Historical Society Hosts Cemetery Marker Dedication
Jun. 30, 2019 –The Murphy Historical Society (MHS) hosted a marker dedication for the Herring-Hogge Cemetery. Lolisa Laenger, one of the founding members of MHS and Murphy resident since 1972 welcomed attendees. Daniel Herring was one of the earliest settlers in the area and he is buried in this cemetery. His great, great grandson, Gary Herring attended this ceremony and shared historical facts about his family as well as others buried in this cemetery. He also shared memories of his childhood growing up on the Herring land grant. He lived in a white house on Blackburn Rd. from the time he was born in 1950 until he was 15 years old (the house is still there today). His family had a farm and raised sheep. He has fond memories of riding his bike around the area with his good friend Mike King who is the son of Charlie King, who ran the Murphy Store. Gary went to school in Garland. Of his childhood he said, “I was a lucky person and didn’t know it.” He remembers that at nighttime he could see the red Pegasus on the Magnolia Petroleum building in Dallas from his house. Gary and Mike would tie their Red Ryder BB guns to the handlebars of their bikes and “off we’d go”. They rode to Murphy Store, bought cold cuts, cheese and crackers then start their adventure. In conclusion Gary voiced appreciation for MHS and everyone else who has helped preserve the cemetery. He added, “May God bless the pioneers and ancestors who are buried here. May God bless Texas.”
Gary Herring now lives in Corpus Christi. His wife Nancy Herring, son Jake Herring and granddaughter Leloise Herring also attended the dedication ceremony.
The cemetery is located on South Murphy Road and Skyline and was established in the 1870s. It contains the graves of the Herring, Hogge, and McAmis families who were among the earliest settlers in Collin County.
The Collin County Historic marker includes facts about the families buried in the cemetery: Daniel Herring (1812-1882) was born in North Carolina and arrived in Texas in 1848 with his wife Mary Deck Herring. They had ten children. Widowed, he married Elizabeth Jane Newman and had eight children. Daniel received a head wright of 640 acres of free land in Texas which straddled both Collin and Dallas County. The homestead was located on the highest point of land on what today is Sunset Drive. He cultivated over 300 acres of crops and was one of the wealthiest settlers in the area.
Eli Hogge (1828-1883) born in South Carolina, arrived in Texas in the 1850s. He married Sarah Jane Herring and had eleven children. He joined the Confederacy under General Johnston and was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh. The Hogge homestead was near Parker. He purchased land east of the Trinity River and built a bridge across the river at Hogge Crossing. In addition to farming, he was the first teacher at Rawhide School east of Parker, Postmaster at Dump and mail carrier between Wylie and Princeton.
James K. McAmis (1847-1931) was born in Lamar County, Texas. At the age of 14 he enlisted in the Confederacy and fought in the Battles of Pea Ridge Arkansas and Stone’s River Tennessee. He was wounded and sent to a Tennessee hospital to recover. In 1867 deserted and returned home to marry Martha A. Herring the daughter of Eli and Sally Herring. They had twelve children and lived about one-third mile from Rowlett Creek in Sachse.
In addition to the county marker, there is a state marker designating the cemetery as a historic Texas cemetery. There are between 21 and 27 gravestones in this cemetery.
Donna Jenkins, President of the Murphy Historical Society said they have been working on this marker dedication for five years. They received two grants from the county and one from MCDC (Murphy Community Development Corporation) to repair the gravestones. Jenkins said, “Sometime between the 1920s and 1940s, the stones had been demolished and they were on the ground so the families purchased new stones. They put them up and left the old ones on the ground. We managed to get some of the old ones put back together. You could see the family loved their family; they did the best they could.” She added, “It started with the historical society repairing the stones and getting the deed saying we are the caretakers. It’s our duty to take care of it.”
Jenkins recognized three people who have been of great help to this cemetery. Ruth Gordillo is a Murphy resident who has cared for the cemetery for the last two and a half years. Jenkins said, “She does it because she thinks being a volunteer and giving back to a community is very important. She’s trying to teach her daughter civic responsibility. Her daughter helps her pull weeds and puts flowers on the grave.” Jenkins presented her with a certificate of appreciation.
Two additional Murphy residents were recognized but were not in attendance. Luke Hoops made a sign for the cemetery as his Eagle Scout project. Jenkins voiced appreciation to him by saying that since the cemetery was founded in 1871, it has never had an official sign until now. She also thanked Ray Norris who owns the property next to the cemetery. Jenkins said that he has always been very helpful in every request she has asked of him regarding the upkeep of this cemetery.
Attendees appreciated the shade of the canopies and breeze of the fans as they congregated in the cemetery and honored the brave pioneers who forged the paths that led Murphy to where it is today.
For more information on MHS, please go to their website murphyhistoricalsociety.org or email Donna Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.