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Ennis Daily News

Grave issues come to head

Photo by Jon Nielsen / An out-of-town rancher’s work has allegedly destroyed graves at the Hughes Cemetery outside Avalon.

Jon Nielsen, Special to the EDN

The bottom of Manervia Bell’s worn headstone reads: Gone but not forgotten. It’s a touching tribute, but for many years dense overgrowth threatened to erase the cemetery from memory.

Bell is buried alongside about 200 former slaves, servants, sharecroppers and regular working class black people on a patch of land segregated from Hughes Cemetery. For years, St. Mary’s cemetery was a little-known graveyard resting under a canopy of elms, oaks and pecan trees between Avalon and Italy. It had nearly long been forgotten — tended only by a few of the dead’s descendants — until an out-of-town rancher’s dirt road upended the serenity.

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Posted by on Jun 24 2012. Filed under County News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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