MIXON — Evidence of early settlers, Native Americans, war veterans and community and county educators characterize the range and significance of the Mixon Cemetery.
“The headstones speak to us of the brave pioneers who settled the area in the mid 1800s,” Ms. Burkett wrote in the historical marker application. “We are moved by their determination, which led them to their new home in northeast Cherokee County. Because of their religious and family values, churches and schools were established soon after they arrived. (Descendants) of these pioneers still live in the area and support two churches, spiritual vestiges from the past, which are open regularly for worship.”
Ms. Burkett, who joined the Cherokee County Historical Commission in Rusk about three years ago, said she wanted to get a historical marker and went “full speed ahead” through the application process. The historical commission received the marker in July and is storing it until the dedication.
“We felt like the beginning of October would be a little cooler than July when we got the word,” she said.
The cemetery, about seven miles from Troup on Texas Highway 135 and 10 miles north of Jacksonville, will receive its historical marker Oct. 7. The event is scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m. at the site.
It is unknown where the Mixon Cemetery got its name, according to the historical marker application. The community was initially called Pine Springs, and when residents wanted a post office, there already was a post office in Texas named Pine Springs, so they had to find a different name, Ms. Burkett said.
“Obviously it was a family name or an individual, but we don’t know who,” she said.
During the country’s movement west, she said people from Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama came to Texas in covered wagons.
Many people stopped when there was fertile land, grass and abundant water, and East Texas had all of those things, she said. The area also offered game, such as turkey and deer.
One of the people moving west was infant Elizabeth Dickey, the first child of Moses and Melvina Dickey. Elizabeth, who died in 1924 and is buried in the Mixon Cemetery, was a baby when her parents headed to Texas, and a family story recounts that Native Americans attacked their wagon train along the way, and she was “hidden by her parents until the skirmish was over,” according to the historical marker application.
Sisters Ruth Cole, 91, and Navoleine Roddy, 90, have ancestors buried there who came west from Tennessee, one of which is Ransom Musick, who married Kesiah, the daughter of a Native American Cherokee Chief. According to the historical marker application, Kesiah was born in South Carolina and came with her husband to the Mixon community in 1860s. Both are buried in the cemetery.
As far as the grave marker styles, Octavio Braly’s grave is made with the original red ironstone that the Tomato Bowl in Jacksonville was built with during the Works Progress Administration era, Ms. Burkett said.
There also are Woodmen of the World markers, which contain a camp name, and white marker slabs with the names of World War II soldiers.
Anita Ross, 84, said although she grew up in Alto, the cemetery means a lot to her because she has a plot there, next to her late husband.
Ms. Cole said the cemetery also holds significance to her, and she’s pleased that it will receive a historical marker.
“It holds a lot of memories for us. Just about all my family is here,” she said.
Ms. Roddy echoed her sister, saying she is sentimental about the cemetery and used to come during the week to help clean it up.
“I’m just proud we’re being recognized (with the historical marker). A lot of history’s out here,” she said.