1st Lt. David Richard Reynolds Camp #2270, SCV, Mount Pleasant, Texas


Edwards / Colonel Hills / Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Guardian: O. M. Adams

As with most sites of great or profound historical significance, Edwards cemetery is not without it’s share of conflict and confusion. There seems to be little or no doubt that it was the earliest “town cemetery” used by the inhabitants of Mt. Pleasant. But there is no documentary evidence of when the cemetery was first used. Early deed records seem to indicate the existence of a “family cemetery” that may have been incorporated into the currently known Edwards Cemetery. We do know that the cemetery was used in the 1850s from recorded deaths and most likely in the 1840s. Once known as the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, a current correspondent with this writer contends that it was called “Colonial Hill Cemetery” and now sometimes called Edwards, a public cemetery located on West First Street in Mt. Pleasant on lands that were donated by the Edwards family in a deed dated August 11, 1903. Many of the Edwards family are interred in the cemetery.<

As the populace grew, Edwards cemetery was used as the public burial grounds for both Caucasian and African-American residents. Then on December 14, 1888 in a mass meeting of the citizens it was decided it was impossible, “to put the cemetery in condition as becoming Christian people” and the Masonic Cemetery was formed for the exclusive burial of whites. The African-American citizens began using the “Old Mt. Pleasant Colored Cemetery” in the Southwest part of town. Until June 22, 1977, burials in the Edwards Cemetery were without cost and then the city of Mt. Pleasant plated the cemetery and commenced selling the lots.

Of further historical significance is the inclusion within the cemetery of the remains found in three other older cemeteries in the area. Construction of Lake Bob Sandlin in the 1970s necessitated the disinterment and removal of all those buried in the Friendship Cemetery located in the basin that would be covered by water when Cypress Creek was dammed. The remains of 20 graves were relocated to an area in the Edwards Cemetery. Nineteen granite blocks inscribed with “UNKNOWN, moved from Camp County Friendship Cemetery” now mark those grave sites. The remaining grave has a monument for William R. Freeman born August 29, 1860. Then, on June 7, 1979 the heirs of the Richmond and Fitzgerald families bought 8 lots in Edwards Cemetery for the purpose of relocating the remains of those buried in the Richmond/Fitzgerald Cemetery. The remains and existing monuments were transferred in that year. Similarly, in 1980 the heirs of the Benton family bought 10 lots for the purpose of relocating the Benton family cemetery. The remains of 8 unknown burials were interred under a single marker inscribed “UNKNOWN”. The other two lots were used for John and Deary Yan Benton.

Time, the elements, vandals, and well meaning individuals have removed some of the stones, wooden crosses, etc. that were used to mark grave sites. There are, however, certain markers remaining that mark grave sites that are without identifying monuments. There are currently nine (9) funeral home markers (FHM) that cannot be read. There is an unidentified concrete shrine with Spanish inscriptions erected at a grave site; a concrete slab covered in ceramic tile; an unmarked infant grave; and a recent burial has taken place with no identification as to the interred. A wooden sign that has deteriorated so badly the lettering is unreadable except for a date 2/28/92. A top of a monument with no information has been reset in concrete. There is an unreadable monument that is broken and lying on a concrete base. Only one native stone was found in the cemetery and that seems strange because the use of iron ore rock was commonly used to mark graves. There was a pile of concrete, shells and monument bases that marked another grave site. Five monument bases with missing monuments were found (begs the question of what happened to the monuments? Were they stolen, destroyed or relocated).

Three monuments proved to be impossible to read, however, one can make out “Marcus son of A ----” on one and the accompanying foot stone has the initials M. W.. On another is “Nancy A. wife of ---- December 1870". Six brick cairns and one rock cairn mark other grave sites. A painted white, wrought iron fence surrounds a large tree. There is no evidence of any marker inside it.

There were several granite markers that had minimal information found throughout the cemetery. These included: T. P. E., B. P., V. P., G. R. E.; then Norman (1990-2000), Baby (1984-1999), Mandy (1995-1987), Chocolate (1973-1987, Cha Cha (1975-1986) and at the foot of the Cloyds - Honeyboy II (1982-2000). Finally, a concrete monument located on the west side of the cemetery, next to Miller Avenue simply says Uncle Alex 1909. A certain air of mystery arises with consequential questions: Why the anonymity? Was the body surreptitiously buried some dark night conveniently beside the road or more likely someone’s beloved uncle needed to have a decent burial and recognition. There are so many stories that could be told from the history of the cemetery but so much is lost forever. How many desperados are buried here (Mt. Pleasant had a few)? The only significant tale arises from one of the inhabitants buried here.

