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Ivie Cemetery

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1861 [unknown]
Location: Kennard, Houston, Texas, United Statesmap
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Contents

General Information

Ivie Cemetery Entrance

Cemetery name: Ivie Cemetery (also known as Ivie Baptist Church Cemetery)

Address: Forest Service Road 496, Kennard, Houston County, Texas, USA

GPS Coordinates: 31.285918805881266, -95.13068560584266

History

This cemetery began in 1861 with the internment of Henry G. Ivie (b. 1811), an early settler in Southeastern Houston County. It is located on property that was part of his holdings in the Stephen English survey. The site served as a burial ground for residents of a three-county area centered around the Ivie community. Located adjacent to land once used for school and religious purpose, the cemetery was associated with the Ivie Baptist Church for many years. Today Ivie Cemetery serves as a reminder of an early rural settlement and its pioneers.

Jim Tom Ainsworth and DeLoyd English Rudloff write:

"Located on the Houston-Trinity County line, Ivie Cemetery is approximately 7 miles south of Kennard. Ivie Cemetery began with the burial of Henry G. Ivie on August 6, 1861 on his land in the Stephen English Survey. His gravestone identifies his birthdate as August 11, 1811, and indicates that he was a mason. His grave is near the center of what has become a large burial ground of 4.39 acres. Henry Ivie and his family and neighbors lived in the southeast corner of Houston County. They identified themselves as living in the community of Ivie, though some called the area Pine Prairie. There was never a post office at Ivie or Pine Prairie, identifying it as a distinct community. Some of the earliest family who lived around Ivie were the Bakers, Blakeways, Bradys, Campbells, Childresses, Denmans, Englishes, Grates, Hallmarks, Hagers, Ivies, Hathorns, Hunzikers, James, Johnsons, Kenndys, Riordans, Thames.
In the early days of the cemetery there was no such think as backhoes to dig graves. All of the graves had to be dug by hand by the men of the community. Most of the time, the graves were dug in the morning, and the women would prepare lunch for them. There were two small tool sheds in the cemetery, one in the front and one in the back. The grave-digging tools were stored in the them. The roads to the cemetery were almost impassable. In 1934 County Commissioner Moffett B. Creath offered to grade a road if the men of the community would clear the right of way, cut down trees, and dig up the roots. R. L. Ivie recalls 'We started at Mr. Edgar Thames' place, worked around the church, down to the Mattox place, on to Helton Cemetery. This was as far as Daddy and I worked. The other men carried it on further. With a graded road we felt we were almost living on a highway.
The first official deed for Ivie Cemetery was not recorded until April 3, 1918, stipulating 3 acres to be used for cemetery purposes from the Louisiana and Texas Land Company. Twenty-one ears later a second deed from the Southern Pine Lumber Company of Diboll was for four acres to the Ivie Cemetery and Church Association. Descendants of Henry G. Ivie, John and Catherine Ivie, sold the land to the Southern Pine Lumber Company. In 1939, when Leon Ivie and others began trying to buy back the land for the cemetery, they struck a deal with the lumber company. Southern Pine Lumber Company sold the 4 acres to the Cemetery Association, but reserved the right for 6 months to cut the pine timber off the four acres. After six months had expired, and they had failed to cut the timber, they purchased the timber from the Cemetery Associate, which gave the association enough money to pay for the land, and to erect an arch over the gate. On December 14, 1959, Southern Pine Lumber Company deeded an additional .39 acres of land to the trustees of Ivie Cemetery, who were at the time K. B. Ivie, Leon Ivie, Edgar Thames, and John Westbrook. The cemetery was fenced and a pavilion built next to the church in 1976.
After the arch way had been there for sometime, one Memorial Day, Hattie Harrison pointed out the R. L. Ivie that the spelling of the word "cemetery" was wrong. It was never corrected, and has not been by a lot of people since. Uann Smith (who was a brick mason), John Childress, and Leon Ivie built the posts and mounted the archway and the front gate. In 1975, jewel Childress Bradshaw left $20,000 in her will to the Cemetery Association to begin the fund for perpetual care. It has been added to through the years."[1]

Ivie Day

Also know as Ivie Day Homecoming, is an annual event on the last Sunday in May were friends and family from the surrounding community gather to remember and celebrate those they've lost. Everyone brings food and spends the day caring for the cemetery. Many will visit passed family to plant new flowers and clean the gravestone.[2]

More Information

Sources

  1. Ainsworth and Rudloff, Page 187
  2. Micah Horgan-Trapp. Personal recollection, 1 Jan, 2022.

Works Cited:

  • Ainsworth, Jim Tom, and DeLoyd English Rudloff. Crossing Over Cochino (Best of East Texas Publishers, Division of Bob Bowman & Associates, Ind., 1997) For repository information see World Cat




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