of land for a school and cemetery, where the present cemetery is now located.  The one room school building adjoined the cemetery and also served as a church for the community in which the funeral services were held.  The children had to attend these services if school was in session.  Some children told of frightful memories they carried throughout life.

The first burial in the cemetery was that of a slave of Mr. Lindsey.  The next seven burials were also of Mr. Lindsey's slaves, in the 1840s and 1850s.  In 1855, Thomas Lindsey's wife, Rebecca, was buried in the cemetery.  The 1850 census listed her as being born in 1800.  The grave marker shows the date of birth as 1797.  A stone marker, unreadable, adjacent to the grave of Rebecca Lindsey, is accepted as the marker for Thomas Lindsey's grave.  He died in the early 1870s.

Mrs. Clovis Byars herring, Lt. 1, Box 123 A, Buffalo, Texas, in a letter to Mr. Douglas Anderson of Randolph, Texas, has written the following:  "Very close to the grave of Rebecca Lindsey are four graves with headstones just like hers.  Two of these headstones mark Byars graves and two mark Verner graves.  All but one of these stones are broken into two parts and some one has cemented the two parts together and set the stones in cement and I was not able to see the bottom halves."

"The grave that I believe to be that of my great, great, grandfather (Harrell Byars) is badly damaged.  Just the last name, Byars, the date, March 22 or 27, are all that remain visable.  Next to this grave is that of Allice Verner, born August 30, 1864.  I am sure this is the granddaughter of Harrell Byars.  The grave next to hers is that of John G. Byars, my great uncle.  Across from John's grave is that of Amadda Verner (1837-1867), my great aunt."

I know that the Byars stone, with the first name broken off, is that of Harrell Byars.  Here is no way I can prove it unless I can find old records or some one that knows.  I am still trying to find the Byars-Lindsey connection and will some day."

​The second family to settle in the vicinity was that of John M. Patton (1809-1892) who, with his wife, Sally Jane (1821-1893, nee' Hampton) and son, Charles.  They came from Illinois on land adjoining that of Thomas Lindsey, in 1839.  They are buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.  Their grandaughter, Ora Patton Gray, still lives on the Patton farm.  John Patton operated the first store in the area, near the school and cemetery.

Burwell Cox (1819-1898), a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, came to the Republic of Texas, in 1841, from Cane Hill, Arkansas, where he was a charter member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.  He was a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith.

Cox was stopped at Fort Warren, on Red River, which was the point of entry to the Republic of Texas, by an Indian uprising for two years.  In 1843, he found land in southwest Fannin County, adjoining that of Thomas Lindsey where he built a log cabin and began to farm.  In 1845, he married Thomas Lindsey's daughter, Elizabeth (1817-1859).  She died giving birth to their seventh child, Elizabeth.  She is buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.

In 1868, Burwell Cox married Sarah Hannah Buchanan Gray, a widow with three daughters.  Burwell and Sarah Hanna Cox had five children.

Burwell Cox, known affectionately as "Parson" Cox, organized several Presbyterian churches in the area.  He probably preached more funeral services for burials in the Lindsey cemetery than any other preacher.  he conducted a school in his home before the Lindsey school was built.  He was proficient and active as a Mason.  He was a member of Constantine Lodge No. 13, A.F. A.M. for many years.  In 1872, he became a charter member of Grove Hill Lodge No. 373, A. F. & A.M.  Many Masonic funeral services were conducted in the Lindsey cemetery.  Burwell and Sarah Hanna are buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.

"Randolph is a station on the Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas Railroad nine miles southwest of Bonham.  As yet there is only one store, one saloon, a good school house but there are new business houses going up.  There are many fine farms and handsome homes around this village and peace and comfort abound."  So wrote the Bonham News in 1888 when Randolph was one year old.  By 1890, the town had a population of 100.  The main street of the new town was located about three quarters of a mile southwest of the Lindsey school and cemetery.  There was a wooden sidewalk from the cemetery and school to the town.  In the middle 1890s the school was moved to Randolph and the school ground added to the cemetery.

Two graves in the cemetery have been of great interest and speculation to the people of Randolph for many years:  Virginia Lillard (1861-1878), wife of D. E. Lillard; Nannie Lillard (1857-1878), wife of N. A. Lillard.  Virginia and Nannie died within a month of each other.  For over 50 years their graves were surrounded by an ornamental iron fence and were well tended.  No one seems to know who tended these graves throughout the years or whom they were.  Were the two husbands brothers?  Were the two wives sisters?  Were they the victims of an epidemic?

