Effort to restore historic Grayson County cemetery

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- A grassroots effort to revitalize an historic Grayson County cemetery is gaining momentum. Several confederate soldiers from the Civil War are buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Mother nature has taken over the neglected grave site that is located outside of Bells near Savoy. Now, a newly formed group is coming together to repair their final resting place.

Tall grass and tree branches have buried graves, some that are more than a century old.

"I feel it's ashamed that it's been allowed to deteriorate into the mess that it is," Doug Garnett said.

At least 12 confederate soldiers are buried in Greenwood Cemetery. The reason why local Sons of Confederate Veterans, like Doug Garnett, want to restore it.

"When you think about the sacrifices these people made, they've earned the right to be remembered and honored and taken care of," Garnett said.

"The history is positively amazing and I think we also have a certain responsibility. We know that there are soldiers buried here and they deserve a level of honor and dignity that we can give them," Ellen Kimbrough said.

Ellen Kimbrough's great great grandparents, aunt and uncle are buried in Greenwood, but she is also tied to the cemetery in another way.

"My great great uncle is actually the one who deeded this land to the community for use as a cemetery," Kimbrough said.

Grayson County Commissioner David Whitlock just learned of the historic graveyard this week.

"Well I only live about four miles from here and I had no idea this cemetery was here. It's pretty amazing," Whitlock said.

Whitlock says he is going to do his part to help restore the site.

"What i've got to do is talk to the county attorney to see what the county can do by law. I'm not sure at this point what we can or cannot do," Whitlock said.

Sons of Confederate Veterans from both Grayson and Fannin Counties, along with area residents also want to replace headstones and identify unmarked graves.

"We have a national database in which they will be recorded so that future generations can find them and know where their ancestors are," Garnett said.

"People who also are doing their genealogy and want to come and see the graves of their ancestors will have easy access to come here. It will be a beautiful place for them to come and pay their respect," Kimbrough said.

Greenwood Cemetery is a state landmark, but because of its age and location it is unclear who is responsible for its maintenance.

If you would like to help restore the Cemetery email Doug Garnett at doug@dagarnett.com.

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