History of the Dresden Cemetery
Dresden, Navarro County, Texas


Dresden Cemetery


Dresden Cemetery
Researched by Mrs. G. E. Ramsey Sr.
Originally published in "The Navarro County Scroll", Vol. XX 1975
Reprinted with permission of the Navarro County Historical Society

Dresden Cemetery, one of the largest and oldest cemeteries in Navarro County received its name from the early pioneer community of Dresden, Texas, located in west Navarro County -- a community of which the cemetery was a part.

An official report from the United States Civil Archives Division, National Archives, Washington, D. C., states that "Dresden, Navarro County, Texas was established as Melton, May 22, 1846.  The name was changed to Dresden October 4, 1852; then the post office was discontinued January 2, 1907."

Melton was named for Ethan Melton, an early pioneer, who first applied for a post office permit.  It was granted; Melton became the name; Ethan Melton was named the postmaster, the first in Navarro County.  Later, when the post office was placed in the Jacob Hartzell Trading Post Store in the same community called both Richland and "Spanky", the name was changed to Dresden.

Book A, page 23, of the Navarro County Records state that credit is given to Jacob Hartzell and Dr. W. S. Robinson as the ones who changed the name to Dresden.  Isaac Cline was a witness.

Webb's Handbook of Texas states that Dr. W. S. Robinson changed the name to Dresden.

Alva Taylor's History of Navarro Countystates that the Postal Authorities of Washington D. C. asked the community of Richland (also "Spanky") to to select a suitable name for the fast-growing village when the post office was moved to Hartzell's store.  At a community mass meeting with Ben F. Carroll as chairman, several names were offered, but none seemed suitable until Dr. W. S. Robinson, Dresden's noted pioneer doctor, suggested that they call the post office Dresden.  This met with the approval of Jacob Hartzell and the others.  So it was named.  After reaching this decision, "the little brown jug" was passed around, and everyone took a dram.  This name (after Dresden, Germany, the original home of the Hartzells and the seat of noteworthy European learning) seemed to be an appropriate one for the fast-growing pioneer village.

The community's burial ground was then named Dresden  Cemetery after the name of the village of which it was a part.

Dresden Cemetery, in west Navarro County, is located fifteen miles west of Corsicana, Texas, county seat of Navarro County; five miles south of Blooming Grove; five miles southwest of Barry; ten miles north of Purdon; three miles north of Navarro Mills of Lake Navarro, and seven miles southeast of Frost.   This cemetery has served all these communities.

Located on Farm Road 744, the cemetery is adjacent to the land on which the Dresden United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church revival arbor are located.  Both of these wooden building are on the northeast side of the cemetery.

This cemetery was located at the southwest side of the pioneer Dresden village.  Here, once many huge oak, pecan, and cedar trees bordered and almost covered the entire burial area; however, decay and storms have taken their toll, and only  a few of the old magnificent trees remain.

Community traditions and repetition of village old-time news stories have kept alive a sad story concerning the first person known to have been buried in Dresden Cemetery.  In the early days of pioneer Dresden, a family (some say a gypsy family) traveling in a covered wagon camped for a night beneath the oak trees on the site of the village burial grounds.  Among the campers was a five year old girl desperately ill with scarlet fever.  She died during the night.  Here, beneath one of the trees, the family was allowed to bury the child -- the first person to be buried at Dresden Cemetery.  Few of the early pioneers aided in the burial.   Even though this story remains fresh in the minds of the descendents of Dresden's "old-timers", specific details are missing.  The name of the family is unknown; the name of the child is unknown; and the grave is unmarked.  Nevertheless, this sad story lingers on, being retold by  descendants of Dresden's first families; for example, Mrs. E. D. (Beatrice Robinson) McCormick, Misses Tucker and Adelaide Robinson, Mrs. Norman (Lucy Melton) Brister, and Marshall Tatum (all of these living in this year of 1975).

Like most all pioneer burial grounds, Dresden Cemetery contains many unmarked graves and many graves marked by large rocks, decaying wood, and time worn crumbling  soft stones -- all without names or dates.  Most of the graves in the oldest part of the cemetery (southwest area) are the graves of pioneers marked with large creek rocks -- rocks taken from Post Oak Creek which runs parallel to the west and southwest of the burial ground.

