Pond Springs Cemetery Historical Marker, Jollyville-Pond Springs, Texas



Marker Text

This graveyard was begun for members of the Pond Springs community in the 1860s. The oldest grave is believed to be that of Mrs. Asenath M. Stewart (d. 1862). Also interred here is Mexican War veteran William P. Rutledge, Sr. (1815-1890), and Lavinia Hyland Chapman (1844-1929), a citizen of the Republic of Texas. Although the land was in use as a graveyard years earlier, it was not officially deeded as such by Thomas L. and H.M. Rutledge until 1872, and did not appear in deed records as a cemetery until 1877. It serves as a reminder of early Pond Springs history.

1988 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 9324.)


GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 30.468330, Longitude: -97.787780

Address: 10000 block Lake Creek Pkwy, Austin

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POND SPRINGS CEMETERY Historical Narrative by Karen R. Thompson

The community of Pond Springs started about the time Williamson County was founded in 1848. It began as a rural community in the far southwestern corner of the county along the Travis County line. Many of the first settlers were from Austin and Travis County, and several of the Land Grants for the area went to Veterans of the Texas Revolution; Elisha Prewitt was at the Battle of San Jacinto. (1.)

The Texas Historical Marker for "Pond Springs Community and School" notes the following: "After James 0. Rice settled in the 1850s near a spring-fed pond; the area was called "Pond Spring. By 1854 a log school building was erected near the pond (1 mi. N) and served for worship and as a social center. Thomas S. Rutledge ran a nearby store, post office, and blacksmith shop. After the post office closed in 1880 and the Austin & Northwestern Railroad bypassed Pond Springs in 1882- the community declined. The school was consolidated in 1903 with Jollyville, moved to this site in 1927- and became part of the Round Rock District in 1969." (2)

We know that Pond Springs remained a small community in the 1840s & 1850s, and the United States Census for 1860 identified 16 families having the Pond Springs Post Office. [3]

It is about. the 1860s that the cemetery known as pond Springs Cemetery began.

The very worn tombstone of Mrs. Asenath M. Stewart seems to read "Sacred to the memory of …….. Died Nov. 10. 1862, Aged 20 years months & 7 days". We can prove that the cemetery was started in 1869 by the burial information of Mrs. Gault. Her tombstone clearly reads, "Polly M. Gault, Consort of R. T. Gault, born Sect. 22, 1845, died March 30, 1869". The next earliest grave is that of Elizabeth King. Consort of W. A. King, born Dec. 15, 1815, and died June 8, 1871. The next identified burial date is that of E. Zimmerman with the following information, born February 29, 1798, and died Feb. 1. 1877. That is the only person in the cemetery with a birth date in the 1700s.

As in the case of many early, rural, cemeteries/ the starting of the cemetery was several years before the land was actually deeded; in fact, many cemeteries do not have deeds at all. Same documents were drawn up and never recorded properly at the county courthouse, and others were executed but not recorded for several years. This last condition was the case with the deed to the Pond Springs Cemetery.

"Thos. L. Rutledge & Wife to Deed T. M. Houghton et alls.

The State of Texas, Williamson County. Know all men by these present that we Thomas I. Rutledge and wife H. M. Rutledae of the county and state aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars to us in hand paid by T. L. Rutledge. T. M. Houghton, R. W. Dodd of the same state and county the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have bargained sold and conveyed and by these presents do bargain sell and convey unto the said T. L. Rutledge, T. M. Houghton. R. W. Dodd In Trust for the use of the neighborhood or surrounding community as a public burying ground. For School and Church purposes ‑ a certain tract or parcel of land is a part of the Elisha Allen survey and including the Graveyard near our residence. Thence S55 E lifts set stone. Thence S35 W 70 vs. to the place beginning containing one and 36/100 acres more or less. Hereby reserving the right for the said T. L. Rutledge to act as trustee in conjunction with the others named to have and to hold said above-described premises for the uses and purposes therein set forth unto the said trustees and their successors in office (which may be selected by the Citizens of the neighborhood who feel an interest in the matter) forever. Hereby warranting the title to the same against all lawful claimants. In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this 16th day of February. A. C., 1872.

