A HUNDRED AND TWENTY ODD YEARS AFTER THE FACT
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On May 27, 1881, at the young age of 47, Margaret, mother of all known descendants of James E. Hutto Sr., died and was buried along side her youngest daughter, Mary Margaret, in the Shiloh Cemetery some three miles southeast of the town of Hutto, Texas.
We visited the Shiloh Cemetery in March, 1998 and found it an old and forgotten cemetery that is occasionally attended too. It sits on a hill that rises 20 ft above the surrounding terrain and is next to Brushy Creek. It is said that one could drive across the creek at the old Shiloh crossing, which is just down from the cemetery, in a car a few years back. The location was supposed to have been on the Chisom trail and cattle drives crossed at this point frequently in years gone by. Shiloh was the primary town in the area before the Railroad was put in, resulting in the founding of the town of Hutto. Over the years Shiloh became a ghost town as Hutto prospered and the only reminder that the town ever existed now is the cemetery. The hill that the cemetery sits on seems oddly out of place on the banks of the Brushy Creek, which flows year round. The Brushy is a clear cool stream that provides an ideal backdrop for ones final resting place. I wondered if the hill, might have been an old Indian mound of sorts. We have since learned that an old Spanish mission was located on the banks of Brushy Creek and as far back as the early 1800s was identifiable mostly as a large mound. Could the Shiloh graveyard be built on this old Spanish Mission?
In 1998, Margaret's grave was over grown with saplings and weeds and the tombstone, a large tall pyramid styled marker lay on the ground. The base of the tombstone was tilted forward slightly as a result of the soil moving over the many years, some 117 years ago.
The family plot is guarded by an old ornamental iron fence about 8' x 8' in width and length and 3 1/2 ft tall, reflecting the style used in cemeteries in the late 1800s. Generally the enclosing of a grave plot with such a fence would have been some indication of wealth on the part of the family.
Three and 1/2 year old little Mary Margaret is buried next to her mother. Her mother, followed her daughter a short 8 years later in death. Little Mary Margaret's tombstone is still in an erect position but somewhat soiled from the 125 years of weathering it has withstood.
Hugh Davenport, a local resident and friend of the Hutto family, shared that on occasion the sheriff's department would bring inmates out to clear the weeds and clean up the cemetery, but those activities have been sparse.
The iron fence surrounding the gravesite is bent on the north end from a crushing fall of a large tree reported Hugh. Hugh said he burned the old tree stump out of the plot leaving a 15 inches diameter, gapping hole, staring back at you as one views the scene. I thought maybe a wild animal had dug a borrow there, but it is simple the absence of the tree that had once stood tall there for so many years shading and protecting our ancestral loved ones grave site. It too has returned to ashes after sharing its beauty and grace in the panorama of life. It too has faded from the present, leaving only an indentation in the ground where it had prospered in a more glorious and productive day; much as the pioneer souls whose graves it had guarded for so many years. Time has a way of measuring us all and we too will join them when our days are over.
Hugh said that he cleaned the gravesite up 3 or 4 years ago, which for a man of 90 years of age currently, must have been quite an effort. Hugh still gets around surprisingly well.
The gate that allows entrance to the site is entangled in trees, saplings of 2 and 3 inch diameter. I could not open the gate. We wanted to get a closer look at the grave stones so Becky, my sister, climbed the fence as I held her hand steady to provide her with some support as she made her ascent. We took pictures and viewed the tombstones for detail as we searched to discover who our Great Great Grandmother was.
We plan to go back this summer and clean the site up. Maybe we can reposition the head stones base and reset the head stone of our ancestor.
There was strangeness about seeing this old cemetery and in particular, our Great Great Grandmother's grave site in a state of decline. But then it was stranger finding this old gravesite and establishing a connection to a person that I had never known but now seem closer too. It seems odd to mourn someone you never new.....
A hundred and twenty odd years after the fact.
We later went back to Hutto in June and cleaned up the grave site. Our car broke down and we all caught a bad case of Poison Ivy. Here are some pictures from that excursion. Oh by the way we had fun?
|In the fall of 1999
several cousins contributed 200 dollars and we had
Margaret's headstone reset. The following picture also
show the results of the Shiloh Cemetery organization's
You can send donations to Mrs. Margaret Crislip: 9553 FM 1660: Hutto, TX, 78634. Make your checks payable to the Shiloh Cemetery Assoc. and they will send you a Tax receipt for a deduction.
|The picture to the left
was taken in May of 2000, after the headstone was reset.
It might be noted that The Stone is the largest and
tallest in the Cemetery! A reflection of the families
status in the community at the time I'm sure. Its
intresting to note that the picture angle looks back
toward Hutto. The fence around the cemetery could use
some repairs also. If anyone want's to contribute to
that, let me know. Marvin
More pictures of the Reset stone are at this site should you wish to see them. Note: All are designated as hutto_1.jpg, hutto_2.jpg, hutto_3.jpg etc
Back to whence you came
HUTTO FAMILY of TEXAS
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Subnote: I have since learned that there are two graveyards in the Shiloh area. One North and South of the Brushy Creek crossing. Evidently the South side was the colored grave yard as I recall from reading. The graveyard mentioned in the writing above is on the North side.
Visit the The Shiloh-McCutcheon Cemetery Association website for more information
You can send donations to The Shiloh-McCutcheon Cemetery Association Contact email@example.com for more information
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