Oak Hill Cemetery

Texas Historical Marker - Oak Hill Cemetery

Texas Historical Marker

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The earliest headstone in this community burial ground marks the grave of Ann Elizabeth Hunter, who died in 1843. A city ordinance designated the site as Oak Hill Cemetery on January 10, 1854. Located in the part of Goliad called "College Hill", the cemetery contains almost 1,000 known graves. The city maintained the site until 1882, when the Oak Hill Cemetery Association was formed. No new lots have been available for sale since the early 1900s. Many prominent citizens of early Texas are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

The Cyclone of May 18, 1902 devastated the town of Goliad and killed 114 residents. The Courthouse served as a hospital and a morgue. There are many small white markers on graves from casualties of the cyclone of 1902.

Near the Northeast corner is a low rock wall in a rectangular shape with something like a jungle growing in it. This area is where the people who were hung on the Hanging Tree were buried

Near the Southeast corner are the only above ground crypts in Oak Hill. These are from a typhoid epidemic. At that time, no one was sure how typhoid was spread and the people did not want to contaminate the ground. They buried the victims in these above ground crypts.

There are 22 Confederate Veterans buried in Oak Hill.

T. P. McCampbell is one of the Confederate Veterans. He was born in 1840. He was attending Aranama College in Goliad when the Civil War broke out. All of the students at Aranama enlisted in the Confederacy and the College was closed. He later became the first county judge in San Patricio County and also became the first president of the First National Bank in Goliad. He was a business partner with Pryor Lea.

The Hord family gravestone along the West side began with a Methodist Circuit riding preacher (1852-1901). Notice that each of the four sides of the monument have a different family member's name. One of them was a child who died on the day of the Cyclone (May 18, 1902).

Near the Southwest corner is a rock rectangle with the grave marker of C.A. Major (1863-1931). He was an early photographer and an artist.

In the Southwest corner are two Torian graves with marble slabs covering the graves. This was a custom in Mr. Torian's native Louisiana where the water table is so high that the slabs have to be placed over graves to keep them from bobbing out of the ground like corks.

Along the West fence (approx. mid-way) are the graves of R.W. (1813-1885) and Harriett (1816-1893) Davis who started a newspaper in Goliad.

Also along the west fence is the Sanderfur family plot. They were cattle drivers.

Near the center of the cemetery is the grave of Pryor Lea who was born in 1795 in Tennessee. He came to Texas after the Texas Revolution in 1836 where he became a prominent leader and promoted the growth of the railroad. He lived inside the Presidio La Bahía and had an extensive garden there. He started the Goliad Aid Association. He is remembered as a close friend of Sam Houston.

Also near the center is the grave of George Stormfeltz who was a Confederate Veteran and served as Goliad Sheriff in 1889.

In the Southeast quadrant is the W.S. Champion headstone. He was a well-known builder of homes in the area. He specialized in wrap-around porches. The Schindle home on 239 West is a lovely example as are the RW Ramsey, Jr. home and the John & Lillie Gant home.

Near the center of the cemetery in the Northeast quadrant is the grave of Julia Nott Waugh (1888-1958). She was born on her grandfather's ranch in Goliad in 1888. Both her father & grandfather (whose graves are adjacent) were physicians and an interesting display of their medical supplies can be seen at the Market House Museum. Julia was the author of numerous articles and periodicals pertaining to Texas history. Her book, The Silver Cradle, was in print for many years. It deals with the customs, traditions, habits, and problems of the Mexican-Americans living in the San Antonio area. In her charming story, the silver cradle was the prized possession of Graciana Reyes in which the Christ Child was placed every year in preparation Christmas. A copy of Mrs. Waugh's book, which includes her photograph, is available in the Texana Collection of the Goliad County Library.

Near the center slightly to the west is the grave of Kate Chilton Talbot who taught piano and voice in Goliad for many years. She lived in the Chilton home which is located only one block south of the cemetery on Chilton Street. Her brother, Dr. Warren Chilton, practiced medicine in Goliad for many years.

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