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Category Archives: Cemeteries

Axtell, McLennan County, Texas

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. 

 

Axtell Cemetery – Entry Gate

 

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

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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Cemeteries, Story, Times and Places

 

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Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Recently my husband and I made a trip to Hill County, Texas – the cemetery hunt was on!  After a very successful mission to the Covington area, we decided to stop in Waco on the way back to Austin.  I was aware that Lucinda Curbow Lytle and family were laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery as is Martha Isabell Curbow’s second husband, Jonathan Monroe Bedwell.  While I already had photographs of the pertinent grave markers, I wanted to physically stand at Lucinda’s grave and pay her my respects. 

After getting lost a few times, and stumbling upon the much larger and more beautiful Oakwood Cemetery, we finally made our way to Greenwood! Greenwood Cemetery is located a stone’s throw away from busy IH-35 and lies on the southeast corner of Earle Avenue and Price Street in Waco, Texas. The City of Waco established Greenwood Cemetery in 1875, shortly after our Curbow family arrived in McLennan County.  I believe that Greenwood Cemetery was also at one time called “East Waco Cemetery” or “West Waco Cemetery,” depending on which section you were buried in; however, I cannot get a definitive answer on that from local historians.

Map - depicting location of Greenwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas

I felt sad when we walked the cemetery.  I tried to visualize what the cemetery must have looked like in the past; but, I had a hard time doing so.  Even though Greenwood Cemetery has a historical marker designation and is cared for by a cemetery association, in my estimation, it felt stark, forgotten and “unloved.” 

Historical Marker for Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

 The cemetery has a “white” section which is contained inside a chain-linked fence, and a “black” section which is outside the fenced area.  According to a gentleman that we ran into at the cemetery, the black section has suffered much from vandalism. Overall, the cemetery is bordered by a very underprivileged residential area and the concrete and noise of the freeway.  My husband and I walked the entire cemetery – and we could not find the Lytle plot.  Frustrated – knowing it was there – we were about to give up and just go home.  It took an older gentlemen (also working on his family history) to point out the Lytle plot – which we were practically standing right on top of – situated at the very entrance of the cemetery.  (Okay, so it had been a very long day!)  At one time the plot had been edged by a concrete border – but with the passage of time the concrete has partially sunk into the ground.  There is one marker for Edward and Lucinda; Edward and Belle each have their own marker; and wife Marguerite has one small stone.  It brought comfort to know that the entire family was laid to rest together. 

Greenwood Cemetery

Our family members that are laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery are:

William Henry Lytle, confederate soldier;
Lucinda Curbow Lytle, daughter of Tilman P. Curbow;
Belle Sarah Lytle, daughter of William and Lucinda;
William Henry Lytle, Jr., son of William and Lucinda;
Marguerite Logan Lytle, wife of William Henry Lytle, Jr.; and
Jonathon Monroe Bedwell, husband of Martha Isabell Curbow.

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 at Greenwood, I am attaching the link here. 

This is an excerpt from The Story Tellers…..which says it all for me:  

How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Bedwell, Cemeteries, Curbow, Lytle

 

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