In one or more parts of the cemetery there are no markers of any kind; yet these parts contain quite a few remains of the dead.  This is known to e so (according to Ethelene Nicholson and Bonnie Hollingsworth) because in opening the ground for new graves, bones of the dead have been found.  These have been re-closed.  Many graves have been "lost" through the passing of time and the failing to make permanent markers for the graves.  No one could possibly estimate the number of these "lost" graves.

According to the DAR cemetery list made for Dresden, there are three marked graves which pre-date the actual known beginning date of the Dresden Cemetery (about 1850).  These graves are marked as follows:

Sudie Cook - died 1817
Daughter of W. M. and M. C. Cook

Anne Jan
Wife of John A. Fanville
b. 1815 - d. 1836

Isaac Denten Farmer
b. 1809 - d. 1840

Nothing is known at this time (1975)about these three persons except that Sudie Cook was a relative of the wife of Barnett Hollingsworth, an early Dresden pioneer.  According to Will Hollingsworth (age 81), a living kinsman of Barnett Hollingsworth, for some years one or more of the Cook family return to visit the grave of Sudie Cook, one of the early settlers in the Dresden area.

Barnett Hollingsworth, who was born September 29, 1801, in Mississippi, came at an early age to Dresden by way of Frankston in East Texas.  He purchased acreage near a place (later known as Raleigh) just south of Dresden, paying in gold coins for his land, which sold at $1.50 per acre.  He was the father of nineteen children by the same wife, and he prayed for a twentieth child.   This prayer was never answered.  Barnett Hollingsworth served as a foot soldier in the army of Confederate States.  He died at age 73, December 23, 1874, and was buried in the Dresden Cemetery.  He bequeathed to his descendants a love of the soil.   This is shown by the fact that Will Hollingsworth, the source of this information, now lives at age 81 on the same land purchased by Barnett Hollingsworth.  Will is the grandson of Sam S. Hollingsworth, Barnett's nineteenth child.

The DAR Dresden Cemetery Records lists the grave of Rev. James Johnson (b. November 3, 1803 and d. January 15, 1877) as probably the oldest grave of a preacher buried in the Dresden Cemetery.  Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Carroll Hartzell Fultz wrote in her Brief History of the Dresden Methodist Church that James Johnson was in 1853 the presiding elder of the Dresden Methodist Church, a single man, whose chief aids in his ministry was a Spanish pony, a Bible, a change of clothes, and a pistol.

There were many infants, babies, and children buried in Dresden Cemetery (graves marked 1864 - 1869 - 1872).  Nothing was available concerning them; hence Barnett Hollingsworth (d. 1874) and Rev. James Johnson (d. 1877), about whom a few facts could be obtained, were chosen for this narrative.

Concerning the earliest historical facts of the Dresden Cemetery, Alva Taylor's History of Navarro County (1962) states on both page 35 and page 50 that to Dresden in 1847 or 1848 Ethan Melton gave 3 acres of land to be used for a Methodist Church (also school) and a cemetery lot.   The trustees of these three acres were Jacob Hartzell, Ethan Melton, and Henry Cook.

These same facts were also stated in Mrs. George Baum's summary account of her family records.  Mrs. Baum was Priscilla ("Sweet") Hartzell, a descendant of Jacob Hartzell.  Her records gave the date 1847 for Melton's donation of land.

Mrs. Martha Carroll Hartzell Fultz, in her "Short History of Dresden Methodist Church", states that in 1851, when her father, Ben F. Carroll, and family came to Dresden, the Methodist Church which the family attended was on the postmaster's land -- a log house which was later destroyed by a storm.  She further stated that the first Sunday appointment extended back to 1849.

Reuben Carroll, (a descendant of Dresden's pioneer Ben F. Carroll) living at the present time (1975) in Blooming Grove, Texas, 76626, (age 85), stated to researcher Beatrice McCormick that Ethan Melton gave in 1850 three acres for a cemetery lot of the town of Dresden.

The Taylor, Hartzell, Fultz, and Carroll accounts all agree on 3 acres of land as a donation, but different time dates are given:  1847 - 1848 - 1849 - 1850; therefore it can be stated that sometime between 1847 and 1850 Ethan Melton gave 3 acres of land for church and cemetery lots for Dresden community.

No one knows just where the Ethan acres are located within the present 17.09 acres of Dresden Cemetery.  These seventeen acres were parts of original land grants.

