Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
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
Preserve America
Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website

Doyle Glass
3504 Rankin Street
Dallas, Texas 75204

My name is Doyle Glass. I am a descendant of the Turnhams buried in the Turnham-McCown cemetery. I visited
the cemetery yesterday and was very disturbed by its delapidated condition. Human bones had been dug up by
varmints. Please let me know how I can pay to have the cemetery regularly maintained. I would be happy to do
so. I would be glad to contact the property owner to see that this is taken care of.
Thank you,
Doyle Glass


Standard acknowledgement email sent to Mr Glass.  Email forwarded to MCHC members and others.


Thank you Jerry.  I greatly appreciate it.
Doyle Glass



Mr. Glass,

Thank you for your inquiry. I had been looking for an opportunity to visit the Turnham-McCown Cemetery and the
adjacent old McCown Crossing truss bridge site (remaining steel pilings).

Mr. Caywood had forwarded your inquiry to the MCHC members.

I visited the Milam County Appraisal District site  http://www.milamad.org but was unable to locate a property
I.D. / ownership of the cemetery property. I wanted permission to visit the cemetery should it be on private
property as you had suggested. 

Please see attachment # 1 and # 2, which is from Ms. Norinne Holman's books, 170 Years of Cemetery Records in
Milam County, Texas. Volume #2 - pg. 1165-1166.  (We are forever in Ms. Holman's debt for the use of her
excellent reference books while answering MCHC inquiries. The interred are posted in their entirety (which is
not usually done) so that we may show the pioneering heritage of the interred Turnhams, McCowns and
surrounding families. Some of their relationship will be shown in attachment #4). 

Please see attachment # 3. The above reference cemetery directions assisted me in locating the cemetery and
potential property owner.  I was now able to view the details in each property I.D. in the vicinity. No
excluded property was shown. My past experience has shown that most rural cemeteries like this have been
separately deeded tax-exempted properties. Since they are not shown on the tax rolls, their appearance on
forwarding deeds as exempted property often gets dropped as the property changes hands over the years.

Then a reverse search of the property deeds (an abstract) will usually locate the cemetery deed cull-out.

Please see attachment # 4. Although you are probably quite aware of your rich ancestry, I attached this
reference, as stated on the attachment, for the readers' benefit.

One has to be impressed with the pioneering spirit and the contributions to Milam County that these early
residents made. Matching up the interesting individuals in this article with their interment in attachment
# 1 & # 2 presents an interesting perspective.

Back to your inquiry, I was given permission by Mr. Jason Moody's family to visit the cemetery.

The striking 40 X 60 foot stone wall surrounding the cemetery and the wrought iron gate were in remarkable
condition. Unfortunately, as you noticed, the grounds had been neglected and had gone back to nature and
therefore seriously overgrown. (See attachment # 5, 6, and 7). The exposed bones where an armadillo dug in and
out through a burial plot definitely looks suspect (attachment # 8). Your concern is understandable.

Attachment # 9 was especially interesting due to its historical content.

While visiting the cemetery I photo-documented every legible headstone and posted the same to the Find-a-Grave
website.   http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=7312

Cemetery GPS Coordinates;  N 30 degrees 49.885  W 096 degrees 56.903.

While leaving the cemetery, I met Mr. Jason Moody, owner of the property. He stated that he was unsure of the
ownership of the cemetery and that it was very close to, if not splitting, his property line (I.D. 12404) with
the adjacent Monroe property(I.D. 17506). Since he leases the adjacent Monroe property, he therefore controls 
access. I found him to be a very amiable gentleman who had valid concerns about strangers trespassing on his

He strongly felt that anyone wishing to visit the cemetery to pay their respects must get his
permission to cross his property. Personally, I found this a reasonable and courteously expected

Mr. Moody would like to discuss the proposed cemetery clean-up plans with you since he has concerns in that
regard. I'll forward his contact information to you.

I would be happy to discuss a couple of cleanup resources after your discussion should that materialize.

On behalf of the Milam County Historical Commission members, we wish to thank you for taking an interest in
improving one of our historic cemeteries.

Respectfully, Jack Brooks


Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCowan Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Photos and Research by Jack Brooks


Attachment #7, 10 and 11 are the photo's that I submitted to Find a Grave of your direct descendant Josiah
Jophin Turnham and family descendants cemetery monument.

I was curious about his CSA service but was unable to find him listed in James Williams Milam County, Texas in
the Civil War.

Since he expired in 1863, I thought that he might have been a casualty of the war.

Would you share any readily accessible information that you may have regarding this gentleman's life and CSA

The Milam County Genealogical Society members contribute a monthly presentation to the group at their meeting.
Since there's so much history in this community I had hoped to make a future presentation on some of the
individuals, cemetery and the historic McCown Crossing steel truss bridge. 

I attached some readily gleaned information regarding R. Coleman Turnham and headstone photo, should you be

Thanks and best regards,

Jack Brooks


Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX
R. C. Turnham - Turnham-McCown Cemetery, Milam County, TX

Thank you Jack. I wasn't aware of the McCowan Crossing Truss Bridge. I will definitely visit it when I return
to Milam County.

R.C. Turnham, who is interred in the Turnham/McCowan cemetery, was my great, great uncle. He fought with the
famous Hood's Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. He fought at Gettysburg and was wounded at Ft.
Harrison during the siege of Petersburg.

I haven't heard back from Mr. Moody yet regarding maintenance of the old cemetery. I will contact him again
this week.

Thanks again,
Doyle Glass


Hi Charles King,

I was doing some research on the three Rockdale Bridge Park bridges to assist for future interpretive plaques
and also researched the McCown Crossing truss bridge while I was in the process.

If you'd like to label the correct plaque for the McCown Bridge for reference, of the three that are in the
back storeroom of the museum, the builder was the Canton Wrought Iron Bridge Company. Completed Jan 1, 1884

Charles, FYI, I also Cc'd Mr. Jason Moody whose home is now situated on the south landing of the old bridge
site. Not 200 feet out his back door are two of the massive pilings that supported the bridge/landing. A very
interesting conversation piece to have in your back yard. Prior to building the bridge, J.W. McCown operated
the ferry from Turnham Bluff, located on the south bank of Little River, to the northern shore.  J.W., wife
Martha and other family members are interred in the Turnham-McCown Cemetery and therefore indirectly tied to
our recent MCHC cemetery inquiry. Mr. Glass, originator of our inquiry was also Cc'd since I thought that he
might find this interesting. The cemetery and old bridge location are about 800 feet from one other.

If you'll note, Volume 3 Page 185 (June 6, 1894), the original pilings were wooden and replaced for safety
reasons with the remains of the steel ones now seen. This vicinity of Milam County is absolutely crawling
with early Texas pioneering history. The Moody's are so fortunate to be able to absorb their historic
surrounding every time that they step out the front or back the door.

Best regards,

Jack B.

McCown Crossing Bridge
McCown Crossing Bridge
McCown Crossing Bridge
Photos by Jack Brooks
Turnham-McCown Cemetery