A Decoration Day at the old Edgar Family Cemetery is scheduled for Saturday.
The cemetery is remote and on private land, near the location of the old Edgar family homestead in the Edgar community, between Cuero and Yoakum.
The Edgar family's first-born son, Joseph Smith Edgar, was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
The cemetery dates to 1863 when the first burial is believed to have occurred there.
The James Edgar family had moved to DeWitt County from Maury County, Tenn., in late 1853 to settle on a third of a league of land (1,476.1 acres), which was a first-class headright grant, awarded to their first-born child, Joseph Smith Edgar, for his presence in Texas prior to the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836.
Ten known children were born in Tennessee to James Edgar and his wife, Selah Witherington, between 1818 and 1835. There were nine boys and one girl, and they all came to Texas.
The 17-year-old Joseph Smith Edgar came first, in late 1835. He joined the Texas Army, and he was a member of Capt. Robert Calder's Infantry Company K, 1st Regiment, Texas Volunteers at the Battle of San Jacinto. In addition to the headright grant described above, Joseph was also awarded a donation grant of 640 acres for his service at the Battle of San Jacinto and a bounty grant of 320 acres for his service in the Texas Army in general.
Joseph died before he ever saw any of the land he had earned. He died when he was 19, on July 9, 1837 at the home of a family friend, Capt. James Gibson Swisher, on the Swisher Farm near the Old Gay Hill community in Washington County.
Swisher was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and he was from the same area in middle Tennessee as was the Edgar family.
In addition to many Edgar family members, numerous other burials occurred in the old Edgar Family Cemetery of relatives and of friends and neighbors.
Some of the surnames of those known to have been buried in the cemetery are Abel, Batchelor, Bates, Bell, Bennett, Bouldin, Brown, Carr, Dikes, Donnell, Duke, Dykes, Farquhar, Hadley, Hugo, von Hugo, Jacobs, Ladd, Lee, Luce, Mahler, McAdoo, McCormick, McMeen, Means, Mikes, Mikesh, Murphey, Newsome, Nyegaard, Odom, Pincham, Powers, Pridgen, Rackley, Reader, Robinson, Skeen, Sparkman, Strown, Taylor, Welch, Witherington and Young.
Many descendants of those families are still living in DeWitt, Victoria, Lavaca, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes and surrounding counties.
This year a special focus will be on the Edgar, Brown, Knox and Culpepper family connections.
The James Brown and Millie Mayes family relocated from northern Mississippi to DeWitt County about the same time as the Edgar family's relocation from Maury County, Tennessee.
Four marriages occurred between Brown and Edgar family members, and Brown Road still exists and intersects the Concrete-Edgar road near the location where the two families settled.
One of the Edgar sons, John, married Cynthia Culpepper Knox who was a widow with a young child, William Thaddeus Knox. After their marriage, and then after Cynthia's death, John raised his stepson as his own. William Thaddeus Knox became a prominent and highly regarded farmer, citizen, and elected official in Coleman County.
He married one of John Edgar's nieces, Sarah Annie Edgar. And, they named one of their children, John Edgar Knox in honor of Thaddeus' stepfather. One of John Edgar Knox's descendants, who lives in Arkansas, will be attending Decoration Day 2015.
Visitations to the cemetery occur infrequently and only at times scheduled with the Edgar Family Cemetery Association and with the landowner.
Anyone interested in attending the 2015 visitation should contact the EFCA via email at EFCA1853@gmail.com.
More information about the cemetery, the association and Decoration Day 2015 can be found at the cemetery's website at toeverythingaseason.org/EdgarFamilyCemetery/Welcome.html.