According to official papers in possession of Mrs. Henry Ray (Ethelene Haws) Nicholson, the Shell Oil Company on March 16, 1967, made a survey of the Dresden Cemetery for oil lease.  This survey shows three divisions:

2.80 acres - from John Smith survey
12.36 acres - from Noah T. Byers and John Smith Survey
1.93 acre - from N. T. Byers and John Smith Survey
17.09 - total acres

The Dresden Cemetery Association records show that Joel H. Haden, A. S. Gill, and I. A. Wilkinson were among the early pioneer trustees of the cemetery association.  Joel H. Haden served in this capacity for many years.

Concerning the live life of Ethan Melton, the following facts were taken from an interview with one of his descendants (Mrs. Norman (Lucy Melton) Brister, Purdon, Texas), from Taylor's History of Navarro County, from Navarro County Scrolls of 1958 and 1972 (one article written by Melton's descendant, great-great grand-daughter, Lucy Faye Brister).

Pioneer Ethan Melton, recognized founder of Dresden, Texas was born October 8, 1793, in Georgia.  At age forty-two, he was appointed legal attorney of and for his brother Elice Melton, who was killed in Battle of the Alamo in Texas.

Ethan came to Robertson County (later Navarro County was made from part of Robertson County) to settle Elice's estate.   After doing this in a satisfactory manner, Ethan purchased land in 1841 on Richland Creek near present day Dresden and built a log house.

In 1842, he married Lucinda Hill, a widow.  Their wedding is thought to have been the first wedding within the present limits of Navarro County.  Lucinda died in 1847.

[Note: these dates do not match up with the Navarro County History Vol. 2, pg 398]

Then Ethan married Hannah Welch.   They made their home in a community known as Melton, Richland, and "Spanky", later to be re-named Dresden.  His home was the post office for about four years (hence the name Melton).  It was the first post office in Navarro County; and Ethan Melton, the first post master.  Ethan gave up the post office to take an active part in the organization of Navarro County, being elected the first treasurer of Navarro County.

Ethan Melton was an active Methodist and Mason.  He was the donor of 3 acres of land for Methodist Church (and school) and cemetery lot for the Dresden community.  He organized the Masonic order in Navarro County and built the first Masonic Hall in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas.

He died November 13, 1873 [note: most records show date of Nov. 18, 1873], and was buried in his own private cemetery known as Melton Cemetery, located about one mile north of Dresden Cemetery.

Persons buried in the Dresden Cemetery are mainly members of white Anglo-American families; however a number of black Americans are buried on the southwest side.

No significant disasters or epidemics have been recorded in the history of this rural village; that is, no disasters that might have resulted in a large number of deaths and burials at any one given time.   However, according to James Grover Melton, now living (age 86), the year 1905 was a very severe winter.  During one unusually cold spell when the land was covered with ice, nine people died and were buried within a period of eight days in Dresden Cemetery.   Friends who dug by hand these nine graves, each six feet deep, and who assisted in the burial of the nine persons never forgot the difficulties in moving about and the terrible cold that wrapped the countryside.  James Grover Melton was one of the friends who helped.

Pioneer families had many children; many of them dying in infancy; others dying of pneumonia, whooping cough, scarlet fever, smallpox, jaundice, malaria, typhoid, dysentery, and influenza.  Many graves of Dresden Cemetery speak the sad story of infant mortality.

James Grover Melton spoke with tender, loving memories of Jeff Williams, one of the long-time cemetery sextons who cared for cemetery grounds, and kept count of the number of graves.  J. G. Melton stated Jeff Williams said in his life that the year of the "big hail storm" (1900) the number of graves were 1,508.  Today (1975) J. G. Melton estimated that there were 2,000 or more graves within the boundaries of the 17.09 acres.

Marshall Tatum, a farmer and long-time supporter of the Dresden Cemetery Association, said that the burial grounds had been surveyed many times, the last survey in 1967 showing 17.09 acres.  The entire area is enclosed by a steel chain-link fence with three gate openings.

Dresden Cemetery is an old, revered cemetery.  Families (descendents of pioneers) bring their beloved dead to rest on this sacred ground.  Hardly a week goes by without a burial in Dresden Cemetery.