Signed Thomas L. Rutledge

H. M. Rutledge

The State of Texas County of Travis

Personally appeared before the undersigned authority Thomas L. Rutledge and wife H. M. Rutledge to be well known to be the individuals described in and who executed the above and foregoing conveyance from Thos. L. Rutledge and wife and in favor of T. M. Houghton, R. W. Dodd and also reserves the right to act myself the said Thos. L. Rutledge as Trustees and they acknowledged to me that executed the same for the uses and purposes and considerations therein stated and that the was their act and Deed, and the said H. M. Rutledae wife of the said Thos. L. Rutledge, having been examined by me privily and apart from her husband and having said deed fully explained to her the said H. M. Rutledge acknowledged the same to be her act and deed and declared that she willingly sealed and delivered the same and that she wished not to retract it.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office this 16th day of February A. D. 1872.

Thomas Anderson
Notary Public Travis County
Filed March 19th, 1877, at 8 o'clock, A. M. and recorded June 23rd, 1877.

For some unknown reason, the deed to the Pond Springs Cemetery was not recorded for 5 years. We know the cemetery was in use all that time, but they failed to record the document until 1877.

This old cemetery has over 160 identified graves, with many more that lack tombstones or any identification. Probably one-half of the burials were before 1900.

We know that at least one "CITIZEN OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS" is buried at Pond Springs. Lavinia Ann Hyland Cloud Hanley Chapman, born October 5, 1844, during the Republic of Texas, Burleson County, died on January 6, 1929. Lavina was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth Hyland, who settled in Williamson County in 1848. She remained a citizen of the county until her death at age 84.

On December 29. 1859, only a few months after her 15th birthday, Lavinia married Joseph E. Cloud. After his death, she married James D. Hanley. That was in 1868, and the following year he died. In 1871 she married William M. Chapman, and they had three children (she had one daughter by each of her first husbands). Lavinia's stone reads "MOTHER & At Rest." The stone for William says, "OUR FATHER, A: blessed one from us has gone, A voice forever stilled. A place is vacant in our home that never can be filled.”

Lavinia Chapman's grave has been marked with a bronze medallion of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, identifying her as a "Citizen of the Republic of Texas." This marker was placed by her descendant, Frances Gower Pendleton of Wills Point, Texas, and a member of the DRT. [5]

At least one of the burials in this cemetery is a Veteran of the Mexican War.

William P. Rutledge Sr. was a Captain in the Mexican War. He and his wife Susan appear on the 1860 U. S. Census, Williamson County, at Pond Springs and five children. The tombstone for him reads. Born July 29, 1815, Died April 27, 1890, The World was his Country And to do good his Religion.

William H. Thompson (1846-1928) was a Veteran of the Civil War. He is the only Confederate Soldier we can identify, although I feel sure that some of the other burials were Confederate Veterans. William Horace Warren (1912-1946) was a veteran of World War II.

Disease, accidents, and illness took their toll. Four children, Eddie, Emily, Harry, and Scotty Beck, all died within 16 days of each other from illness. Their stone reads In Memory of Eddie, Harry, Scotty & Emily Beck, Died Aug. 30 to September 15, 1888. The cemetery has many graves of young children and some of the special inscriptions for than are:

Joseph Decker. age 12 days, "God Bless in early death."
Dasie Adams. age 1 month, "Suffer Little Children to came unto Me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Benn Franklin, age 2 years, "Pure at thy death as at thy Birth, the Spirit caught no taint from Earth."
Richard Lee Jackson, baby, "Budded on Earth to bloom in Heaven."
Edgar Earnest Lee, age 4 years, "Safe in the arms of Jesus. A Darling child from us is gone. A little voice we love is stilled. A vacant place within our home. That no one else can fill." [6]

The cemetery is fenced with a chain link fence, but a couple of sections are fenced off within that outer fence.

The largest section is the Walden Section; in fact, the cemetery has been called the Walden Cemetery. The property around the cemetery had belonged to the Walden family for many years, and that is the reason for the name. [7]

Although the cemetery is still in use, the last burial was William cordon Hammack, born in 1917 and died in 1974. The pioneers of Pond Springs and the roots of many of the area families are buried at this cemetery. Although it has been an important part of the Pond Springs Community for over 100 years, the future is not bright for this historic cemetery. The land around the cemetery has been purchased by a real estate development company that currently has the property for sale. We can only hope that the new owners will help in the preservation of this historic part of Pond Springs. The Jollvville-Pond Springs Historical Association. with Karen Thompson as president try to maintain the grounds, but it is hard to get help, and descendants from those early pioneers have moved away.

Nearby Forest North Elementary School has agreed to sponsor this Texas Historical Marker. The school children held a fund-raiser in the spring of 1987 to pay for the marker.


More info on
Pond Springs Cemetery Blog
A blog about a historic cemetery
(at the bottom of the blog page you will see more info pages - click on Older Entries)