The Williams cemetery was said to have been started when Mrs. Simmoms wanted to be buried
under a big old oak tree that grew in a lonely field up on the top of a hill. There were
few cemeteries around back then, most folks were buried somewhere on their own land. Mrs.
Simmons owned the land and by her request was buried under the beautiful, old oak tree.
That was the beginning of the Simmons Cemetery.
The Williams family came to Texas from Miles, Louisiana in covered wagons, shorthly after the
Civil War. D.S. and Sina Williams were married the day before they began their journey. They
settled in the Bethlehem community even before the town of Whitney was settled. There they
raised seven children: Steve, Daniel, Bud, Tean, Louis, John and Annie one of whom is still
living today. (was living at the time this was written, but has since past away.) Mrs. Annie
Camp, their daughter, is eighty-seven and in a Whitney rest home and she is the oldest living
relative of the Williams family. She has six children: Horace, Lester, Leon, Sina, Alfred Dean,
and Burnise. Horace and A. D. live in Whitney.
Sina Williams was a good friend of Mrs. Simmons and she wanted to be buried by her. But while
was still living her granddaughter Ethel, died. They recieved permission and Ethel was buried
in the cemetery. In 1899 D. S. Williams died and was buried there also. The Civil War
furnished his gravestone.
D.S. had been in the Civil War before he moved to Texas. He was in Company D. fighting for the
South. When his wife Sina died in 1917, she was buried next to him in her friends cemetery.
Now many of the relatives have died and been buried there. D. S. had at least two sister,
Lizzie Brock and Liza Bishop who are buried in the cemetery on the hill. His grandmother who
came with them to Texas in a covered wagon was also buried in the cemetery. Many of D.S. and
Sina's children's graves are there. Bob Williams and his are buried there too. But even though
we don't know their names, we know others, sometimes through the years, were put there also.
There were some who wanted to be buried at Bethlehem where they had been reared there. Inside
the fence are all the Williams and their relatives who chose to be buried by their home. Bud,
J. R., Daniel and othersare buried in Bethlehem.
It is not surprising that so many of the relatives are in this county today. A century ago
their great grandmother, their grandmother and grandfather and their great aunts came to this
state to make their home. Now their decendents have spread out through the county, some have
even gone to other states. But most of the older ones you will find right here where their
grandparents would want them to be.
The cemetery is now run down with weeds and brush. There used to be a wall of rocks all the
way around it, but now most of them are scattered about the cemetery.
Some of the graves are large piles of rocks with no headstones. Years ago they piled rocks
on someone's grave so they could find the grave again. They were afraid that they would go
off and forget where someone had been buried if no makers were left.
On one particulary large pile is a headstone which is carved from rock. It is thought that
this is the oldest grave in the cemetery. The first name on the stone cannot be read, but
the last is Williams. Neither can his date of birth be identified. At the bottom of
this stone is inscribed, "died December 1784." No one has found out who this person could
be, but for sure he was related to the Williams who came from Louisiana. Probably he was
a member of the Williams family already living here as D. S. and Sina came to Texas because
other relatives were Were.
Another interesting marker in the cemetery is a sand stone with the words, "Ethel Williams"
scratched on it. There is a tiny marble footstone with E. W. inscribed on it. Most likely
other head stone were carved and inscribed, but the writing was washed off by
the wind and rain through the years.
The only tombstones that are not made of rock are D. S. and Sina Williams. Standing in the
middle of the cemetery is a large white tombstone that belongs to D. S. Williams.
Beside it is a marble stone and footstone belonging to his wife Sina.
The cemetery stands in a circle of oak trees. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Hill
County. On the hill, one can see for miles. From a distance it does not look like a cemetery.
The only indication that it is something more than a little group of oaks is the one lonely
tombstone standing beneath the trees. It is there to remind us of our lands past history.
It is a shame that such a beautiful place could be forgotten.
The "Forgotten Cemetery" was researched and written in 1975 by Gay Box as a 7th grade student.
It was sent to Austin as an entry in the State Junior Historian Contest the same year.
The facts were gathered primarily from interviews with Mrs. Annie Camp, now deceased
and Mrs. LaVern Wallace, both of Whitney.
Jackie Kissick at
We now have Head Stone Pictures!
These are the people we are sure are buried in this cemetery