When I started doing research on my maternal grandmother’s family, back in 2007 one of the first things I learned about was the Hughes Knight Cemetery. It almost seemed like a secret. Granted the transcription for the cemetery was posted out on the internet, but there were no pictures any where and to get there you had to drive down this and that gravel road, climb through a hole in someone’s barbed wire fenced on private property and then take your chances by walking west a mile back into the woods, and hope you had climbed through the right hole in the fence, else you would be a mile back in the wrong woods and no cemetery in site.
As you can see from the above picture, once you leave the road, you go north, then it’s west, and then north again!
Last week, I went to New Boston, Texas and picked up cousin Nell Blackford and we went in search of the cemetery, trying to beat a rain storm coming in. We went down the gravel roads and arrived at the log house that you are supposed to stop and ask permission at, but no one was home. Very disappointed, neither Nell or myself wanted to trespass so I took Nell back into New Boston and we ate lunch and visited for a bit, and then I left to head back to Nedra’s house in Texarkana where I was staying.
I decided I would try one more time on my way out-of-town to see if anyone was home at the log house.
A very nice man by the name of Ronnie Adams, had just gotten home and gave me permission, and told me just where to drive my car through his woods to a little path that would take me there. He doesn’t own the actual land where the cemetery is, but as long as he knows who is back there, it’s ok. He seemed concerned that I was going out in the woods by myself but I wasn’t. I have my nine and my conceal and carry license so I wasn’t worried a bit. I could shoot a snake, any snake if I needed to. 🙂
Ronnie was recovering from a work related injury and had a broken leg, and I could tell he wanted to go out there with me, but was limited due to the injury so I reassured him that I’d be fine because I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, I had permission and nothing was stopping me this time! It was a long seven years to wait to find this cemetery! I drove on out there and was totally shocked at what I found.
A very well-kept cemetery, fenced in, deep in the woods with some stones so magnificent (and taller than me) it would rival any town cemetery. I was expecting a little country cemetery with overgrown stones and I fully expected that maybe some of them would be missing.
Not a single stone was missing from the cemetery transcription I had found online back in 2007. Another sweet victory. Some are leaning, and some are down, but you can tell this cemetery is taken care of. The fence is nice, it’s mowed all around it, and yes, it was covered in leaves, but the ground inside is maintained. Ronnie told me that he maintains the outside of the cemetery and the land owner, Jimmy Smith maintains the inside around the stones.
I took a picture of every stone and while I was doing this, Ronnie, bless his heart showed up on his four-wheeler, crutches and all and showed me around the cemetery. I pointed out the graves of my 3rd great-grandfather, Alfred Gatewood Hoskins, my 3rd great-grandmother Mary Lucinda (Henri) Hoskins, and their daughter, my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson.
My 2nd great-aunts are also buried here, Martha Catherine (Hoskins) Eubank, Henrie (Hoskins) Wever, and Isabella Jane Hoskins.
It was really cool to talk to Ronnie, as we figured out that he and his family were very good friends with my great Uncle James Harris and they spent a lot of time together. It was very nice to know that someone close to our family is now the keeper of my heritage.
Thank you to Ronnie Adams for his kind treatment of me, and the care he is giving to the cemetery. I put all the pictures of the headstones on Find A Grave, which you can find here: Hughes Knight Cemetery.
It was just as I took the last picture of the last stone, that the rain started. I call this one lucky day!!