Dresden Cemetery
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Dresden, Navarro County, Texas


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Judge Sewell Dresden Speaker For Memorial

The Dresden community's annual memorial service was held Friday at the cemetery grounds, with County Judge James C. Sewell as principal speaker.

After the morning program, lunch was served to the approximately 200 persons present. A business session was held at 2 p.m..

Judge Sewell pointed to the need, in these times, for a renewed faith such as that demonstrated by early pioneers who now are buried in the large Dresden cemetery.

Every nation that has been great has fallen, the speaker said, and now the United States in [sic] the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

"We must renew the faith of our forefathers, or the hordes of communism will overrun us,' he declared.

The memorial service featured solos by Mrs. Frang [sic] B. Taylor, prayers, and singing of the hymn "We're Marching to Zion."

Jim Taylor, president of the association, presided and welcomed the guests.

Notes:


Marker dedication set for Dresden Cemetery

Navarro County Historical Survey Committee Chairman Nelson Ross has announced an official Texas Historical Marker will be placed at Dresden Cemetery at 11 a.m. on May 7.

Plans for the dedication ceremony will be announced in the near future.

The marker will carry the following inscription:

“The pioneer town of Dresden was originally named for its founder, Ethan Melton (1703-1873), who settled here in 1841. The first post office in Navarro County was established in Melton in 1846. The original three-acre portion of this cemetery, probably opened for burials in the 1840s, was donated to the community by Ethan Melton by 1850. In 1852 the growing settlement, also called “Richland” or “Spanky”, was renamed “Dresden” by Jacob Hartzell (1790-1881), who operated an Indian trading post, and Dr. W. S. Robinson (1823-1887), the town’s first doctor.

“Many of the early graves in Dresden Cemetery are unmarked or marked with plain stones from nearby Post Oak Creek. Among the oldest marked graves are those of Barnett Hollingsworth (1801-74), one of the 48 civil war veterans buried here, and the Rev. James Johnson (1803-77), a Methodist minister.

Dresden Methodist Church, serving as a community church has occupied a site adjacent to the cemetery since the 1850s. Care for the burial ground is provided by the Dresden Cemetery Association, whose members have met annually since its founding in 1877. The plot nor (1976) covers 17.09 acres with over 2,000 graves. The pioneer village has vanished, but Dresden Cemetery is still used by decendants of the first settlers (1976).”

The marker is sponsored by the Dresden Cemetery Association. The cemetery is located on FM 744, six miles southwest of Blooming Grove.

Notes:


August 6, 2013

Dresden Cemetery missing over $500K
By Janet Jacobs Corsicana Daily Sun

The Corsicana Daily Sun Tue Aug 06, 2013, 06:33 PM CDT Corsicana — Dresden Cemetery Association is missing some money, and it’s not petty cash, either. The association at one time had more than $700,000 in its accounts, money left to the cemetery by wealthy donors.

Now, though, it’s clear that the bulk of that is gone.

“We’re investigating what appears at this time to be in excess of $500,000 missing from the association,” said Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner. “There’s been a person named as a potential suspect in the case. That individual is a former board member.

The case is under investigation at this time.” Tanner did not disclose the name of the former board member. The loss was discovered in June by the new president of the association, Joe E. McClure, who came into his new duties in May.

“I just got all the information, (the former treasurer) just brought it to the house and wouldn’t talk to me,” McClure said.

Like most volunteer cemetery associations, Dresden holds an annual meeting of all the members at which new officers are elected for the upcoming year. The May 4 event started well, with a memorial service at the Methodist Church, followed by a covered-dish picnic on the grounds. At the business meeting, however, the financial report was basically the same as the one from 2011, and the requested CPA’s audit hadn’t happened.

McClure asked more information. He was given every scrap of paper, all the information on the association, in one quick delivery.

“That was one of my highest priorities on my agenda was to account and make sure everything was OK, and it wasn’t OK,” McClure said. “And it didn’t take long to find it out.”

A criminal complaint has been filed with the Sheriff’s Office, and cemetery board members are cooperating with the District Attorney’s office.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” confirmed Navarro County District Attorney Lowell Thompson. “There could be a myriad of multiple charges, including theft by deception, credit or debit card abuse. We have to determine the extent to which the alleged offenses occurred, and the investigation has to be completed.”

Thompson said the amount missing was “in excess” of $250,000.

“I can safely say we’re investigating more than $250,000 and an extensive amount more than that,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate on the top end of it. I’d say it’s fair to see a pretty significant amount more than that.”

The alleged fraud took place over a period of about two or three years.

Dresden community is one of the oldest communities in Navarro County, and the cemetery is one of the largest. There are about 4,000 people buried in Dresden Cemetery. Money to support the cemetery came from bequests of wealthy donors, McClure said.

“At one time or another we had some donors who, when they passed away, gave us a benevolent fund,” he said. “It was very good. It was allowing us to do perpetual care just off the interest, and we didn’t have to touch the principle.”

The cemetery association had actually been dreading this year’s financial report because interest rates are down and many of the Certificates of Deposit were maturing, which would have meant a lower income off their investments. Finding out a massive amount of the money is gone was not something association members were prepared for.

“It’s been quite a ride,” McClure said.


August 29, 2013
Arrest made in Dresden Cemetery probe
Nicholson charged with theft from cemetery association accounts

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The Navarro County Sheriff’s Department arrested Tim Nicholson, 46, on Friday in connection with the theft of funds from the Dresden Cemetery Association.

Nicholson was booked into the Navarro County Jail Friday on charges of theft over $200,000, said R. Lowell Thompson, Navarro County District Attorney. Bond was set at $250,000 by Justice of the Peace Vicki Gray.

Cemetery Association officials going through financial records discovered funds were missing from the association’s bank accounts, possibly as much as $500,000.

Nicholson is the former treasurer of the Dresden Cemetery Association.

The loss was discovered in June by the new president of the association, Joe E. McClure, who came into his new duties in May.

“I just got all the information, (the former treasurer) just brought it to the house and wouldn’t talk to me,” McClure said in an interview with the Daily Sun earlier this month.

The Navarro County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the missing funds after association officials alerted them of their preliminary findings.

The alleged fraud took place over a period of about two or three years.

Sheriff Elmer Tanner said the case was unfortunate in light of other similar cases in the county. He praised investigator Seth Fuller for his work in obtaining the arrest warrant for Nicholson.

“The investigation will continue even though there has been an arrest in the cast. We’ll be working with the District Attorney’s office to seek a successful prosecution in this case and trying to recover any of the assets we may be able to recover.”

The Dresden community is one of the oldest communities in Navarro County, and the cemetery is one of the largest. There are about 4,000 people buried in Dresden Cemetery.


 

 


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