Mt. Zion Cemetery in South Montgomery County, Texas
Mt. Zion Cemetery, located about a half mile from my house in The Woodlands, is the final resting place for many early residents of southern Montgomery County. The cemetery is located off Rayford Road and is about a mile and a half from present-day I-45 in the south part of Montgomery County. It lies just outside boundaries of The Woodlands. Mt. Zion, in existence for over a century, appears to be the only early cemetery remaining in the immediate area of The Woodlands.
A tour through its undergrowth reveals names on tombstones that are found in the 1910 census in Justice Precinct 6, Montgomery County. Justice Precinct 6, a county designation for voting and tax purposes, was located in the southern-most part of the county and less than a mile from Spring Creek, the rivulet that flows along the southern edge of Montgomery County.
Among the oldest graves found here are those dated from the early 1900s and include Confederate Civil War veterans and landowners in this area along with sawmill employees. John W. Blair, who was a local landowner and farmer, was born January 30, 1869, and died on October 11, 1905, leaving a widow and 10 children ranging in age from 20 to 3. His tombstone is shared with his wife, Mary, who was born January 29, 1870, and died May 31, 1950. A neighbor, James M. Blackman, who served in the Civil War with Co. C, 3 Regiment Texas Cavalry, was born in 1844 in Mississippi and died September 16, 1928. In 1910, he was living in southern Montgomery County in the house of his brother-in-law, Henry Hartounze, who was born in Germany and became a naturalized American citizen in 1869. Both were farmers.
Living next door to James M. Blackman was Ben F. Woodson who was a 17-year-old farmer and the oldest son of his widowed mother, Tennie W. Woodson. The Riley Fussell family who lived near the Woodsons had a son Robert who is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Several children are buried here, including Delia McCleskey who died at less than a year of age in 1907. She is buried alongside her brother, Roy D., who died in 1912, both children of H. H. and Jessie McCleskey.
The latest burial found in this in cemetery was in 2000 and was that of Leura Gladys Golden Chapin, wife of Arthur Worth Chapin. Leura Chapin was the daughter of George and Birtie Golden who lived near Spring Creek in southern Montgomery County.
The history of Mt. Zion cemetery is obscure. It may have once been a family cemetery, possibly the Golden family, that became a community cemetery for those who lived in this area. There are several families buried here that are interrelated through the Golden families. It is unclear how large the cemetery actually was, but there are many unidentified graves. Among those names found on the old tombstones are Calahan, Bonin, Woodward, Golden, Budde, Davis, Blackman, Polaski, Chapin, Bullard, Sell, Cheatham, Fussell, Miller, Rayford, Blair, Woodson, Guerrero, and Harper.
Back When Sponsored by