The only black family to live in the Randolph community since the 1880s was that of "Uncle Rafe" and "Aunt" Dicey Connelly.  "Aunt" Dicey was a slave, the property of Thomas Lindsey, who deed her a farm east of Randolph were "Uncle" Rafe and "Aunt" Dicey lived until their deaths, about 1920.  Their only child, Georgia Ann, married John Owens.  They are all buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.

In 1910, W. W. (Bill) Ferrell was accidently killed in a drunken affray by John Kinslow.  Bill Ferrell was buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery and old timers still compare funerals, for size with that of Bill Ferrell with this comment: "It's almost as big as Bill Ferrell's."

Benjamin F. Blanton (1838-1917) came to Fannin County in 1855, with his parents, Josiah and Lucy Blanton.  They settled west of the present day town of Randolph.  Before enlisting in the Confederate Army, Benjamin had married Sarah Lucretia Boone (1846-1902).  She was the daughter of Joseph R. Boone (1818-1899) and Virginia E. Crenshaw Boone (1820-1894), who had settled about two miles north of the Lindsey and Patton families, in 1845.

In 1872, Benjamin F. Blanton was licensed to preach and with his bible packed in a saddlebag he traveled from home to home, church to church, preaching.  He organized several Methodist churches, amount which was Blanton's Chapel in his own community.

​Joseph Boone and Benjamin Blanton reared large families.  They and their wives are buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery as well as many of their descendants.

E. E. Abernathy (1858-1922), prominent farmer and business man, was married to Emma C. Rogers McCullough (1858-1922).  She was the daughter of Dr. Edwin Clay Rogers, the first physician in Fannin County, who had settled five miles north of the Lindsey-Randolph area, in 1836.  The Abernathy cemetery plot suggests some of the hardships of pioneer days.  There are four graves in a row of four of their children who did not live to the age of five years. 

The Reynolds Brothers, S. H. (1856-1950), J. R. (1861-1938) and their sister, Susie E. Wilson (1858-1942), cam to Randolph in the late 1880s.  The two brothers opened a mercantile store which they operated for fifty years.  Susie E. Wilson married James C. Queener, (1844-1936) a pioneer merchant of Randolph and a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.

Pioneer citizens and business men who lived and died in the community and were buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery were: J. B. McClure, operator of an early day cotton gin; C. M. Parker, postmaster, merchant and who supplied, in dry times, farmers around with water from an artesian well, Burr Wright, merchant and county commissioner; N. T. Walker, farmer and bank director; Nathan Young, farmer, rancher who supplied beef to the meat markets in nearby towns; G. B. Madison, druggist; P. W. Garrett, grocer; Virgil and Herman Britton, cafe operators; Pat and Ernest Smith, blacksmiths; S. H. Croft, ginner and saw mill operator; Bob and Short Long, syrup makers; Ed and Alice Anderson, cafe.

Besides Parson Burwell Cox and Rev. B. F. Blanton, there were two other preachers that served the area for many years.  They were Brother C. C. Hazelip (I never heard of him being otherwise described than Brother Hazelip) and R. L. (Brother "Bob" Cates).  Brrother Hazelip was of the Baptist denomination and Brother Cates a Methodist.  Brother Hazelip died in 1931, Brother Cates died in 1977.  When it came to funerals they served all denominations.  They are both buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.

Of several doctors who practiced in the community only two are buried in the cemetery, Dr. W. H. Kinslow (1847-1918) and Dr. T. B. Stephens (1877-1957).  Dr. Stephens was the last doctor to practice in the community.

Many graves are lost in the cemetery.  Among them are those of the Trew family.  A member of this family was Dr. Trew.  He may be buried in the cemetery.  Many early graves were marked with Bois d'Arc slabs.  Throughout the years these markers have burnt, carried away, are just removed.

An authority on burials in the cemetery was A. (Uncle Bully) Massey (1860-1951) who was in charge of the cemetery for many years.

The favorite gathering place for men in Randolph, for many years, was the barber shop owned and operated by J. W. (Bill) Dyer (188-1952).  His father, John C. Dyer (1845-1912) operated a brick kiln a mile east of Randolph.

Lisa A. Gann (1866-1972) is the oldest person buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery.

