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The Athens Cemetery Association passed the century mark as a corporation this year. From the left are board members Chip Perryman, Joanne McElroy, Larry Babb, Steve Grant, Kay King, Steve Sparkman, Lynn Stultz, Randy Daniel and Bobby Glass.

 

 

 

The organization that cares for the Athens Cemetery was incorporated by the State of Texas, 100 years ago. At that time, the cemetery was already 64 years old. Family members of the people buried there had taken care of the grounds, but the work steadily increased as did its growth.

The board wants to put together several things in conjunction with celebrating our 100th anniversary. It is when the association was incorporated by the State of Texas, but it actually started way before that. The cemetery was started in 1858 and the association in the early 1900s.

Before the turn of 1900, civic groups such as the Literary Club guided maintenance needs. The hiring of a caretaker was required. Around 1910, the Cemetery Association was formed by leading ladies of the community to collect dues for the growing upkeep expenses.

By 1919, the association was able to purchase 10 acres from M.E. Richardson and wife Kate to expand the cemetery. The trustees at that time were E.A. Carroll, J.A. Murchison, George M. Scroggins, C.H. Coleman and A.B. Watkins. By February 1921, the Cemetery Association was granted a Charter of Incorporation from the State of Texas. The board of directors were declared as Sallie W. Coleman, E.A. Carroll, Sr., Laura M. Watkins, Margaret J. Robbins and John Lehr.

Large legacies of people are there. The legacies of people who created the town are there. Quite a few have their own historical markers and we want to reintroduce that to the community.

Currently the board is comprised of Steve Grant, myself, Larry Babb, Randy Daniels, C. A. Hawn, Chip Perryman, Lynne Stultz, Kay King, John Cain, Robert Murchison, Jr. and Joanne McElroy.

They are not a perpetual care cemetery, they are completely funded by tax free donations.

Through the past one hundred years many dedicated citizens have served on the board with one guiding mission, the preservation and care of this unique historical sanctuary. Throughout this year, we will be sharing some glimpses into this history by story and celebration. We invite you to visit the cemetery in person or visit the website at www.athenstxcemetery.com or follow us on Facebook. You can also email info@athenstxcemetery.com.

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