TWIGS TO TREES #44, SEPTEMBER 2021
Twigs to Trees
Mary Helen Haines
It is nice to see cooler weather arriving this September. We actually had a rather mild summer for Texas, but I know it was scorching elsewhere. In August, my family and a few relatives made a trek to Ladonia, Texas to check on our McFarland cemetery. The cemetery is tucked under a grove of trees in the middle of pasture north of the Sulphur River in Fannin County. Once family land; it was part of a 1280 land grant given to my ancestor James McFarland, who arrived in 1837, one year after Texas became a Republic. The oldest stone dates to 1852, the year James’ son William died. However, it is likely that there are earlier burials. In 1839 there were skirmishes with local Indians that resulted in at least one death: Daniel Davis, the earliest settler in the area. He and other Texas Rangers (my McFarlands included) were sleeping in his home, when Indians attacked and he was killed. His body and his family were moved to James McFarland’s home, three miles directly east, for protection. It is likely that Daniel was buried in what ended up becoming known as the McFarland cemetery. Today, a reservoir lake is being constructed on the Sulphur River and will encompass much of the McFarland and Davis land grants. The cemetery will be above the water line, so should be safe, but some of the McFarland descendants wanted to check on it and make sure the Water Authority knew there were present-day people who knew and cared about its preservation.