Chireno Lower Cemetery at Chireno, Texas in Historic Nacogdoches County

Chireno Lower Cemetery at Chireno, Texas in Historic Nacogdoches County

Chireno Lower Cemetery at Chireno, Texas in Historic Nacogdoches County


CHIRENO LOWER CEMETERY

SITUATED NEAR EL CAMINO REAL DE LOS TEJAS, ON LAND GRANTED IN
1792 TO JOSE ANTONIO CHIRENO, THE CHIRENO COMMUNITY
DEVELOPED IN THE 1830's WHEN CHIRENO'S HEIRS SOLD TRACTS TO
INCOMING COLONISTS, INCLUDING SAMUEL FLOURNOY AND DANIEL H.
VAIL. IN 1844, VAIL DONATED AROUND THIRTY ACRES TO THE TRUSTEES OF
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CHIRENO FOR THE COMMUNITY
TO USE AS A CEMETERY, CHURCH, AND SCHOOL, KNOWN AS THE
CHIRENO SCHOOL CAMPUS. OUT OF THE ORIGINAL THIRTY ACRES
DONATED, A LITTLE OVER NINE ACRES WERE DESIGNATED FOR CEMETERY
PURPOSES. THIS LAND WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO SEGREGATED CEMETERIES,
FOR ANGLO AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN BURIALS. AFTER TWO STRUCTURES
BURNED AT THIS LOCATION IN 1890 AND AGAIN IN 1925, THE CHURCH
BUILDING WAS REBUILT TO THE NORTHWEST.

THE LANDSCAPE OF THE CEMETERY IS TRADITIONAL WITH A VARIETY OF
GRAVESTONES, INCLUDING MARKERS OF GRANITE, LIMESTONE, AND
MARBLE SURROUNDED BY TREES, GRASS, AND IRISES. THE EARLIEST
MARKED GRAVE, THAT OF THE BABY OF M.W. AND A.T. BURKE, DATES TO
1861, ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE EARLIER UNMARKED BURIALS. OTHER
NOTED BURIALS INCLUDE THE REVEREND RICHARD A MENEFEE (1809-
1893) AND MISSOURI M. FOWLER WOOLAM (1807--1891), WIDOW OF
REVEREND LITTLETON FOWLER AND THE FIRST PROTESTANT WOMAN
MISSIONARY OF TEXAS. AMONG MANY PIONEER FAMILIES BURIED HERE,
THE CEMETERY ALSO SERVES AS THE FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR VETERANS
OF WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II, AND THE KOREAN WAR, AS WELL AS
MEMBERS OF WOODMEN OF THE WORLD AND MASON ORGANIZATIONS.
AN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FORMED IN 1978 TO CARE FOR THE
CEMETERY, AND IN 2010, THE CHIRENO LOWER CEMETERY, INC. WAS
FORMED TO MAINTAIN THIS HISTORIC BURIAL GROUND.
(Text from the State of Texas Historical Commission.)

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