Virginia Elizabeth Curbow and her husband Robert Alexander Story spent the vast majority of their lives living in Axtell, McLennan County, Texas. Axtell lies eight miles northeast of Bellmead in eastern McLennan County, both are now suburbs of Waco, Texas.
Axtell was established in 1881, when the Texas and St. Louis Railway laid its tracks from Corsicana to Waco. A post office was opened in 1882. By the early 1890s Axtell had a population of 200, a gristmill and gin, two general stores, and a hotel. In 1896 Axtell schools had 85 white students and two teachers and 75 black students and one teacher. During that same time period, the population has risen to 250 people. The Axtell State Bank opened in 1912. Population estimates for Axtell reached a peak of 400 in 1914. Severe storms and floods in the fall of that year damaged or destroyed crops and property throughout the region, making it impossible for many area farmers to meet their loan payments. The bank at Axtell was forced to close that same year. In spite of this setback and the Great Depression a few years later, Axtell managed to hold its own as a small railroad town. This information as written and provided by Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl via Handbook of Texas Online.
Last summer, when my husband and I were in Waco on a Curbow fact finding mission (one of many!), we stopped in Axtell to take a look around. It’s a very small rural town – in fact, there’s not much there at all. We did find the cemetery which is directly across the street from the Axtell Baptist Church. It is a small quiet and serene cemetery. It is gated and fenced and extremely well maintained. It has a covered seating area for quiet peaceful reflection. Jennie, Robert and Ed are together under a very large old cedar tree towards the front of the cemetery.
We also found some Miller graves. Thinking they might be connected to Elijah Spencer Miller, Harriet Curbow’s husband, I had my husband snap the photos. Later, not being able to make the connection to our family, I nonetheless posted several memorials to Find-a-Grave. I’m happy to report that the memorials have now been claimed by a Miller family member who has taken over the management of them. I love Find-a-Grave! Such a great resource.
Our family members that are laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery are:
Virginia “Jennie” Elizabeth Curbow Story
Robert Alexander Story
Frank Edward “Ed” Story
Levy Story, John F. Story, Henry A. Story, and Joseph Story (all who died in childhood), are presumed to be buried in Axtell. However, this has not been confirmed, and if they are there, they do not have headstones.
If you wish to view any of the above memorials on the Find-a-Grave website, or if you wish to read any other memorials of folks buried in Axtell Cemetery, I am attaching the link here.