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Augusta, Texas

At the time of my return home to North Texas I veered to the west toward Houston County to see the area where the Edens-Madden Massacre took place, one of several significant events which occurred during the uprising in 1838 known as the “Cordova Rebellion”.  While on leave my hosts and I scoured the worldwide web looking for information and maps.  Remaining fond of Google Maps, although not always so accurate, I, without question drove West on the 103 towards Crockett out of Lufkin.  I’ll take you to that remote location in a following paragraph or more.  As for the story of the massacre there are a dozen or so versions.  Everyone has their angle, you could say, both fictionalized accounts and slightly accurate recollections.  I am not too concerned about the exactness of it all for this violent attack ended the lives of many.  The Kickapoo and Cherokee were eventually expelled from this region.   This is one of many of my own personal excursions for family history research.

While a stack of Madden history lies on a manila folder on the table, I take a sip of favorite beverage with little bubbles while listening to Gregory Porter’s “Children, Your Line is Draggin’”.   I am unable to read some of my scribbled notes taken while skimming the pages of books and notes left on my Grandmother’s desk last month.  There’s enough to figure it all out.  She used to tell me about the Edens Madden Massacre years ago and I actually have that recorded on a cassette tape.

Let me take you down this interesting and scenic route through the Davy Crockett National Forest.  If you haven’t been through there I suggest you alter your next East TX drive right on through it.  It’s pretty.  And there are so many historical markers, it will take hours to get to the other side if you stopped to read them all.  I had no time at all except for the ones that had anything to do with the Madden family.

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The pin shows this site to be on the edge of the Davy Crockett National Forest.  I followed the 21 and found the 1543 that winds and curves and changes becoming a dozen or so other numbers and  you must pay attention to the direction you are driving.  At the least have a compass because GPS can vanish on narrow unpaved sandy road of the dark forest.  My Droid maintained contact with the virtual world so I had little problem.

This is a Sunday morning, mind you, and this is the Bible Belt.  People go to church out here  as remote as this area is I passed ten or more car/truck loads of churchgoers headed one way or another to congregate in rural worship houses, some with their own Texas historical marker firmly planted front and center of the church building.  I got invited to church by a passerby  who stopped while I was seated in my car on the edge of the red dirt road looking at my bewildering Google map.   Onward I traveled and the road became more narrow and sandy.  I’m now on the 544.  Want to know what’s back there?  Trees.  Tall pine trees.  And a gate.  There was nothing but a gate with more trees on the other side.  This is exactly where the map said the place was but there was nothing to see except for pine trees.  I’m miles from civilization and no public restrooms or refreshment stands to be seen.  One must do what is necessary and move on.

I drove West to the 2022 where a historical marker stood right on the corner.  I was as happy to find it as I was to see pavement.

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I suspect the area described above was the Edens land.  I should have conducted more research.  But alas, there was more Edens-Maddens history a few miles ahead in Augusta.

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This is one of four markers located in Augusta at the site of the massacre according to Dana Goolsby of TexasEscapes.com.  A mile or so and a left turn the Augusta Cemetery sits long the 1680.  The gate was closed but there were no “do not enter” signs so I opened and drove through toward the back.  Edens and Maddens can be found buried there. I did not take a log with me and mark off who is who on the massacre list.  Some were buried on Edens cemetery and others apparently here.

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When I pulled out of the cemetery closing the gate behind, I drove slowly through town in hopes to find a local walking along the road carrying groceries or sitting on the porch watching people like me read the historical signs so that I could interview them.  I met one man with his wife researching the DeWitt family.  They were from Georgia.

Turning East toward Alto, a patch of bright yellow daffodils swayed in the breeze while the sky darkened threatening rain.  I rolled the window down halfway and turned up the radio to listen to “Back Roads” by Brandon Rhyder.

 

 

 

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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Texas

 

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Guthrie Cemetery, Guthrie, Texas

I have no information on the cemetery in Guthrie, Texas. Guthrie is one of those little towns with a big history and you can google Guthrie and it’s famous Four Sixes ranch for the many stories. It’s a survivor–this little town of about 2000.

But this post is about graveyard pictures, not about Guthrie. Lot’s of cowboys are buried here, the locals of the region. There are a variety of gravestones here. You will see some of the more modern ones in contrast to the ones of earlier times. Guthrie came to be in the 1880’s. I don’t know when the cemetery came to be but I suppose as soon as you get a couple of families, a post office, school, and a church, there must be a place to be buried.

The older headstones are indeed weathered and some cannot be read. I presume there is a database for this cemetery.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in Cemeteries, Photography, Texas

 

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Prairie Haven Cemetery, Hobbs, NM

This photo has been on my desktop for several months. It was taken in 2006 while making my way back to the airport in Lubbock from Roswell. I took the scenic route since Hobbs isn’t exactly along the direct route. I like photographing cemeteries and have a small collection taken throughout West TX along the 380.

There are some names I recongnized as I drove along the path. Names of parents/grandparents of kids I went to elementry school with. A couple of names of people my own age that I knew when I was living in Hobbs. You never know where people are going to end up.

I walked amongst the gravestones decorated in season. Standing next to one I looked southwest over the fence at the vast flatness of the landscape while the wind whispered song. I listened for a moment and gazed into my own memory and recalled her voice, her warm embrace. My mom still lives in my heart.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2010 in Cemeteries, New Mexico, Photography

 

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