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Minutes of March 14, 2019

Your Bastrop County Historical Commission stands ready to serve!


Bastrop County Historical Commission members and guests gather at the

March 14 meeting:

Front row: Sydna Arbuckle, Carol Snyder, Mikki Meyer, Audrey Rother, Linda Hicks

Back Row: Cindye Ginsel, Anne Byron, Pamela Jones, Judy Davis, David Herrington, Sandy Ott, Henry Brown, John Sherman, Smithville Mayor Scott Saunders, Ezell Brown, Jr., Guest Speaker Mary Hime, August Fuchs, Kim Ivey, Commissioner Mel Hamner; Not shown: Commissioner Donna Snowden.

Bastrop County Historical Commission (BCHC) Quarterly Meeting


The quarterly meeting of the Bastrop County Historical Commission took place Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the Bastrop County Courthouse Commissioners Conference Room. 


I. Roundtable: Bastrop BCHC chair Cindye Ginsel began the meeting by allowing each attendee to introduce himself/herself and provide a brief summary as to their interests or work with the BCHC. Highlights:

Commissioner Hamner reported his efforts to clean and restore Shiloh Community Cemetery (also known as Mount Shilo Cemetery) through the help and support of volunteers. His contact with the THC is Jenny McWilliams.

Judy Davis spoke of her service on the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) board, sharing the latest issue of its publication which featured Elgin on the cover and included articles pertaining to Bastrop County. The TSHA is a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to documenting the history of Texas. 

Pamela Jones requested assistance in obtaining a historical marker for the Saul Wright Cemetery in Cedar Creek. She is representing the cemetery in beginning work on an application for a THC historical marker. Cindye paired her with Linda Hicks who recently received approval by the THC of the inscription for a historical marker for the Siloah Cemetery in McDade. 

Sandy Ott spoke of the recent organized clean-up of the Mary Christian Burleson Cemetery in Elgin in preparation for the historical marker currently in the works. She remarked how nice it was to have the new property owners participating in the effort. 

Carol Snyder mentioned the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church had applied for, and was denied, an Undertold Story historical marker in 2018, noting the competition is fierce as there is no cost for an Undertold Story marker. According to Carol, the church now plans to pursue a historical marker through the THC. She is assisting them in this effort.

Mikki Meyer brought up the historical Eschberger Cemetery in Paige, noting that although it deserves a historical marker, there are not the funds currently to pursue one. (Markers on stands run $1,100 to $1,800.)

Ezell Brown, Jr. of Houston and Henry Brown asked for assistance in obtaining access to the Craft Prairie Cemetery where family members, including their mother, are buried. The property owner has blocked their entrance with tree limbs and locks. They have met with Judge Paul Pape and Commissioner Clara Beckett on this issue in the past whereby there was some discussion about extending a road to the cemetery which would negate the need to cross onto the blocked property; however, there is currently no available funds for this. Cindye asked Ezell and Henry to meet with her on this topic following the meeting.

Marypic (2).jpg

The Oliver Powell Cemetery, Smithville area

Layout of the Oliver Powell Cemetery:

Cindye Ginsel announced Judge Paul Paul approved the naming of Sydna Arbuckle of Elgin and Mikki Meyer of Paige to the BCHC due to their avid participation in promoting the history of their communities. She also reported the Lower Elgin Road Bridge near Elgin was restored in November 2018 and there has been discussion regarding the pursuit of a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) marker. Debra Ferguson, representing the effort, is in contact with the BCHC and will pull together the required components for

submission of an application in early September 2019.

II. Oliver Powell Cemetery presentation: Cindye introduced Ms. Mary Hime of Rockport who spoke of her boss' desire to restore and desegregate the Oliver Powell Cemetery as her family is buried there. Mary spoke of the steps she went through to obtain permission to access the property, contacting the associations for the Anglo and Hispanic sections of the cemetery and discovering the land designated for the black cemetery has no owner. With both associations being receptive toward a clearing and clean up, her boss paid the cost personally and the site was carefully cleared, leaving the headstones and trees intact. Mary is now searching for an agency or organization that can assist her in continuing the maintenance of this portion of the cemetery into the distant future. For more information, go to:

III. Historical Markers: Cindye provided a recap regarding the sites for which historical markers have been approved by the THC: 

  • Mary Christian Burleson Cemetery, Elgin - Angie Smith

  • Siloah Cemetery, McDade - Linda Hicks 

  • Leshikar House, Smithville - Faith Franklin 

  • Rosanky Cemetery, Rosanky - Galynn Fogle 

  • Paige School, Paige - August Fuchs 


IV. BCHC Finances: Cindye reported the BCHC has $9,841.07 in its bank account at Roscoe Bank.

V. City of Elgin Preservation Plan - Cindye announced the City of Elgin Preservation Committee has begun work on the city's preservation plan and asked the BCHC to provide a list of Elgin-area cemeteries along with descriptions. Cindye went through the list of Elgin cemeteries and BCHC members from the Elgin and McDade area provided information regarding each. (The cemetery report will be posted on our website when complete.)

VI. Adjourn – The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 pm. The next meeting will be June 13, 2019.

Powel Cemetery.jpg

Oliver Powell Cemetery:

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