Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website

Brian Silverberg
502 Windsor Glen
Katy, Tx 77450
I have found your information on the website very interesting and helpful.
I was curious if there was any information as to the exact location of the Shelton Cemetary on CR 237.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.



Standard email sent to Brian - RFI emailed to MCHC members.


Mr. Silverberg, A cursory, initial research of the Shelton Cemetery determined the following; Mr. Perry Holder
visited the cemetery in 1983 and wrote the following according to 170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam
County, Texas;
The Shelton Cemetery is located near Cameron, in the northeast quadrant of Milam County. 

To reach the inactive cemetery (in 1983) from Cameron, in the north central part of the county, drive five
miles south on State Hwy 36 and turn to the left onto the gravel County Road 237. Cross the railroad tracks and
proceed approx. one-half mile until a large wooden gate appears on the right. Enter the gate and continue east
another quarter of a mile and the road turns north. At the fence corner the two stones will come into view.
Mounds of dirt indicate that there may have been two or three other graves here, but there are no markers. The
two graves listed are; Shelton, J. D.  1846-1884 and Young,  James Eaton born and died 1900. 

The Milam County Appraisal District map shows that CR 237 is also known as Liberty Cutoff. While viewing the
MCAD map I was unable to determine any deeded property in the cemetery's name in the vicinity as described. I
did notice two parcels, ID 20515061 and ID 20515082 under your ownership which must be fairly close to the
cemetery. I attempted to scale the measurements but came up with a conflicting general location. Please see
attachment # 1. The property ID 2015075, owned by Barry and Kelda Teasdale, which abuts the west property line
of your property  ID 20515075 is an approximate location of the cemetery but would need to be confirmed by a
field visit. Obviously, since private property is involved, access permission would need to be granted.  The
MCAD listed an address only for the Teasdale's in Willis, TX. A directory assistance call determined no listed
tel. # for the Teasdale's in Willis. I hope to make a field visit tomorrow morning. Maybe a local, long time
resident will be able to assist in this inquiry. I will advise.
Respectfully, Jack Brooks


Jack. Thank you so much for your time and energy regarding the missing cemetery. Yes, I purchased the 2 tracts
mentioned and know the Teasdale owners (Todd) adjacent to me on the east side, as well.  If in fact there is a
cemetery on my site I would like to know so to give it the protection and respect it deserves. I will be out
there tomorrow afternoon. Feel free to wonder about on my property as you see fit. Please keep me posted.
Brian Silverberg


Brian, Thank you for the kind words. I learn something on every inquiry as well. The interesting thing is that
you never know where you might be led.
See attachment #1.  I believe that the J. D. Shelton in the cemetery is possibly CSA veteran J.D. Shelton.
Shelton, J. D., Private. 5th Texas Infantry. Company G, "Milam County Grays", Hood's Brigade, Army of Northern
Virginia. This company organized at Cameron, Texas on July 15th, 1861 and mustered in for war at Houston, Texas
on August 29, 1861. 18 yr. old, wounded, Manassas August 30, 1862. Deserted 1862. I find a two year difference
in age in 1862, but boys were know to prevaricate about their age in order to be of age to enlist. Plus age
documentation was limited at best. 
Attachment # 2 is a General Land Office(GLO) 1918 map showing original surveys, grants and property ownership.
The cemetery and your property are located in the Geo. Dampkin Tract as originally recorded in Record Book 1
pg. 298. What I find interesting is the adjacent tract to the west, southwest is the Jas. Shelton Tract in Book
# 1 pg. 463 or possibly 468. Some of JD's kin?. Maybe the J stands for Jas. If I have the time tomorrow, I'll
research that at the County Clerks Office.  Texas Country Title in Cameron has an excellent, large 1925 Milam
County property ownership map on their hall wall. Many times it will show the county roads before they were
rerouted, straightened or abandoned. My concern is the jog in CR 237 (aka Liberty Cutoff) that coincides with
the approximated location of the cemetery by Mr. Holders driving instructions. It may just be coincidence, but
that would be one of the first places that I would look for the cemetery location. Mr. Holder also emphasized
"at the fence corner the two headstones would come into view". A graveyard would certainly be a reason to
divert a road or possibly not straighten it. I'm also curious to see if any Young's show property ownership in
the immediate vicinity of the cemetery in the early 1900's. We might then suspect deceased infant James Eaton
Young's community heritage. Also a obituary might be found in the Rockdale Reporters micro-tape archives in the
Lucy Hill Patterson library in Rockdale. They go back to the late 1890's. I'll keep you posted. Would any of
your friends or neighbors in the community know of any mature long term residents that might have a knowledge
of the cemetery?. Invariably, that is usually one of my best resources going back to the 1920's and 30's. 
Regards,  Jack Brooks

