Abshier Cemetery, located near Hankamer in Liberty County, has been honored with a Historic Texas Cemetery designation from the Texas Historical Commission. The Liberty County Historical Commission will host a dedication to be held at the cemetery on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.
The families of Benjamin and Hannah (Weed) Abshier and Benjamin and Sarah (Hanks) Weed came to what is now known as the Hankamer area from Louisiana in 1843. The extended families purchased land and established farms in this vicinity. In June 1852, the Abshiers’ 27-year-old daughter, Lucinda Abshier Higginbotham, died, leaving a husband and six children. She was laid to rest on the Abshier family farm, in a plot of land which would become a family graveyard.
Since that time, members of many generations of Abshier, Weed, and related families have been interred in the cemetery. Among those buried in the cemetery are veterans of the War of 1812, the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korea.
Several unusual and elaborate grave markers can be seen, including tree-trunk-shaped monuments of the Woodmen of the World Lodge, a 19th-century fraternal organization. There are also several unmarked burials. Established in 1896, a cemetery association maintains the historic graveyard. The original two-acre plot was enlarged to three acres in 1938. The cemetery continues to serve as a reminder of early Liberty County pioneers.
The HTC designation was developed in 1998 to help protect historic cemeteries by recording cemetery boundaries in county deed records to alert present and future owners of land adjacent to the cemetery of its existence.
“The HTC designation is the first step toward preservation of a historic cemetery and is an official recognition of family and community graveyards but does not impose restrictions on private owners’ use of the land adjacent to the cemetery or the daily operations of the cemetery. Cemeteries are important keys to Texas’ past. They are reminders of settlement patterns and reveal information about historic events, religion, lifestyles, and genealogy,” said Linda Jamison, county chair of the Liberty County Historical Commission, in the press release.
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