Mr. (Colonel, an honorary title as he only achieved the rank of Private during the civil war) Henry Clay Thruston lies here with his wife and son. Mr. Thruston received notoriety during the civil war and later while touring with the P. T. Barnum Circus. Standing 7 feet, 7 ½ inches tall, he was known as the tallest man in the civil war. Many stories abound about his exploits in the war (can you imagine the target he presented). During one campaign the two sides stopped hostilities while he and the tallest man in the Union army were photographed together to resolve the argument as to who could claim the title “Tallest man in the civil war”. He won. Surviving the war of course was a remarkable feat and after discharge, Thruston joined the circus with the billing “The Texas Giant” and “The Tallest Man in the World”. During parades, he would array himself in the American flag and sometimes the “Stars and Bars”. A stovepipe hat was worn to emphasize his height. He now sleeps peacefully in Edwards Cemetery.

To reach the Edwards Cemetery from the Titus County court house take West 1st street west for 0.3 mile to the intersection with Edwards Avenue. Turn right (North) on Edwards Avenue and proceed 0.1 mile. The cemetery’s main entrance lies on the left. Coordinates: 33o09'28"N 094o58'30"W

The Guardian for this cemetery is O. M. Adams. If you know the exact location of any of these gravesites that was not found, or if you know of any other Confederate Soldier that is buried here and not listed then please Contact Us.

Adams, Samuel Patterson 04/01/1830 06/09/1910 20th Texas Cavalry Pvt. Private Samuel Patterson Adams
Benton, John 07/05/1826 05/23/1883 Co. G, 35th Texas Cavalry   Gravesite Not Found
Dillahunty, Charles Louis 06/16/1832 02/02/1900 Co. H, 33rd Texas Cavalry Capt. Captain Charles L. Dillahunty
Dillahunty, Harvey J. Abt. 1835 03/18/1867 Co. A, 22nd Texas Infantry Pvt. Gravesite Not Found
Dillard, John W. 08/27/1822 10/09/1878 Suttons Texas Cavalry   John W. Dillard
Edwards, William Riley 06/15/1837 07/09/1900 Co. F, 18th Texas Infantry 1st Lt. 1st Lieutenant William Riley Edwards
Hearne, William Franklin 01/02/1835 11/04/1906 Co. K, 28th North Carolina Infantry Pvt. Private William Franklin Hearne
Johnson, James P. 01/04/1845 02/22/1930 Co. K, 3rd Texas Cavalry Pvt. Private James P. Johnson
Johnson, W. J. 1845 1915     Gravesite Not Found
Jones, Lauderdale M. 05/29/1823 06/21/1885 Co. A, 2nd State Troops Pvt. Private Lauderdale M. Jones
King, John H. 03/01/1824 12/29/1897 Co. D, 9th Texas Infantry Cpl. Corporal John H. King
Lewellen, Alfred Calvin 01/051845 08/14/1916 20th Texas Cavalry Pvt. Private Alfred Calvin Lewellen
Mitchell, John D. Abt. 1844 09/27/1925 Co. K, 8th Alabama Cavalry Sgt. Gravesite Not Found
Riddle, Jessie Gregory 12/14/1841 01/15/1919 Co. A, 2nd Texas Infantry   Jessie Gregory Riddle
Sanders, Thomas Jefferson 08/15/1833 04/01/1909 Co. K, 23rd Texas Cavalry Pvt. Private Thomas Jefferson Sanders
Scurlock, Daniel 10/18/1837 05/05/1896 Co. D, 11th Texas Infantry 1st Lt. 1st Lieutenant Daniel Scurlock
Smith, Richard D. 10/09/1828 01/25/1883 Suttons Company Texas Cavalry   Gravesite Not Found
Stephens, William S. 1834 1868 Co. N, 27th Texas Cavalry 2nd Lt. Gravesite Not Found
Suggs, Isaac T. 01/13/1815 10/26/1887 Co. C, 38th North Carolina Infantry Pvt. Gravesite Not Found
Thruston, Henry Clay 05/14/1833 07/02/1911 Co. I, 4th Missouri Cavalry Pvt. Private Henry Clay Thruston
Wakefield, Larkin Levy 01/22/1841 06/03/1924 Co. I, 27th Texas Cavalry Pvt. Private Larkin Levi Wakefield