At its beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Dresden Cemetery was associated with both a pioneer and a church.   According to Taylor's history, Baum's family account, and Reuben Carroll's report, pioneer Ethan Melton the recognized founder of Dresden, was the donor of three acres for a Methodist church and cemetery for community use.  From the very beginning, the Methodist church became more than a denominational church; it was then and is now regarded as a community church.

The Dresden Cemetery was enlarged to the present 17.09 acres.  The enlargement had to be made to meet the needs because families from nearby Purdon, Barry, Navarro Mills, Blooming Grove, Frost, and other towns of Navarro County, Texas used Dresden Cemetery for the final resting place of their sacred dead.  Dresden Cemetery is indeed a community cemetery.

However, it would be rather difficult to visualize Dresden Cemetery without also visualizing the present quaint, rural, historical Dresden United Methodist Church adjacent to the Dresden Cemetery.  The present church is the third church building.  The log church of early pioneer days (according to Mrs. M. C. Hartzell Fultz's record) was destroyed by storm.  It was replaced by a long, narrow white frame church built in 1856.  According to James Grover Melton (now living) the first frame church stood at the site of the Amos Carroll grave.  In 1923 the first white frame church burned.  It was immediately replaced by the present low-ceiling, white frame church with a low overhanging front porch.  This church has always been open to the meetings of the well-organized Dresden Cemetery Association.  According to the minutes of the Dresden Cemetery Association the yearly memorial service (in honor of the dead) has been held within the Methodist Church sanctuary.  Funeral services for persons (other than members of Dresden United Methodist Church) have been held in the little historic church. Therefore the relationship between the well-known historical Dresden Cemetery and the dearly-loved rustic Dresden Methodist Church has been a very close one.  To see the one is to see the other.  To speak of one is to speak of the other.

However, it has been the Dresden Cemetery Association that has maintained the upkeep and has sponsored the improvements of Dresden Cemetery -- not the Dresden United Methodist Church.

Dresden Cemetery Association had its official organization nearly one hundred years ago -- 93 years to be exact.  It had its origin in a called yearly all-day cemetery clean-up program with picnic on the grounds beneath the Dresden shady Oaks.  People for miles around came dressed in work clothes and supplied with hoes, rakes, and other farm implements on the first Friday of each May to care for the grounds and graves of the cemetery.  This was also considered a yearly homecoming for Dresden -- a time to greet friends and exchange news of families.  The First Friday of May is probably the oldest historically scheduled activity of Navarro County.

For the past fifty or sixty years, a hired caretaker has been regularly employed to care for the grounds and graves in the burial area.  People no longer come for a work day, but they come regularly on First Friday of each May for a memorial service, a planned program of business, and a wonderful picnic, the food being spread upon tables built for this occasion.  This Dresden Cemetery day remains quite a memorial event in this last fourth of the 20th Century.

At present (1975) there is a very active, well-organized group known as Dresden Cemetery Association, made up of members of Dresden Methodist Church, members of Dresden community, members of families who have loved-ones buried in Dresden cemetery, descendants of Dresden's pioneer families, and interested friends and historians.  This association met recently, May 2, 1975, its ninety eighth meeting.

The D.C.A. came into existence in Dresden at the community cemetery at a called meeting of people interested in keeping a clean burial ground.

There is an elected group of officers of the D.C.A. consisted of president, vice-president, second vice-president, and secretary-treasurer, elected the first Friday of each May to serve for one year.   They have charge of the maintenance of the burial area for the year of which there are elected.  The officers of D.C.A. have always taken their responsibilities quite seriously, the result being an unusually well-kept cemetery -- the pride of Dresden and Navarro County.

Dresden Cemetery is definitely in current use.   Seldom a week passes without a burial here.  One year, 1939, was the exception; one grave was opened in that year.

Dresden Cemetery Association is very active.   Never a year for ninety-eight years has the association failed to meet for the traditional memorial service, business meeting, and picnic.  Everyone who ever attended a First Friday meeting of the D.C.A. has his own favorite anecdote concerning this day of days and this historical cemetery.

For instance, Mrs. Hollis Pitts (Bee Mabry), a retired school teacher whose ancestors once lived in the Dresden area, happily recalled the early meeting days.  Bee and her sister Mabel, when they were little girls, rode in a buggy with their father, H. J. Mabry, to the Cemetery Day activities.  It was indeed a happy celebration with bright decorations and hawkers selling balloons. To the children, running, laughing, rejoicing in plays and games, this day was a HOLIDAY rather than a HOLY day, sacred to the memory of the dead.