The Lindsey-Randolph Cemetery Association was organized in 1957 for the purpose of preserving and maintaining the cemetery.  The directors of the Association are Joe M. Britton, Nelson Robinson, Tom Hymer, Calvin Watterson, Jess Lever, Douglas Anderson and Roy Lucas.  Their terms expire the first Sunday in May of 1984.

In 1966, a trust fund for the benefit of the cemetery was started by Tom Hymer and his sister, Ruby Gene Hymer Hazam, with a contribution of $1,000 in memory of their mother, Mrs. Grace Richardson Hymer.  As of September 8, 1983, the fund amounted to $28,880.  Trustees of the Lindsey-Randolph Cemetery Trust Fund are: Nelson Robinson, Freida Lois Stevens Blacketer, Joe M. Britton, Evelyn Walker Hall, Douglas E. Anderson and Tom Hymer.

Grace Richardson Hymer (1884-1965) was the daughter of early settlers John Thomas (1852-1948) and Susannah Knight (1855-1942) Richardson.  He was a native of laRue County, Kentucky and she a native of Morris County, Texas.  Grace Hymer was a school teacher, having taught in the Dallas, Texas public school system for 25 years.  She married C. S. Hymer (1884-1921) in 1904.

There are six known Confederate veterans of the Civil War buried in the cemetery.  They are: Blanton, B. F.; Buchanan, James L.; Dyer, John C.; McDade, Berry; Queener, James C.

J. L. (Jake) Ferrell is the only person buried in the cemetery killed in World War I.  He was the son of W. W. (Bill) and Nettie K. Feerrell.

Veterans of World War I buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery are: Baker, Luther; Abbott, F. E.; Caldwell, Alvie R.; Clark, Dudley D.; Craft, Granville O.; Dobyns, Moncreif; Glasscock, George A.; Johnson, Charles A.; Johnson, Q. C.; Jones, Thomas M.; Long, John Noble; Massey, Elbert; Massey, Worth; Moore, Oscar; Moore, Roscoe W.; Redmon, Lon A.; Shelley, Tim; Willis, Frank.

A young man, Hugh A. Stevens, while serving his Country in World War I, was a victim of the 1918 influenza epidemic.  He was the son of Arthur T. and Margaret A. Stevens.  Arthur T. was a native of the Valley Creek community. They are buried in the cemetery.

Those buried in the Lindsey-Randolph cemetery who served their Country in World War II are: Burnett, Burton H.; Britton, Virgil; Blevins, Charles M.; Blevins, Berniece; Blacketer, Thomas; Carver, Bennie; Chitwood, Royce R.; Cleghorn, John L.; Coleman, Kenneth Bert; Compton, J. R.; Cooper, A. L.; Duncan, Thomas; Farmer, J. C.; Hance, Gomer Ray; Jackson, Jesse M.; Long, J. C.; Hall, Leslie Lane; Langlely, Albert; Longfor, J. W.; Moore, R. L.; mcClure, harry S.; Pippin Reid D.; Tingle, Joe D. and Thompson, Edgar L.

Billly J Justice and George V. Redmon served their Country in the Korean War.  They are buried in the cemetery.

Peggy Ann Hance Long (1934-1975) had these words she had written inscribed on her grave stone:

"I lay my head upon the Mountain

Put my feet out upon the Plain

Settle insecurely in the Valley

And feel a rough and certain Earth."

October, 1983                                                                           By Tom Hymer

Marker Text:

Tennessee native Thomas Lindsey (b. 1794) brought his family to this part of Fannin County in 1837.  In the late 1840s, Lindsey donated four acres of this farmland for a school and cemetery.  The first burial in the cemetery was for one of Lindsey's slaves.  The one-room schoolhouse built next to the graveyard served as a community church where funeral services were held.

Over the years, this cemetery has served residents of the surrounding area, including the community of Randolph, which was founded in 1887 on the Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas Railroad.  The main street in Randolph was located about 3/4 mile southwest of the Lindsey School and cemetery, and a wooden sidewalk connected the two.  In the middle 1890s, the Lindsey school was moved to Randolph, and the original school grounds were added to the cemetery.

Among those buried here are Thomas Lindsey and his wife, Rebecca, and their son-in-law, the Rev. Burwell Cox, who organized several Presbyterian churches in the area.  other graves located here include those of businessmen, farmers, doctors, pioneer citizens and their descendants, and veterans of several wars.

Directions:  From Randolph go .5 miles north on SH 121 Bus. North.  

Information on the Randolph-Lindsey Cemetery is on the Fannin County GenWeb site.

Lindsey-Randolph Cemetery