La Feria News

The La Feria Cemetery

CentennialSeal

The following story is a chapter from a manuscript entitled The Bicentennial History of La Feria, Texas written by Eddie Gathings McNail in 1975. Throughout the coming year we’ll be reprinting sections of her research into the history of La Feria as the city celebrates its 100 year anniversary.

The old La Feria cemetery as it stands today. Photo: panoramio.com

The old La Feria cemetery as it stands today. Photo: panoramio.com

 

The first cemetery which was used by the early ranchers of La Feria was on the property now owned by Ralph Brooks (in 1975 – ed.). It was later neglected, the markers fell down and were removed and the land was farmed.

Mr. J.E. Clark , who was one of hte earliest settlers, Mr. Victor Ferguson, who lived on South White Ranch Road, and Mr. Herman Anderson, who worked for the city, met and decided to establish the old La Feria Cemetery in 1914. Mr. Anderson owned the land which was paid for with donations. There were approximately two acres which were cleared with grubbing hoes and axes and the brush was burned.

Various citizens donated a day’s work toward this project. Ernest Clark and Glenn Supher were working when the plow, held by Ernest, hit a mesquite stump and ruptured him. Later a mule kicked him on the rupture causing his death. He was buried on April 25, 1921.

The pressing need for the cemetery was that Gib Watson’s child died and was buried north of the Second Lift Irrigation Pump under a tree. This necessitated the starting of a permanent cemetery which is on the crossroad between Rabb Road and Solis Road.

J.E. Clark took care of the cemetery until 1934 when R.W. Holbert was instrumental in collecting funds from the citizens of La Feria for this purpose. George Wright, who was associated with Cox Funeral Chapel, also assisted in securing funds for the upkeep of the cemetery.

Lots could be used without any payment unless the family desired to contribute money.

Members of the earliest families are buried in this cemetery which is located on a high, sandy knoll. Some of them are as follows: Ben and Minnie Noblett, John and Essie Howard, Robert and Maude Clark, Fred and Etta Lamphier, William P. Hamner, Jim and Lula Strickland, W.J. Wiggins, Amos Lee Todd, Orville and Grace Butcher, Robert W. and Amy S. Holbert, Roy R. Stephenson, Charlie C. and Ida May Frazer, Jules C. and Marie J. Lievens, Freeman A. and Mary Lupher, John E. and Dora M. Clark, George H. and Lizzie J. Howarth, Leonard L. and Phoebe E. Green, Lloyd and Fern Elliott, J.J. and Anna E. Heidt, G.C. Robinson, Robert L. Thurlo, Jack O. and Opal Peroni, Luther Strickland, George and Jennie Eamon, Thomas and Minnie Snapp, Virgil M. Dodd, George and Jennie Eamon, Thomas and Minnie Snapp, Virgil M. Dodd, Ross A. Dodd, Claude and Julia Spears, John W. and Viola Reynolds, Robert L. and Lou A. Hawk, and Coy D. and Lela Lupher.

It brings back memories of the past to see these names on tombstones.

In the summer of 1974, the cemetery was desecrated by a despicable group who turned over many of the tombstones after having a drinking party. The Lord God of Heaven and Earth said, “Vengeance in mine; I will repay.”

The State Historical Marker at the La Feria Cemetery which marks its inception at 1917. Photo: findagrave.com

The State Historical Marker at the La Feria Cemetery which marks its inception at 1917. Photo: findagrave.com

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