Grimes County, Texas
Ben Swank III
Lat: 30°15'55"N, Lon: 96°00'00"W
Contributed by Mark vanHudson, Nov 22, 2001 [email@example.com]. Total records = 6.
Route #6 North from Hempstead, Texas. At Tx Rt 2 go east for aprox. 2 miles. Take the first public right (south). At the top of the hill is an historical marker for "The Retreat." The cemetery is on the property to the east in the smaller growth of live oak trees.
The cemetery is in a pasture used to raise bulls, best to get permission and have Mr. Swank or one of his hands present.
Cattle had destroyed most of the stones. These represent only what graves can still be identified. Grimes County has a long history of racial division and Klan signs are eveident defacing some of the graves dating from the Confederacy period.
I did a visual Nov 04, 2001. There is a 1960 recording of the cemetery in the Grimes County Library which indicates 18 graves in total.
The property was one of five plantations owned by Jared Ellison Groce and his sons. He had moved to this location from his first plantation in Texas (having owned two others in Georgia and "Fort Groce" in Alabama. Groce died in 1839.
The property was purchased by the Dunham family who lived in the home for a decade before it was again sold and moved to a location roughly three miles east. The area to the west of the marked graves is locally known as the "Wolves Den" a place where teanagers at one time "dated" at night. That portion of the cemetery also contains the graves of the family slaves. The cemetery has not accepted burials in recent years.- Mark vanHudson
Dunham, Adelen, b. Jan 15, 1827, d. Aug 10, 1845
Dunham, John H, b. Sep 19, 1828, d. Nov 11, 1859
Finley, Mary, b. Oct 22, 1793, d. Nov 11, 1866
Groce, Jared Ellison, b. Oct 12, 1782, d. 1839, grave is known only by what few brick remain of the Masonic pyramid that once marked it and one pedestal with the intial "J.E.G."
Hill, David S, b. Oct 22, 1814, d. Dec 15, 1869
Tipton, ?, ? 2, 1819
Deaths & Obituaries: Newspapers 1690-Present