Monday, March 03, 2008

Riverside Cemetery Research

Riverside Cemetery

Into his second week of retirement, Mark is already working on some research but this project actually belongs to someone in Chicago! When Mark was at the Seguin Library, he helped a lady with some family research since she was all the way up there. She recently wrote to let him know that her research project has the attention of History Detective, which is a PBS show, and that they might contact him for the story. I thought that was really neat. By the way, this lady is wondering if her great, great grandfather is Robert E. Lee!

In doing his own research for"Smokey" Joe Williams, Mark has discovered a variety of sources on African-Americans in our local history room at the Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library, in the courthouse records of the County Clerk's office and in church records at Second Baptist Church. We've also travel across some parts of Texas and into the archives in Washington, DC, as well as to City Hall records in New York City. As you know, the past was not always well documented for this group and so the past nine years has been a lot of digging around but I think he's gotten far through persistence, creative researching and luck. For example, Mark was trying to find a certain headstone in the Riverside Cemetery but it just wasn't where it was supposed to be according to the records. So Mark returned to the Cemetery again but this time he was checking on the grave of an early pastor of Second Baptist, William Ball, and wouldn't you know it, there was the other grave he looked for the other day! There it was right next to William Ball's grave. Why it was there and not where it was documented to be we don't know at this time.

Mark took this picture along with others during his visit today to Riverside Cemetery. It's a very pretty little cemetery and is located on South River Street. It is the resting place of many of our early settlers and Confederate heroes. And most importantly to US, it is the home of at least two Union soldiers -- William Ball and Calvin Williams (grandfather of "Smokey" Joe). The City of Seguin is listed as the caretaker of Riverside.


Jim said...

How come of the graves here in Texas have a cement slab on top? I never noticed this until I moved to Texas...a few years ago...I have seen some that are for families and the slab it 20x20 and now of course is all cracked.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the slabs have to do with flooding possibilities in the area (maybe to prevent the casket from rising)??? If you drive through La Grange, the majority of the older gravesites have the slabs as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thien,

It's Michael Cary.

I would like to talk to your husband about Riverside Cemetery and the fact that he has research on it. I've been doing some research myself about the descendants of people buried there. The city requires proof that someone has the right to be buried in the family plot, and a lot of that paperwork has been lost.
Your husband's work could be an important aspect of a story about that.

isabella said...

Kudos to Mark! Looks like retirement has to wait a bit longer ;-)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Old cemeteries are fascinating!But then I like history, some of which is documented on tombstones. ;-)