Much of the following information comes from Norinne Holman's 170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam County, Texas, Vol. 1.
The Gonzales Family Cemetery (La Familia Hernando Gonzales Cemeterio) is located in the near northwest quadrant of Milam County near San Gabriel.
The crypt is nineteen and one tenth miles from Cameron, and to reach the site, drive about six and three tenths miles west on State Highway 36 to Pettibone and turn to the left on Farm to Market Road 486. Continue on FM 486 passing the junction of FM 487, for eight miles and the crypt is 150 yards north, right side, of the road and just above the creek bed in the brush. The cemetery (crypt) is to the left of the creek bed. The address of the nearby home is 7355 N FM 486, San Gabriel community (Thorndale mailing address). The lot to the right of the home is pie shaped and the crypt is located to rear of the lot just behind a barbed wire fence. It is marginally visible from the road, unless during winter, when the underbrush dies back.
Eight members of the family were drowned in the disastrous flood of 1921 on the San Gabriel River. They came from Mexico to work, and while laboring in the river bottom the water rose 20 feet suddenly and trapped the family. The story goes that they climbed into a large pecan tree to escape the rushing water, but their temporary refuge was swept away and they perished.
Within a few days, only five bodies were recovered, and they were buried in a single, shallow grave. The relatives living near Monterrey, Mexico, learned of the Gonzales deaths and came to San Gabriel to have a crypt made and placed over the burial site. The family names were engraved in the concrete. At the head of the crypt a stone about five feet tall has in bas-relief a Madonna praying. A small fence enclosed a grave to the right, but the funeral marker is indecipherable (not visible 01/2015 due to underbrush conditions).
The land for the graveyard was donated by the W. H. Camp family. The property is presently for sale so future owner should be contacted prior to visiting the site. The previous owner relayed the information to beware of snakes.
...I discovered that there was another fenced plot in the vicinity but I hadn't seen it. Now that all the leaves have dropped, I was able to find it about 75' away. The metal marker is illegible. Attachment #1
Attachment #2 interested me. This view looks north. the property falls significantly to the south toward the San Gabriel. At one time this destroyed box culvert ran for a significant distance through the existing gulley/ wash. Not 30' away is the crypt and attachment #1 plot. It looks like possibly the box culvert was severely undersize and overwhelmed by floodwater which undermined it. Possibly the intake, which may be seen at the far end, became blocked w/ debris and caused the resulting erosion. It was just interesting seeing it all out in the woods.
Jack Brooks - MCHC