Willingham Cemetery at New Year's Creek

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(click the photos for a larger view)
 

Located in Washington County, Texas, USA on the CHAPPEL HILL QUADRANGLE TEXAS-WASHINGTON COUNTY, US Topographic map on the north side of Washington County Road 2193 about 1 mile east of the intersection of Texas State Highway 105 and Washington County 2193. This cemetery is also marked with a cross on page 121 of the map book THE ROADS OF TEXAS

This cemetery is located on land from the Harbour League, conveyed to John OíNeal and Nancy Harbour and conveyed by John OíNeal to A.J. and Martha Willingham by deed dated the 25th day of November, A.D. 1857, recorded in Volume 15 page 48 Washington County Deed Records.

It is not known exactly when this cemetery was created. After the death of his father, Alfred Jackson Willingham, John H. Willinghamís siblings wanted to sell their fatherís land because they lived elsewhere and had no use for it. So that his parentís graves were not sold along with the land, John dedicated , willed, registered, and recorded this cemetery in Brenham, Washington County, Texas, USA to "The Heirs of A.J. Willingham and Martha Willingham forever". [Recorded 08 Apr 1820 in Volume 75, page 201, Washington County Deed Records.]

The following are from the children of A.J. and Martha relinquishing their claim to the land: 

27 Jan 1920 C.H. Willingham, "...for the sum of one dollar...and the love and affection that I have for my three sisters, MRS. ELLEN HARDING, MRS. ANNIE EIGEL, MRS. EDNA FAIR..."...of Washington County, Texas all of my ...interest...inherited from my deceased father and mother, A.J. Willingham and Martha Willingham...
[Washington Co., TX land records.]
 8 April 1920 John Willingham et al to A.J. Willingham estate. That we, JOHN WILLINGHAM, R.R. HARDING AND HIS WIFE ELLEN HARDING, AND T.A. LOW, all of Washington Co., TX...for $1.00...convey unto the heirs-at-law of A.J. Willingham and Martha Willingham, deceased....property...Willingham cemetery.
[Washington Co., TX land records]

The northern boundary of this cemetery was on a curve of the old Rock Island Road. In 1955, the State of Texas put in the new highway and straightened the curve with a trade taking place of part of the land for the fence which surrounds it. Mack Santee was paid $1.00 cash for his portion involved. The deed for this cemetery was revised by all of John H. Willinghamís living heirs and recorded 11 Aug 1955.

According to a family story, Mac Santee, a black man was sold land by George Washington Newman and later land by Alfred Jackson Willingham adjoining the Willingham tract. Santee was buried outside of this fence on his land across from and at the foot of the graves of John H. Willingham and wife Julia Ann Murdock Willingham upon his death. Numerous other graves of Macís family members have since appeared along the fence with him. Santee, as he was called by the Willingham family, and his wife were life-long devoted friends of this Willingham family. I remember when Johnís wife, Julia Ann Murdock Willingham died in 1959, members of Santeeís family and other friends attended the funeral, standing outside the fence in tears and later proceeding past her casket to say goodbye to one they loved.
 

These are the known people who are buried in the Willingham Cemetery. Family stories say there were more:


Row I

Julia Ann Murdock Willingham 
(wife of John .H. Willingham and daughter of James .H. and Sarah Jane York Murdock)
b. 10 Oct 1872
d. 28 Mar 1959

John H. Willingham 
(son of A.J. and Martha O'Neal Willingham)
b. 27 Jul 1869
d. 07 Jun 1929

Hattie Jesse Willingham 
(daughter of J.H. & Julia Willingham)
b. 22 Feb 1896
d. 08 Sep 1898

John Milton Willingham 
(son of J.H. & Julia Willingham)
b. 10 Oct 1904
d. 02 Mar 1922

Martha OíNeal Willingham 
(wife of A. J. Willingham, daughter of John and Nancy Harbour O'Neal)
b. Dec 1834
d. 12 Jan 1919

Alfred Jackson Willingham 
(father of J.H. Willingham, son of Archibald and Eleanor Belcher Willingham) (A Civil War marker)
b. 26 Mar 1824
d. 15 Mar 1907

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Henry Jackson Willingham 

(son of J.H. & Julia Willingham) (A WWI marker)
b. 08 Apr 1894
d. 19 Apr 1950



Row II

Unknown or empty

Cassee Ann Dickinson 
(daughter of John and Sarah Willingham Dickinson)

 Sarah Willingham Dickinson
(daughter of A.J. and Martha Willingham, wife of John Dickinson)
(suspected, not proven that she is buried here)

.b. 06 Jun 1859 
d. 07 Jan 1882 

Unknown or empty

Dorothy May Cole 
(daughter of Mattie Willingham and Monte R. Cole)
b. 21 Oct 1932
d. 31 Oct 1932

Sarah Jane York Murdock 
(mother of Julia Ann Willingham, wife of James H. Murdock, daughter of Levi and ? York))
b. 15 Jul 1842
d. 02 Dec 1934

A Civil War marker in memory of James H. Murdock (husband of Sarah J. York Murdock) has been erected next to Sarah's grave. It has been said he was buried at Sugar Loaf Mountain. Fort Hood was using the mountain for target practice and all the graves were moved by the government to Killeen, Texas, USA and surrounding areas after many complaints made by family descendants. James' name does not appear on the a list that I found in a book naming the graves moved, but many graves had no markers and were not identified.
b.10 Nov 1825
d. 05 Mar 1889

Family stories say there are more graves in other areas of this cemetery, possibly in the unidentified spaces. 


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Mack Santee's grave,  located on his property outside the Willingham Cemetery.  There are no dates on this stone because Mac did not know when he was born or how old he was.  .  Anyone who has an approximate date, please email me.  It would be much appreciated by me or possibly his relatives who might come across this site.  Thanks.

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