All Attachments and photos are courtesy of Jack Brooks
Hi Brian, I was successful in finding the cemetery today, but only because of the kindness of three of your
Hoyte community neighbors.
First off, a Mr. Richard Frock suggested that I speak with the mature long term resident Mr. Billy Needham. He
remembered seeing the cemetery headstones, as a youngster, and referred me to the owner of the property, a Mr.
Rusty Bankston. Mr. Bankston, escorted me to the cemetery location toward the rear of his property. (See
Attachments below). I never would have found it by myself. Mr. Bankston has owned the property about six years
and prior to his purchase of it, it was cleared and later shredded. We both probed and dug around for about a
half-hour and found all the pieces of James Elton Young's headstone and pieces of another unidentified interred
person's headstone. There was no visible sign of J. D. Shelton's headstone, but we only had time to probe about
one-eighth of the burial ground which surrounded a large tree whose perimeter was covered in blooming lilies.
I'd like to get back and probe to find J. D's headstone and possibly repair them and move then under the tree.
The headstones have been knocked over and dragged, so they're no longer over their respective plots. At least
if they were under the tree, hopefully they wouldn't become damaged again and would still be representative of
a cemetery.

I'm only able to speak for James Elton Young's headstone, but I've repaired considerably worse before. See
attachments below.

James Elton's headstone, burials and lilies around tree and u/k headstone remnant (not J. D. Shelton).

If you'll take note of the attachments below you'll then understand why the cemetery is now in such a remote
location. The old road went directly beside the cemetery and then turned west to cross the railroad tracks
considerably south of where it does today.

Your property is in the vicinity of where you see 65 ac. This 1925 Map photo is courtesy of Texas Country Title
Company in Cameron. The previous driving directions placed the cemetery on an earlier drawing (above) from the
existing road. That location is now one half mile to the east and a quarter of a mile north. The previous 
driving directions must have been from the old road before it was relocated in 1983.

Outdated - See below

Brian, I also visited the M/C County Clerks Office yesterday afternoon and reverse-searched the deed/property
ownership back to 1896 (found in Book 46, pg. 98-99) (Attachments # 1& 2 may be illegible). It basically talks
of conveying property to his daughter and also talks of the "burial ground". J. D. Shelton's daughter is Lula
Shelton Young, wife of A. J. Young. James Elton Young being an infant grandson who died and is interred in the
Shelton cemetery. The above was Filed 30 December, 1896.

Prior to the above legal transaction, J. D. Shelton remarries Mrs. Nannie Sanders on April 08, 1888. See
attachment # 3. Referenced from the Marriage License Record Book in Lucy Hill Patterson library. J. D's wife's
name, Nannie, is concurred in the above deed record as well.  I just read the above deed over again and now
believe that the other broken unidentified headstone in the cemetery is that of J.D. Shelton's first wife, I.
Tillie Shelton. The headstone is broken right below the I. T. but that much is clearly visible. She also is
documented as his late wife in the above deed. See previous post and attachment of her headstone photo.

Next, the Lucy Hill Patterson Library micro-tape archives were searched for an obituary for James Elton Young.
See attachment # 4. Reference the Sept. 27th, 1900 issue of the Rockdale Messenger Newspaper. I failed to note
page. Also, for clarification, James Elton's broken headstone reads as follows;
James Elton Young
Born Sept 8th 1900
Died Sept. 23, 1900 
A little time on earth he spent till gone, for him his angels sent.