Also, Mrs. Norman Brister (Lucy Melton) stated that she could remember quite well that her uncle, Ben Melton, sold balloons, pretty-colored whips, and other souvenirs.  Uncle Ben would give the smaller children in his family a balloon provided they would walk and run among the visitors, tempting them to come buy his souvenirs.  Drink stands with the ever popular lemonade for sale were set up for the enjoyment of all who had a nickel.

Marshall Tatum, a Senior citizen (age 84) and a faithful worker of the D.C.A. said that he has been attending first Friday meetings for 81 years, starting at age three.  He said that in the early days the whole family traveled to the cemetery in a wagon, buggy, or on horseback, brought plenty to eat and plenty of tools for work, and spent the day cleaning the cemetery.

The minutes of the D.C.A. reveal two near failures of the famous meeting day.  Once there was an attempt to change the traditional date.   In 1916 Mrs. E. O. Call moved to have the work day set for May 30, National Memorial Day.  Her motion carried.  The following year this was tried, but too many complained, so the date was re-set to First Friday of May.  There it has remained.

Then, the First Friday of 1918 also proved to be a near disaster.  Only four people came to the meeting: Tom Tadlock, Tom Brown, Joel Haden, and J. W. Spivey.  Business, however was transacted and minutes recorded.   No explanation was made for the poor attendance.

Many of those who love and respect the Dresden Cemetery regret that the remains of Ethan Melton, a Texas pioneer and the recognized founder of Dresden, do not rest within the present historical burial area.  However, there are several other early pioneers of Dresden who were buried in this historical spot.

Jacob Hartzell, Dresden's first businessman (operator of an Indian trading post) and other members of his family were buried beneath the cemetery oaks and cedars.  The Hartzells in 1835 (according to the Lewis' History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone, and Leon Counties, page 879) came to Texas from Pennsylvania by way of Ohio and settled in the Dresden area.  He was a friendly man who could easily trade with the Indians, the Tonkawahs, who were in the area.  Jacob Hartzell, born in 1790, died in 1881.

Dr. W. S. Robinson, Dresden's pioneer doctor, and some of the members of his family were buried in Dresden Cemetery.  Dr. W. S. Robinson, after completing his medical training, left his home in Louden County, Tennessee, in 1848, and came to the Dresden Community, much to the delight of the early settlers.  He was the first doctor in Dresden, and probably the first one in Navarro County.  He met and married Miss Adelaide Riggs of Corsicana.  Dr. Robinson was owner of a drugstore in Dresden.  He also served as postmaster when the post office was moved from Hartzell's store to Robinson's Drug Store.  It was Dr. Robinson who suggested the name of Dresden for the pioneer community when a change of name from Melton (Richland and "Spanky") was requested by the U. S. Postal Department.  Dr. Robinson, born n 1823, died in 1887.

Besides the grave of pioneer Dr. W. S. Robinson, the graves of other doctors, all beloved of Dresden and surrounding communities, can be found in this historical spot: Dr. W. T. Mann, 1838-1884; Dr. John D. Sloan, 1843-1878; Dr. W. A. Haden, 1831-1878; Dr. A. Chamberlin, 1847-1908; Dr. W. A. Bates, 1852-1925; Dr. R. C. McCurdy, 1857-1912; and his brother with the same initials, Dr. R. C. McCurdy, 1858-1918; Dr. A. H. Blair, 1858-1901; Dr. W. M. Ellis, 1865-1932; Dr. J. A. Wilkinson, 1879-1927.

Also, the memorable pioneer lady, Martha Elizabeth Carroll, daughter of Ben F. Carroll, wife of Dan Hartzell, and later wife of Deckerd B. Fultz, is buried in this fine old cemetery.  Martha Elizabeth (according to Taylor's History of Navarro County) came with her father, mother, and other members of the Carroll family from Lauderdale County, Mississippi by way of East Texas to Dresden in 1851.   Here she attended regularly with her mother the Dresden Methodist Church and first Sunday preaching day.  She joined this Methodist Church in 1856, the year that a frame church was built.  Martha Carroll once said very late in her lifetime " The Dresden Methodist Church and I have grown old together."  Martha Carroll loved Dresden; it's said that she wrote during her marriage to Dan Hartzell a book entitled I Remember Dresden.  Later, when she was the wife of D. B. Fultz, she wrote a brief history of the Dresden Methodist Church -- this history was used at one of the church homecomings.  D. F. Fultz gave this brief church history to Norman Brister to type.   Mrs. Norman Brister has a copy of the original summary.

