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On January, 16, 1849 when John McAdams, Jr. sadly buried his young
wife, Hester White McAdams in a lone grave under a hickory tree, he
could not have imagined the McAdams Cemetery as it exists today. She had
requested "John when I die, bury me under this hickory tree" and he had
honored her request.
Soon the death of John's sister, Mary McAdams Price added another grave. Then other family members and friends were added, and John made it known that he intended to set aside five acres for a "graveyard."
Forty-three years later, September 11, 1892, when John McAdams Jr. died, he owned more than 10,000 acres, including the land in the Richard Bankhead Survey where the graveyard was located, half of which was the community property of his widow, Mary Frances Bankhead McAdams
For 13 years during the rest of her life until May 23, 1905, graves were added with family, friends and neighbors. An area to the side was allotted to the former slaves and their families. When Mary Frances Bankhead McAdams' estate was being divided among her heirs, we find the first mention of a "graveyard." Mrs. Hester Ann Elizabeth McAdams Allen was give a tract of land which adjoined the cemetery and a reservation was made in her deed as follows: "Save and except also out of the Bankhead Survey above described, the Graveyard situated thereon containing about five acres of land." This instrument is recorded in Volume 25, page 479, of the Deed Records of Walker County, Texas, and is indexed: "George R. McAdams, et al to Mrs. Hester Ann Elizabeth Allen."
In 1960 realizing that the Cemetery was becoming over-crowded, Kelly Edgar and Ina May Ogletree McAdams purchased from Gibbs Brothers 1.22 acres out of the Richard Bankhead Survey adjoining the Cemetery (Vol. 196 - pg. 614-616 Deed Records Walker Co., Texas) and gave the tract to the McAdams Reunion Cemetery Association on April 15, 1961 (Vol. 171, pg. 78 Deed Records Walker Co., Texas).
On July 25, 1963, the Articles of Incorporation No. 17 195823 for the McAdams Cemetery Association, Inc. were filed in the office of the Secretary of State of the State of Texas.
On March 2, 1979, in an exchange deed recorded in Vol. 334 at page 470 Deed Records Walker County, Texas and a warranty Deed recorded in Vol. 334 at page 466, Deed Records Walker Co. Texas, for a consideration of $5000 donated by Kelly E. and Ina May Ogletree McAdams, Gibbs Brothers conveyed 5 acres out of the Richard Bankhead Survey to The McAdams Cemetery Association, Inc. This five acre tract was to be held for the future needs as the cemetery grows and was given in memory of their parents, G. R. Ogletree and wife, Londa Pickett Ogletree, and Hiram Edgar McAdams and wife, Mary D. Jenkinson McAdams.1
Today, the McAdams Cemetery is contained in 11.22 acres of land in the Richard Bankhead Survey on FM 1696 fourteen miles from Huntsville, Texas, on the road to Bedias, Texas. Associated with this cemetery is a chapel, originally built in 1976 on a portion of the property, which was destroyed by fire in 2002 and rebuilt in 2003.
Across the FM 1696 road from the cemetery is the McAdams Reunion Grounds and Pavilion. This is a 3 - 1/2 acre site belonging to the McAdams Cemetery Association. This site was purchased from Gibbs Brothers out the Richard Bankhead Survey by the McAdams Cemetery Reunion Association. This purchase was recorded on July 28, 1943, Vol. 102, pg. 444, Deed Records Walker County, Texas. This land was later donated to the McAdams Cemetery Association.
1 The McAdams Family of Walker County, Texas, By Kelly Edgar and Ina May Ogletree McAdams, copyright 1985.