TX-12319 The Colony Cemetery


Residents of the community known as The Colony came to Hood County with their white southern owners as early as the 1850s. After emancipation they began to settle in this area, and many acquired land under a state law which provided settlers with the opportunity to live on land for as many as seven years before securing a patent for the property. "Doc" Foster and Simon and Hettie Hightower were such landowners.

The Colony grew rapidly in the last years of the nineteenth century. A church called Mt. Zion, which also served as a temporary school was established. The earliest marked grave in The Colony Cemetery is that of Mary Edwards, who died in 1876. The Colony residents played important roles in the development of Hood County. They helped clear land for the courthouse site, executed their masonry skills on the buildings on the Granbury square, and worked on area farms. Church fundraising events and celebrations such as Juneteenth, the celebration of Texas' notification of the end of slavery, were an important part of the colony's community life.

By the end of the Depression era of the 1930s, most of the adult residents had left The Colony for nearby towns, and many of the community's youth left the area completely, though they often chose to be returned to The Colony Cemetery for burial. The last three residents of The Colony left in the 1940s.

The Colony Cemetery is an important chronicle of the history of Hood County and particularly of the generation of African Americans who were born in slavery and who forged new lives after emancipation, paving the road of freedom for their descendants. (2000)

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