It is thought that Squire Carroll, Martha's father, played a unique part in a trial connected with the "hanging tree" event of Dresden.  Since there are two slightly different accounts of this event, and both are interesting enough to be retold, they will be repeated here.

First, the Texas Guidebook on page 109, Item 244, relates the story in this manner: "The picnic grounds at the Dresden Cemetery are just outside the cemetery gates.  There are many large and beautiful oak trees.   Just where the road turns to go into the picnic grounds is a large tree on the right.  Old-timers names this Justice Tree.  It received its rather unique title and name in a very unusual way.

"In the early days of Dresden, it was not unusual for peddlers to come around.  These men traveled by wagon with tinware strung around on the wagon; they were called tin peddlers.  They brought buttons, needles, thread, ribbons, and dress goods.  One of these peddlers showed up, and in his stock was some good-looking cloth.  One person was strongly attracted to this material.   He followed the peddler and that night killed the peddler and pushed his body into a ditch.  Next day the peddler's body and wagon were found.  Suspicion was directed toward the negro, and search of his cabin revealed the merchandise.  He was brought to the store at Old Dresden and tried by the Justice-of-the-peace in the shade of a store building.  The jury of pioneers found him guilty and the Justice-of-the-peace sentenced him to be hanged.  A crude coffin was hastily constructed and a rope obtained.  The stores were closed, and everybody adjourned to the big tree just outside the cemetery where the sentence of hanging was carried out.  This was the only case on record where the death sentence was handed out by the justice-of-the-peace; so to this day the tree is known as the Justice Tree." (Note: this tree recently died.)

The second account of this story was recently related by James Grover Melton (age 86), now living about two miles from Dresden Cemetery on F. R. 55.  This story had been told many times by Jeremiah Ethan Melton, father of James Grover Melton.  Jeremiah had witnessed the hanging.

During the early days of Dresden, in the dark of a night several miles north of the village, a negro murdered a man and stole his horse.   The body of the murdered man was thrown into a ditch.  The next day the murderer rode into Dresden on the stolen horse.  Someone recognized the horse.   The negro was brought to trial immediately.  He was found guilty and was hanged on a "stooping black jack tree" near the back part (the old part) of the cemetery ---- not on the tree as stated in the story from Texas Guidebook.   After the trial, the hanging, and the burial of the negro, the owner of the negro slave stormed into Dresden, demanded that all connected with the "hanging event" pay full price for his dead property ----his best slave.  Jeremiah Melton said that Dresden paid the "full price" to the angry owner.

The unique decision of the village Justice-of-the-peace and the "hanging tree" event have made interesting conversation for over a century.

Dresden Cemetery has another historical distinction.  Here are buried forty-eight Civil War Veterans.  (All Listed in the 1/8/65 Civil War Centennial Memorial Issue of the Navarro County Historical Scroll.)   Forty-seven were soldiers of the Army of Confederate States; one was a soldier of the Army U.S.A. five of these soldiers died before reaching their fiftieth birthday; five lived beyond their ninetieth birthday, the oldest being Lewis R. Dewitt, age 96.

Two unusual grave grave markers in Dresden cemetery have proved to be attention getters.  The odd one is a large oval-shaped brown rock (2' x 2 1/4'), probably taken from near-by Post Oak Creek.  It bears a hand-carved marking in this manner [picture of oval shape with J. C. (picture of a key) Born 1817 Died 1910)] This marked the grave of James C. Key, who was a Civil War Veteran of the C.S.A.

The second unusual grave marker really "told it like it was."  A citizen of Dresden area killed a man.  The family of the deceased erected a gravestone bearing these words:

Carle Waits
born March 13, 1895
April 13, 1917
"In Paradise thou sharest bliss,
Ner're to be found in a world like this."

Both of these cemetery markers never fail to attract the attention of and to produce various comments by those who like to stroll the paths of historical cemeteries.

