SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL MEMORIAL PICNIC AT PRAIRIE POINT FRIDAY
FOUR THOUSAND PEOPLE ATTENDED EVENTóBIG BASKET DINNER SERVED
Crowds estimated at 4,000 attended the 17th annual memorial picnic at Prairie
Point Thursday. Large representations from Bazette, Chatfield, Roane, Kerens,
and other points in the eastern part of the county, including many from
Corsicana were present.
Rev. L. C. Howell, pastor of the 11th Avenue Baptist church of Corsicana,
delivered the memorial address during the morning. J. C. Wells, of Kerens, and
former pioneer resident of Bazette, was general master of ceremonies and
directed the activities of the celebration as president of the Prairie Point
A big old time basket picnic feast was served at noon. The lunch for the
multitudes was spread upon the improvised tables erected about under the giant
The Kerens Municipal band playing under the auspices of the East Navarro Chamber
In the afternoon precinct and county candidates for office made their assembled
about the speaking, platform. All the candidates, except the aspirants for the
county judgeship were present and made short campaign speeches, the speeches
being along similar lines made at other localities within the county, except
that no reference was made by any to the opposition.
For seventeen years the memory of the dead who lie buried in Prairie Point
cemetery have been commemorated with a basket picnic and outing. The remains of
many pioneers of Navarro county repose there.
Among the first white settlers in the county made pioneer homes in the eastern
portion of the county around Bazette, Chatfield and other points near the
timbered belts of the Trinity river. Many of the pioneers made settlements as
early as the 40ís and early 50ís. among them were the Browns, Westbrooks, Roots,
Wells, Albrittons, Banks, Morgans and others. Prairie Point cemetery was set as
a community burial ground in the latter 60ís, where many of the first settlers
have been buried. Since its institution as a community burial ground when the
body of A. J. Morgan was interred there November 22, 1871, there are at the
present time 822 graves. Mrs. D. M. Brown, wife of Judge Brown, was probably the
nest body buried there December 27, of the same year. The bodies of Mr. and Mrs.
J. C. Wells parents of J. C. Wells, Jr., of Kerens, and Mose Wells, were
interred there August 6, 1873 .
The body of Uncle Wesley Westbrook is also buried at Prairie Point. Mr.
Westbrooks is said to have taught the first log house school in that community,
which was during the Civil War.
The cemetery was originally laid out in a small grassy plot shaded about with
small cedars. About a quarter of a century ago more ground was taken in
enlarging the plot considerably. When the cemetery associated was organized the
place was cleared of all underbrush, weeds and grass and in its stead more
evergreen cedars and flowers were set out and made to grow. A regularly employed
caretaker has been in charge of keeping the grounds cleaned since that time. It
is one of the best kept and groomed cemeteries in the whole country. Citizens of
all east Navarro county take a deep pride and interest in keeping the grounds in
a high state of cleanliness and beautification.
Each year the memory of Prairie Point dead is fittingly observed with a
community picnic, memorial and prayer services.