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Front Page October 3, 2017  RSS feed

Historical Parker Cemetery Memorial set for October 8

By Sherry Matney

For those who grew up in rural Leon County you know one of the biggest social events of the year was the cemetery memorial. For some cemeteries, families gathered early and worked (cleaned) the family graves. One of the early customs was to cover the graves with mussel shells. It was usually the kids’ job to remove the shells so the adults could hoe and rake with great care.

As time went by most local cemeteries began paying workers to keep the cemeteries in top shape. But still on Memorial Day the excitement was there. Grandmas and Mamas cooked all day on Saturday to prepare as much food ahead as possible. Kids couldn’t wait to get a taste of that fried chicken, potato salad, coconut and chocolate pies and everything else that was packed inside that basket. Memorials were truly the social events of the year!!

Parker Cemetery in Flo is one of those rural cemeteries. It was established in 1851 by, then, landowners A.P. and Mary Graham Parker who had migrated to Leon County by wagon train. A.P.’s brother Perry, had a seventeen-year-old son who had been weak and sickly most of his life. While the Perry’s family was visiting A.P. and Mary, the son died, so the couple allowed Perry to bury the child on their property. That grave is still cared for and visible in the center of Parker Cemetery. The Parkers donated the first portion of land that was primarily used by family members. Over the years burial expanded to other Flo settlers.

According to an article written by Clovis Herring, at that time President of the Leon County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, there are at least seven Confederate soldiers buried at Parker.

Parker Cemetery has been blessed with large oak and cedar trees that provide shade and a serene atmosphere. It has been hit by two tornadoes in recent years; one tornado in December 2006 and the other in February of 2017. With both incidents large trees were destroyed and in the 2017 tornado the pavilion, under which meetings were held, was badly damaged.

The Annual Memorial will be held on October 7, 2017 and all family members of buried loved ones are invited. The pavilion has not been repaired since the tornado because funds to repair it would come from the Permanent Fund and, according to by-laws, “any and all withdrawals from the Permanent Fund must be approved by a majority vote of the membership at the Annual Meeting held on the second Sunday in October.” The Board has received sealed bids, for repairs, that will be opened at the meeting and the repairs will be decided.

The business meeting and devotional will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by lunch. Donations may be mailed to Parker Cemetery, PO Box 1471, Buffalo, Texas 75831.

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