Fife cemetery designated historical landmark by THC

The Texas Historical Commission has designated the Fife cemetery as a Historic Texas Cemetery. The designation, reserved for cemeteries at least 50 years old and deemed worthy of preservation for their historic associations, means an affidavit of designation for cemetery purposes has been issued and it has been recorded in the McCulloch County Clerk’s office. “The designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of these important cultural resources. Such awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of a cemetery,” said Larry Oaks, executive director of THC. Cemeteries hold valuable historical information. They are often the last reminders of early settlements’ historical events, religious beliefs, lifestyles and genealogy. “Historic cemeteries serve as directories of early residents and reflect the cultural influences that helped shape our state’s communities,” said Oaks. “The Historic Texas Cemetery designation program helps bring attention to these community treasures and the importance of their preservation.” While the designation encourages cemetery preservation, it cannot guarantee that a historic cemetery will not be destroyed. In a dedication ceremony held recently at the small cemetery located just north of the intersection of F.M. 765 and U.S. Hwy. 283, a small plaque with an interpretive description was dedicated. The plaque tells the history of the origin of the cemetery and how it became a cemetery for the Fife community. The plaque was dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Bradley and her heirs who deeded the land to the cemetery. The two earliest recorded and marked graves are Alex Mitchell (1896) and Isabella Mitchell (1898), parents of Mrs. Bradley. Burials presently number 243 including 23 veterans of the first and second world wars as well as Vietnam and Korea. There are 24 unknown graves in the cemetery. A cemetery association was organized in 1973 and members include Mike Finlay, Maggie Francks, Mary Francis Craft with board members Grace Finlay, Johnnie Tedder, Golda Gordon, Paul Moore, Paula Hubbard and Marguerite Bratton. “The association wants to thank everyone involved for their donations to help defray the expenses of the historical marker,” said association president Mike Finlay. “We also want to express our appreciation to the McCulloch County Historic Commission Board, Marcia Arons, Orlando Rubio and also to Bert Bratton for his assistance in placing the marker.”

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