Another item of interest is the J.A. Harman 8071 ac. Headright dated Dec. 24th, 1847 in which the Shelton
cemetery is located. Located in Survey Book #1, page 229 in lieu of 214. Also it is Harman instead of Harmon as
shown on MCAD.

Now after all this is said and done, we now only have one serious issue to deal with. That being, if J. D.
Shelton expired in 1884 as stated on his headstone by Mr. Perry Holder in 1983 and that headstone is located in
the family cemetery, which is located on the family homestead property, and is presently buried, how did J.D.
remarry in 1888, transfer property in 1896, and Pastor his infant grandson's funeral service in 1900?.

I think we need to probe and locate the remains of JD's headstone to check out the inscribed mortality date

Regards, Jack Brooks
These documents may be downloaded to your computer and enlarged to enhance legibility

John, I’m really impressed with your investigative skills. Now Milam county has another “case closed” on a
missing cemetery. I cannot help but feel that this isn’t the first cemetery mystery you have solved.

Thanks for your research and diligent work. I’m sure somebody from the Shelton family tree will be glad to
learn what you have UNEARTHED. LOL. I will be sure to share the story with my adjacent neighbors so they to can
appreciate the history of our area we live in too.

Good luck piecing the last pieces of the puzzle together with regards to our “slippery” JD. Thanks for all you
do. If your ever in the area please stop by so we can meet each other in person. I have the 2 shipping
containers on the CR 247 – just around the corner from the Shelton Cemetery. I’m there on the weekends.
Take care, Brian Silverberg


Hi Brian, I'm sorry, I failed to take a fix with my hiking GPS. I'm not sure of the accuracy of Google Earth,
but this is their Lat. and Long. 30 degrees, 46 min. and 14.74 sec. N. / 96 degrees, 54 min. and 38.34 sec. W.
Revisiting the cemetery is on my list of 'thing to do. I certainly would like to have the opportunity of
meeting you as well. As a matter of fact, I don't have a monopoly on the probing, so if you have the time and
would like to give it a shot, have at it.

My probe is merely a 3' piece of 3/8 round bar stock sharpened on one end and I threaded it on the other for
about 3 inches. An eight inch section of an old broom handle was used, drilled, and slid on between two double

I'll send Rusty Bankston's tel. number to you in a private post. I advised him that you would probably be
interested in visiting.
Sincerely, Jack Brooks     


John Brooks

BeNotForgot, a Find a Grave website contributor, was kind enough to make me aware of the Rev. James D. Shelton
interment in the Riddle Cemetery located in Milam County, TX:

It resolved one issue that I was having with this inquiry, but created another.

The late Mr. Perry Holder, a well known and respected Milam County cemetery researcher and writer (170 Years of
Cemetery Records in Milam County, Texas) inventoried a J. D. Shelton (1846-1884) headstone in the Shelton
Cemetery in 1983. As mentioned elsewhere in this post, the cemetery had since been plowed due to a closely
adjacent farmers field. The headstones that were found by probing were broken and buried. No trace of J. D.
Shelton's headstone was found, but it could have been easily missed while broken, buried and scattered like
those found. 

Since Mr. Shelton's first wife, I.Tillie Shelton's, headstone remains were found in the Shelton Cemetery, I
initially made the obvious assumption that the J. D. Shelton headstone that Mr. Holman inventoried was that of
I Tillie Shelton's husband.

When I found later documentation of his existence into the 1900's, I knew that there was a serious discrepancy
somewhere. My current questions is: Who is the J.D. Shelton (1846-1884) interred in the Shelton Cemetery? Since
James D. Shelton later married Nancy Carolina Newton Shelton (1864-1935) and moved to Rockdale, I'm able to
understand why he was buried in Rockdale's Riddle Cemetery. He preceded her in death (1916 vs. 1935).

There is currently a headstone photo request for Rev. James D. Shelton's headstone in that cemetery.

Norrine Holman, Mr. Perry Holder's Daughter, inventoried Rev. James D. Shelton's headstone in the Riddle
cemetery in 1993.

Nancy Carolina "Nannie" Newton Shelton is interred in the Oakwood Cemetery, Walker County, Huntsville, TX.

I sincerely thank BeNotForgot for clarifying one issue with my earlier inquiry response.  

Jack Brooks