Cemetery Workers Needed

Cemetery Workers Needed

The Cemetery Association of Murphy, once having over fifty members, has dwindled to six active members and needs help maintaining the Decatur, Maxwell, Murphy Cemetery which was organized in 1853. Maintained by CAM, this is the largest and oldest cemetery in Murphy and is located on North Maxwell Creek.

James Maxwell, Jr. deeded three acres of land for $5.00 for a public cemetery in 1886. There are 300 known graves with over one-third of them children less than one year old. The earliest marked grace is Samuel McCreary dated 1953. The cemetery is inactive with the last burial in 1966. Many of the original tombstones made of Boise d’arc or limestone have been destroyed. Some rare zinc markers remain in the cemetery as well as many handmade markers made of concrete. Other markers are made of granite. Usually called the Murphy Cemetery, it has the remains of early pioneering families and war veterans.

Citizens of Murphy are rapidly losing perhaps the most historic asset in the city. CAM reached out to J.R. Brenner with Texas Cemetery Restoration to estimate the cost of leveling and cleaning stones and making repairs. The dismal truth is the cost to renovate the cemetery is $69,000. With just a small group of volunteers who have concentrated simply on maintaining the grass and weeds during the last five years, the battle to properly care for our historical cemetery is being lost. CAM has thankfully received small grants in the past from Collin County Historical Commission. Dues from elderly family members are not adequate even for simple maintenance cost, and once abundant volunteers to help mow and weed the cemetery have declined.

CAM is making a plea for help. Saturday, May 12 from 9:00-12:00 is designated as cleanup day in the cemetery. Volunteers are needed to bring gloves, clippers, weeding tools and power tools such as saws to help clean the cemetery. The underbrush around the cemetery must be cleared using power tools, since there is no electricity in the cemetery. Donated paint and brushes will be used to paint the tables in the cemetery. Volunteers are requested to wear long pants and sleeves as well as appropriate foot wear. Contact Roxanne Bogdan at 972-998-6780 for additional information.

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