From its very beginning (about 1850) to the present (1975), Dresden Cemetery has played a useful, historic, and sacred role in the history of Dresden community and Navarro County.  Let it be not forgotten that Dresden Cemetery Association with its efficient and responsible officers and committees has made this cemetery a hallowed place in Navarro County.

It has been stated that the character of a people is revealed by the manner in which the resting place of the dead is kept.   That being the case, Dresden Cemetery speaks well of those who meet First Friday of May for the purpose of keeping and maintaining a well-ordered city of their beloved dead.


Printed Sources
Baum, Mrs. George (Priscilla "Sweet" Hartzell) -- (descendant of Dresden pioneer businessman, Jacob Hartzell) - The Hartzell Family: Summary Family Record of the Dresden Hartzells - presented to Navarro County Historical Society, Corsicana, Texas 75110. (typed account)

Book A, page 23 Navarro County Records, Corsicana, Texas 75110.

Dresden Cemetery Book: Genealogy Room, Corsicana Public Library, Corsicana Texas 75110.  (Prepared by the DAR - James Blair Chapter).

Fultz, Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Carroll Hartzell: Short History of Dresden Methodist Church (2 pages) prepared before her death in 1929. (typed report) Property of Mrs. Norman E. Brister, Route one, Purdon, Texas 76679.

History of Dresden Post Office; U. S. Civil Archives Division, National Archives, General Services Administration, Washington, D. C., 20408. (typed report) Sent to Mrs. Beatrice R. McCormick, from the Archives, U.S.A.

Howard, Rex Z., Texas Guidebook, published by Lo Ray Company, Grand Prairie, Texas, 1958.

Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Limestone, Freestone, Leon Counties: Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1893.

Minutes and Records of the Dresden Cemetery Association: Kept at the present (1975) by Mrs. Henry Ray (Tthelene Haws) Nicholson, Blooming Grove, Texas 76626.

Navarro County Scroll - 1972: Published by the Navarro County Historical Society, Navarro County, Corsicana, Texas 75110.

Navarro County Historical Map:   Prepared by Navarro County Survey Committee, Navarro County Historical Society, Corsicana, Texas.

Taylor, Alva: History of Navarro County, 1965.  (copies to be found in the Corsicana Public Library, Corsicana, Texas, 75110.

Webb, Walter Prescott:  The Handbook of Texas, Walter P. Webb, editor-in-chief, The Texas State Historical Association; Vol. I and II, 1952.


Brister, Mrs. Norman (Lucy Melton): Purdon, Texas, Route one, 76679 - descendant of Dresden's pioneer founder, postmaster, and businessman, Ethan Melton - grand-daughter of E. Melton

Carroll, Reuben: Blooming Grove, Texas 76626 - descendant of Dresden's businessman, B. F. Carroll - grandson of Squire Carroll.

Cuthrie, Mrs. W. S. (Nelle May Robinson): Corsicana, Texas, West 3rd Ave., 75110 - descendant of Dresden pioneer family.

Hollingsworth, Mrs. Earl (Bonnie Smith): Barry, Texas, 75102 - a Lay Leader (1975) of the Dresden United Methodist Church.

Hollingsworth, Will: Barry, Texas 75102, age 81, descendant of Barnett Hollingsworth, a pioneer farmer of Dresden.

Melton, James Grover: Barry, Texas, Route one, 75102 - long time resident of Dresden area, age 86, descendant of Ethan Melton, Dresden's pioneer founder, postmaster and businessman.

McCormick, Mrs. E. D. (Beatrice Robinson): Blooming Grove, Texas, 76626 - descendant of Dresden's pioneer doctor, Dr. W.S. Robinson - (a grand-daughter)

Nicholson, Mrs. Henry Ray (Ethelene Haws): long-time secretary of Dresden Cemetery Association, Blooming Grove, Texas, Rural Route, 76626.

Pitts, Mrs. Hollis (Bee Mabry): Blooming Grove, Texas.  76626 - descendant of one of Dresden's pioneer families.

Putman, Mrs. Lee (Eva Clark): Purdon, Texas, Rural Route One 76626 - long - time resident of Dresden.

Robinson, Miss Adelaide: 1511 Woodlawn, Corsicana, Texas, 75110 - descendant of Dresden pioneer doctor, Dr. W. S. Robinson, grand-daughter.

Tatum, Marshall: Barry, Texas, Route one 75102 - long-time resident (86 years) of Dresden area.


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Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox