Land Cemetery Association Historical Marker Dedication
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Welcome and Introductions: David Clinkscale
Family History: David Clinkscale
Unveiling of the Marker: Dean Duncan
Closing Remarks: Mickie Ross, WCHC Marker Chairman
Land Cemetery Association Trustees
Doyle D. Langenegger, Trustee President
Dean D. Duncan, Trustee Secretary
David J. Clinkscale, Trustee
James R. Davidson, Trustee
Richard L. Roe, Trustee
Marker text Land cemetery
This burial ground originally served the corn hill community, an early Williamson County settlement named by county judge John E. King for the fields of corn surrounding his home. By the 1880s, corn hill had a post office, businesses, churches, fraternal lodges, cotton gins, mills, a newspaper and a school. Land cemetery is on property owned by settlers Nicholas (d. 1896) and Elizabeth Ann. (Giles) Land (d. 1911), who in 1863 buried his oldest son, John, here, establishing a family burial ground; they soon opened it to neighboring families as well. At least 25 individuals were interred in the graveyard before 1886, when the Salado Valley cemetery association purchased 4.1 acres from Nicholas and Elizabeth Land for cemetery use. Others involved in the Land transaction were R.K. and Mary Lou Shaver, J.B. and Bell Shaver, and trustees G.B. Buchanan, W.P. Routon, and J.W. Robertson. In 1909, the Bartlett Western railway bypassed corn hill. The community of Jarrell was organized along the rail line and residents soon began to also use this burial ground.
Cemetery features include curbing, obelisks, interior fencing, vertical stones, grave slabs and false crypts. The interred include veterans of foreign conflicts and members of the Knauth, Langenegger, and Schwertner families, German immigrants who were among the area’s early settlers. The 1997 F5 Jarrell tornado, which resulted in the deaths of 27 individuals, damaged gravestones in the cemetery; many were later repaired. Today, the Salado Valley cemetery association continues to care for this burial ground, which serves as a connection between the early residents of corn hill and the many others who have lived near Salado creek in northern Williamson County.
Land Cemetery Narrative History
Originally known as the SALADO VALLEY CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
On April 1, 1886, the Salado Valley Cemetery Association formally came into being. The "burying ground," as it was called in the deed document, was a 4.1-acre plot on the property of Nicholas and Elizabeth Ann Land.  The cemetery plot was bought from the Land family for $131.65 by the citizens of the Salado valley. The Lands had come to the Salado valley area over twenty years earlier and, in April 1863, had bought 500 acres from Dr. George Rumsey,  who had settled in the area of Corn Hill in 1851.  Rumsey's property had been carved out of two earlier headright leagues, those assigned to James Roebuck  and Nathaniel Moore,  which were themselves adjacent to the Elijah Ingram league and the Elisha Davis league. The acreage purchased by the Lands formed an L-shaped tract some two to three miles northwest of the village of Corn Hill. 
Judge John E. King had named his home "Corn Hill" for the fields of corn that surrounded it.
His home had been a stagecoach stop on the route from Austin to Gatesville since 1852,7 and on July 9, 1855, Corn Hill was assigned a Post Office, with King designated the first postmaster.  For some 40 years, the town which grew around the stage stop/post office was the closest one to the early settlers who lived in the Salado Creek valley of northwest Williamson County. Farms, homes, businesses, churches, lodges, and the cemetery became a vital part of that small, but growing community. Many gravestones in the cemetery, with references to various religious images such as angels and heaven as well as to fraternal organizations such as Woodmen of the World and the Masonic order, show evidence of the influence of these institutions on the community.
The death knell of Corn Hill was sounded in 1909 when the Bartlett-Florence Railway Company was chartered and began constructing a line from Schwertner to Florence.
That line crossed the Waco-to-Austin road a few miles north of Corn Hill, and it was at that intersection that the sale of lots for the new town of Jarrell began in December 1909.  The railroad did not last long, but Jarrell grew and today numbers a population of about 1,400. 
A windy hill near the southeast corner of the Land property had been used as a burying ground as early as December of 1863, when Nicholas Land's oldest son, John, was interred there.
This is the oldest known grave in the cemetery. Over the years, the "burying ground" became known as the Land Cemetery since it was on the Land family property and some of Nicholas and Elizabeth's relatives bought nearby parcels from them. Nicholas, Elizabeth, and several other Lands are buried in the cemetery as well as others involved in its creation, including former landowner George Rumsey, first Association Trustee W. P. Routon, Judge W. M. Key, and Notary Public J. A. Rumsey. There are some 225 identifiable graves plus approximately 25 graves without name or date, marked only with slabs of native stone: The Land cemetery continues to serve as the final resting place for the citizens of the Salado Valley under the oversight of the current Board of Trustees, all of whom have ancestors or immediate family buried there. 
As documented by Scarbrough, some of the earliest settlers in what is now Williamson County came to Brushy Creek, near the present town of Round Rock, in the spring of 1848 with others following later that same year to the area of present Hutto. [I2] The fact that "[i]t was a long way in the 1840s from the Brushy Creek and San Gabriel settlements to the seat of government at Nashville-on-the-Brazos in Milam District" [I3] led some of those early settlers to petition the State Legislature to create a new county. The petition was filed in February of 1848 and the Legislature granted the request in March of that same year. Lawmakers ignored the suggested names of Clear Water County and San Gabriel County and instead named the new entity Williamson County, in honor of pioneer Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson. [I4]
Concerning the population of the new county, Scarbrough notes that there were 107 signatures on the county-creation petition, and she also points out that historian W. K. Makemson had estimated that 250 persons lived in Williamson County.
 She further observes that "[t]he Robert Leftwich-Sterling Clack Robertson empresario contract of 1825 encompassed Williamson County territory, but the actual settlement was long delayed and when Robertson finally in 1835 brought families to Texas, he took them to the Salado (Bell County) area."  It appears that by the time of the 1850 census there were still relatively few settlers in north-central Williamson County in the area around what would become Corn Hill. Scarbrough noted that on March 20, 1854, county officials ordered fourteen school districts to be organized. The list included a district in the area west of Granger and one in the vicinity of Florence but didn't mention the area in the vicinity of Corn Hill.  "Texas Land Office maps for the 1850s show two towns, Georgetown and Post Oak Island in 1851; Florence, Liberty Hill, and Round Rock added to the first two in 1856, and a Colton map for 1857 includes Blue Hill."  Although a rudimentary network of roads passed through the county at this time, these were little more than trails, including "a line of two horse hacks...established from San Antonio through Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Waco, Dallas, and Memphis, Tennessee," which passed through Corn Hi11. 
As noted earlier, Dr. George Rumsey came to Corn Hill in 1851 as a pioneer physician  and over the years bought land to the west of Corn Hill.
Williamson County deed records show Dr. Rumsey purchased three tracts of land prior to Nicholas and Elizabeth Land's 1862 arrival in the county: one of 427 acres in 1853 from the J. Roebuck 1/4 League,  a second of 261 3/4 acres in 1858 from the Nathaniel Moore League,  and a third of 555 1/2 acres in 1860 from the Nathaniel Moore League.  Dr. Rumsey also bought other properties later, unrelated to the Land Cemetery location. "Growth seems to have been slow in Corn Hill until the 1870s and 1880s. A store was built in the town in 1869 and a gin about 1871; by 1884 Corn Hill was a thriving community with 250 inhabitants, four churches, three gins, two mills, a Masonic lodge, a weekly newspaper (the Express), and a school (Corn Hill Academy). Cotton was ginned in a large steam gin and shipped from the town. Corn Hill had a hotel and a population of 350 in 1896 and may have had as many as 500 residents in 1910, but thereafter the community rapidly declined." 
There were several German immigrant families who came to northern Williamson County in the late 1800s.
One was the Friedrich Theodor Knauth family from Leipzig, Germany. They arrived in Austin in February 1882 and while working on a construction site, Knauth met Adolph Schwertner, a fellow German immigrant, who was then living in Corn Hill. Mr. Knauth later bought 40 acres near Corn Hill and moved the family there. His boys went to school in Corn Hill while their father worked the farm and their mother took care of the home chores. A tragedy struck when their six-year-old son, Hugo, died of diphtheria and was buried on the family farm.  There are no Knauths in the Land Cemetery, but the Knauth family is in the 1900 census in Precinct No. 2, South Williamson Creek.  Another German family, the Langeneggers, came to the area about 1906 as will be discussed later. A likely connection between the Corn Hill area and in the eastern part of the county, around Granger, appears to lie with a Dr. J. A. Denson and his family in Granger. Dr. Denson's daughter, Cornelia, married Clarence Harris of Corn Hill.  There are later-generation Harris graves in the Land Cemetery as well as that of Lucy Denson, daughter of R. K. & Rebecca Denson,  all likely relatives of the Denson's of Granger.
In preparing an application for Texas Historic Cemetery designation on behalf of the Land Cemetery, a review of the 1850 Williamson County census  was conducted in order to ascertain what surnames in the census were also seen on the cemetery inventory.  The following surnames were on both lists: Allison, Brown, Cox, Davis, Dawson, Harris, Harrison, Joy, King, Lewis, Owens, Ratliff, Rice, Roberts, Scott, Smith, Thomas, Watkins, Wells. However, only one person could be identified as possibly appearing on both lists: The cemetery inventory lists a gravestone for Elizabeth Watkins bearing the inscription "1853-1881." An Elizabeth Watkins appears in the census and is listed as being age one. As there is nothing on the census pages that indicates county location except the designation "Milam and Williamson District" at the top of each page, and because there appears to be a discrepancy in the birth date of Elizabeth Watkins between the census and the inventory, verifying persons from this earliest census as being interred in the Land Cemetery would appear to be problematical.
Nicholas & Elizabeth Land and their family moved from Travis County to Williamson County in or around 1862.
 Shortly thereafter, in April of 1863, they bought 500 acres of land from George Rumsey within the James Roebuck and Nathaniel Moore Leagues.  As previously noted, this acreage was taken from land previously bought by Dr. Rumsey from the James Roebuck'/ League (1853) and the Nathaniel Moore League (1860). It was out of a portion of this acreage that the cemetery was later created. However, it is known that several people were buried there prior to its formal designation for that purpose, starting with Nicholas' son, John J. Land, who died December 15, 1863, at age 24 years.  A further review of the cemetery inventory identified three additional individuals as having been buried there during the 1860s: Lucy Denson (1864), Nicholas Land (1864), and James M. Riggs (1867). 
The cemetery inventory lists 25 gravestones with burial dates before April 1, 1886, the date the cemetery formally came into being, although there may have been others among the unidentifiable graves.
The deceased and their family members who do appear in the 1880 federal census are shown in boldface below, in the order of their burial year.35 Those who are not listed in that census appear in plain typeface:
John J. Land, 1837-1863, son of Nicholas Land and first wife, Judith Saunders
Lucy Denson, 1861-1864, daughter of Rufus K. & Rebecca Denson
Nicholas R. Land, 1849-1864, son of Nicholas Land and second wife, Margaret Ayers
James M. Riggs, 1861-1867, unknown parents, probably W. C. & N. H, Riggs, below
L.M.V.A. Marrs, 1870-1871, infant son of Manson A. & Evaline C. Marrs
W. C. Riggs, 1822-1872, husband of N. H. Riggs
Ella Watson, 1873-1875, prob. infant of James & Rachel Watson
Amelia Harrison, 1830-1878, unknown, possibly Andrew Harrison family, 1870 census
Ruth Carlile, 1823-1879, on the same gravestone with Pearson Carlile
W. J. Isaacs, 1873-1880, unknown parents, no Isaacs in 1870 or 1880 census
May Hancock, 1878-1879, "Daughter of C. L. & M. M. Hancock", but not on 1880 census
Robert E. Lea, 1878-1881, son of Thomas H. & Martha Lea
Willie G. Scott, 1880-1881, Infant, unknown Scott parents, several in the census
Andrew C. Shamblin, 1849-1881, probably Andy Shamblin of Bell County 36
Elizabeth Watkins, 1853-1881, perhaps Sarah E., 26, wife of Nath'l Watkins
John T. Smith, 1872-1882, son of W. J. & T. C. Smith (tombstone), many Smiths in the census
Jane A. Rumsey, 1839-1883, wife of James A. Rumsey
Eugenia Young, 1881-1883, daughter of B. H. & E. L. Young
H. R. Young, 1806-1883, unknown family
Ellen (Mary E.) Routon, 1860-1884, wife of J. P. M. Routon
Edna 0. Scott, 1884-1884, infant, unknown Scott parents, several in the census
Bell Braxton Gillispie, 1866-1884, daughter of N. R. & E. A. Land, wife of A. G. Gillispie
Lucinda Carlile, 1861-1885, infant daughter of Wm. C. & Sarah L. Carlile
W. A. Riggs, 1859-1886, son of W. C. & N. H. Riggs
The following section provides more detailed information about the people who were parties to the original cemetery formation as recorded on the deed signed on April 1, 1886. 
Nicholas Rufus Land and wife Elizabeth Ann ("Lizzie") Land, landowner
Nicholas was born in 1806 in Virginia, resided in Saline County, Missouri from 1837 to about 1850, was said to have gone to the California gold rush, passed through Texas on his return to Missouri, decided to stay in Travis County, married again there, and later moved to Corn Hill, Williamson County.38 As noted above, two of Nicholas' sons and one daughter are buried in the Land Cemetery: John, Nicholas, and Bell (Land) Gillispie. Both Nicholas and Elizabeth are buried in the Land Cemetery as well. He died April 22, 1896, and she passed away on February 24, 1911. His gravestone bears a Masonic emblem, while hers is inscribed: "She died as she lived — A Christian."39 The second child of Nicholas and Elizabeth Land was Mary Louise ("Lou"), who married Rufus K. Shaver. 
Rufus K. & Mary Lou (Land) Shaver, landowner
Rufus King Shaver was born c. 1861 in Texas. The 1880 census for Williamson County (Corn Hill) lists him as the 19-year-old son of J. W. & Jane Shaver, who were born in Louisiana and Arkansas, respectively.  Rufus and Lou were married on February 16, 1882.  Three of their children are buried in the Land Cemetery: Eva Glyn (1901-1901), Raymond (1892-1899), and Ruffle (1888-1904). 
J. B. & Bell Shaver, landowner
James B. Shaver was born c. 1863 in Texas. He is listed in the 1880 census as a 17-year-old brother to Rufus K., cited above. J. B. and Bell (maiden name unknown to the author) were married c. 1884.44 They were still in Williamson County in 1900 as seen in that census. 
G. B. Buchanan, Trustee Chairman
The 1880 Williamson County census indicates George B. Buchanan was a farmer, born c. 1852 in Georgia. His wife, Elizabeth, was also born c. 1852, in Alabama.  There is a Land Cemetery gravestone for twin daughters of a different Buchanan family: W. H. and E. A. Buchanan, but they are not listed in the 1880 census. The babies, Eulah and Beulah, were born on October 30, 1886. One died the same day and the other lived a few weeks.
W. P. Routon, Trustee
William. P. Routon, 50, Farmer, and his wife, Jane A. M., 48, both born in Georgia, are shown in the 1880 Williamson County census.  Their daughter, Nannie, 26, born in Texas, lived with them. Both William and Jane are buried in the Land Cemetery. His gravestone inscription shows him to have been born November 22, 1829, and to have died February 28, 1889. Jane's inscription shows her as having been born December 17, 1834, and having died April 11, 1903. There are two other Routon graves in the cemetery as well: The wife, Ellen, and son, Jim, of J. P. M. Routon. The census shows this family living next to William and Jane Routon.
J. W. Robertson, Trustee
The 1880 census shows John W. Robertson, 26, born Alabama, and wife, Mary S., 28, also born in Alabama, with their four-year-old son, William A., a brother, William H., and a hired hand, Thomas Smith, all living in the household with them.  There are no Robertson gravestones in the Land Cemetery. There is another John & Julia Robertson and children in Williamson County in the 1900 census, but the names don't coincide with the 1880 census names. 
W. M. Key, County Judge
W. M. Key is listed as one of several attorneys in the 1870s in Georgetown.  The 1880 census shows him and his family still living there: he is listed as age 29, Lawyer, born in Georgia, but according to the deed document, he was also a County Judge in 1880. His wife was Izora R., 28, born in Texas, and their children: Mary, two, and Walter, one. They presumably were buried in Georgetown.
J. A. Rumsey, Notary Public
James A. Rumsey, 46, his wife, Jane, 40, and their three sons and four daughters are listed in the 1880 Census.  James was born in Virginia but his wife and children were all born in Texas. It is likely that he was a son of Dr. George Rumsey, below. James, like most of the others involved with the Land Cemetery, was listed as a Farmer, but he was the Notary Public for the deed document, which was written with a very readable "hand". Both James and Jane are buried in the Land Cemetery, with his gravestone bearing a Masonic emblem. 
George Rumsey, former owner
The 1870 Williamson County census shows George, 60, & Elizabeth, 28, living next door to the J. A. Rumsey family, noted above.  The 1880 Williamson County census, enumerated on June 7, 1880, shows George Rumsey as 75 years old, living in a different precinct than James & Jane Rumsey, and in a household by himself— no family indicated. It also lists him as widowed, a Physician, and manifesting "Gen'l Debility" (sic). He was born in Virginia, his father in Ireland, and his mother in Pennsylvania.  George lived for almost a decade after the census and died June 23, 1889. He is buried in the Land Cemetery with a gravestone which shows "Aged 84 Yr, 8 Mo." 
This review of the lives of some of the people who were involved informally creating the Land Cemetery clearly shows that they were valuable, contributing members of the greater Salado Valley community and that their burial in the Land Cemetery gives evidence of their ties to that community.
The Salado Valley to which numerous references are made in this document derives its name from Salado Creek that is mentioned frequently in deeds and other materials related to northern Williamson County.
The Handbook of Texas Online describes this stream thusly:
"Salado Creek originates five miles west of Jarrell in northwest Williamson County... The stream is formed by the convergence of North Salado Creek, which rises a mile northeast of Florence... and flows for six miles, and South Salado Creek, which is 101/4 miles in length and rises three miles west of Florence...Salado Creek proper, which is intermittent in its upper reaches, flows northeast for 211/4 miles, through Williamson and Bell counties, to its mouth on the Lampasas River, six miles northeast of Salado in Bell County... Early settlers drew on the rich creek bottom as an important source of timber, and the banks of the stream are still heavily wooded in places with mesquite, oak, and juniper trees. The creek flows through gently sloping terrain surfaced by loamy and stony soils used predominantly as rangeland." 
The Land Cemetery is located on slightly elevated land in the area about 34 miles east of Salado Creek at its nearest point near County Road 305. It is surrounded by agricultural land, with several homes within a 1/2 mile of the cemetery. The original deed specified a tract of 4.1 acres, but the current Williamson County Appraisal District Map shows the tract as 2.24 acres.  The cemetery layout is square, enclosed by a woven "hog wire" fence approximately 315 feet on each side, and has one vehicle-width gate. The year the fence was first erected is unknown; also unknown is why it encloses an area smaller than originally specified. Graves are kept level with the surface to facilitate the mowing of the native grasses. There are no trees but a few native shrubs grow along the fence lines. All graves face east and the newer graves and available empty space are generally on the east side. There are some family plots enclosed by a concrete curb and, in most cases, same-name gravestones are relatively close to each other, if not curbed. Graves are not precisely aligned in rows but are nearly so in most cases. The cemetery is well maintained by the current Trustee Chairman, Doyle Langenegger, who lives nearby. Additionally, some local family members give special care to their family plots on a regular basis, and the current Board of Trustees has hosted several workdays at the cemetery, usually in the spring of the year. A few years ago, a local Boy Scout troop asked permission to build a covered canopy approximately 20' by 30' as a service project at the cemetery property. That project was approved by the Board and completed by the Scouts, providing a shelter for funeral use during inclement weather.
Since its creation, the Salado Valley Cemetery Association has been directed by a succession of Trustees, all of whom have been and are descendants of pioneers and other families of this area.
The Cemetery Association has been incorporated by the Texas Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation and is governed by its present Board of Trustees which numbers five members. One Trustee, Doyle Langenegger, lives near the cemetery and is currently the custodian of its day-to-day activities. All others live within convenient driving distance of the cemetery. 
On May 27, 1997, a tornado struck the town of Jarrell, inflicting significant property damage and resulting in the deaths of 27 people.
There was also damage to the Land Cemetery, including some gravestones which were broken off by the stone and which later were found far from the cemetery.  Longtime cemetery caretaker Frank Conlee, now deceased, told the author some years ago that jail trusty relief workers found and returned some of these stones.  During a spring workday about three years ago, volunteers replaced the broken stones where it was possible to match the broken segments with the remaining base.
There are currently within the cemetery some 225 gravestones with inscriptions, and these manifest a great variety of form and content.
About 20-25 graves are marked only by pieces of native stone and are therefore unidentifiable. Some gravestones are obviously made by professionals with good craftsmanship while others are very simple stones, and some appear to have been made by family members. An example of the latter is a poured concrete slab with name and date scratched with a pointed instrument. A few metal funeral home markers are visible where no stone has been placed. There are 13 military stones, some of which are used as footstones. Among these, there appear to be none identifying Civil War veterans, one naming Henry C. Conlee (1895-1988) as a WW I veteran, several identifying veterans of WW II, and three memorializing Vietnam War veterans. There are several stones with Masonic symbols on them (the author can verify from family records that Nicholas R. Land, his ancestor, was a member of the Corn Hill Lodge and the Salado Lodge) and the stone for Rufus C. Brown (1866-1903) is inscribed "Woodmen of the World".
The Land Cemetery is still available for current-day burials. Mr. Doyle Langenegger, mentioned above, is a long-time, well-known resident of Jarrell, a supervisor in the Williamson County Unified Road System, and is the point of contact for local families needing burial space for their loved ones. Mr. Langenegger lives on land bought by his ancestors which was part of the original Nicholas Land 500 acre tract which also includes the cemetery. 
III. HISTORICAL/CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
The Land Cemetery is significant for its sustaining role as a vital element of the Salado Valley community over a period of almost 150 years. The evidence indicates that it began this role in 1863 as a burying place near the home of the Land family for their 24-year-old son, John J., and, about a year later, for their 15-year-old son, Nicholas. Subsequently, as other members of the Land family passed away and as members of neighboring families died, they, too, were interred at this site. By 1886, there had been some 25 burials there, and the community, seeing the need for a more well-defined, formal cemetery, took up a collection to buy the burying ground on the Land family's property.
By observing the inscriptions on the gravestones, one can piece together some of the histories of the Corn Hill/Jarrell community over the years.
The Land family is represented with two young sons and an adult daughter buried near their parents. Some of the original Trustees are represented: the Routons, Shavers and Rumseys. John E. King, the area's first postmaster, and his wife are buried there. There is a relatively large area of well-kept graves for the Langenegger family, including the original buyers of a 117 1/2 acre portion of the 500 acre Land property: Konrad, Fritz, and Conrad Langenegger.63 Even one resident from nearby Bell County is there:
Andy Shamblin, a 32-year-old man who left a wife and baby son at his death in 1881.
 Sadly, as is usually the case with nineteenth- and early twentieth-century cemeteries, many graves of children are seen, often having died during or shortly after birth or from the many epidemic diseases that Dr. Rumsey might well have sought in vain to treat. A number of men who performed military service for their country are interred there, and the cemetery also contains numerous modern gravestones, some of which bear the names of living community residents who will make the cemetery their final resting place.
The area around the cemetery has changed and continues to change.
There is a modern Community Center and many homes along the nearby County Road 305. The Jarrell Independent School District will be building a new High School not far to the south of the cemetery. Yet the Land Cemetery remains an island of quiet repose where people can go to honor their forebears and reflect on the contributions they made in helping to form a growing, viable community. To this end, the current Board of Trustees has reviewed and revised the Association's bylaws governing the use of the cemetery, thereby ensuring that the Land Cemetery will remain a valuable, well-maintained, and vital element in the lives of the "[c]itizens of Salado valley and surrounding country" — as provided in the original deed document.