Who’s In that Cemetery in Georgetown Village?

gravestoneThose of you who live in Georgetown Village have probably noted the old cemetery next to the entrance of Phase I. I’ve always had a fascination with cemeteries as there lie the repositories of the last remains of people who lived and experienced another time.

Not wanting to disturb the dead, or get arrested for trespassing, I overcame my innate curiosity, until one Saturday when I noticed someone inside the fence cleaning up all the brush and grass that had accumulated. I figured that if he could be in there working, I could at least step in to have a look around and ask a few questions.

The man was Rev. John Gurley, a local Baptist preacher, who said that he cared for old cemeteries that no one else was taking care of. He said that it was a way of paying respects to his parents who were buried too far away for him to care for their graves. By the time I got there, he had cleared away most of the brush that had clogged the cemetery. He told me that an armadillo had dug down into one of the graves and that he had had to replace some of the bones that the animal had disturbed. There are numerous unmarked grave stones scattered around the area, based on their small size, the Rev. Gurley said that most appeared to be young children, a sobering reminder both of the material poverty of most of the early settlers and the fact that not too long ago many parents buried more children than they raised to adulthood.

The mysterious two gravestones: The two graves stones that do have inscriptions are enclosed in a small wrought iron fence in the middle of the cemetery, the one that a burrowing armadillo had disturbed was Cretia Lord (Jan 23, 1846 – Nov 15, 1902). The other person buried there is her infant son, David (Aug 25, 1872 – Jan 25, 1873) who appears to have died from Scarlet Fever, a common killer of children in that age. I little digging on the internet found that Cretia’s father, Joseph Martin Fish, born in Germany, was a veteran of the war of 1812. Cretia’s mother Nancy outlived her daughter by two years, passing away in 1904.

Cretia’s husband, Leroy B. Lord also outlived her, passing away in 1911. He is buried in the IOOF Cemetery behind Southwestern University. Besides being sheriff of Williamson County 1868-1869 he was also a relatively wealthy man. In a 2001 proceeding of the Georgetown City Council in which permission was given to begin development of Georgetown Village, that whole area was referred to as the “Leroy B Lord Survey.”

I’ve always found history to be most interesting when I find a personal connection and now I have one with the lady whose mortal remains lie in the cemetery at the entrance to Georgetown Village. If you live in the Village, then your house stands on land that once belonged to that lady and her husband.

Comments

  1. Great story James….rather then feel “creepy” about something like this being on my neighborhood, it actually makes me feel kind of proud of the history that we got here.

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