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Johnson Cemetery aka Haynes Chapel Cemetery Montgomery County Texas

Group Seeks to Restore Cemetery
By Brad Meyer
Updated: 05.28.09
The Courier

Sam Knowles, 81, stands next to the grave of Hezekiah Johnson, his great-great grandfather, with a “This Place Matters” sign as part of a campaign funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to preserve and protect historically significant sites. Organizers hope to restore the 158-year-old Johnson-Haynes Chapel Cemetery in Walden.

MONTGOMERY – Community residents hope to bring new life to a rundown, almost-forgotten 158-year-old cemetery and turn it into an educational resource for area schoolchildren.

Organizers with the Johnson-Haynes Chapel Cemetery Association are inviting the public to join in a general cleanup of the Hezekiah Johnson/Haynes Chapel Cemetery in Walden beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. Supporters have ambitious goals for revitalizing the ground that early settlers used to bury their family members beginning in 1852.

“It’s a historical site, but it’s really in need of restoration,” said Jean Abernathy, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “We want to clean it up and restore dignity to the cemetery.”

The 2-acre site is what remains of a tract of land purchased by Hezekiah Johnson upon his arrival in Texas in 1838. Johnson, who died in 1851, is one of hundreds of early Texans, including slaves, who are buried there.

“There’s a lot of history here,” said Curtis Brown, with the JHCCA. “Many of the graves are unmarked, but we know this was a community burial ground.”

It still is. Several of Brown’s relatives are buried there; although in recent years, the cemetery and the small church on the site have been subjected to vandalism and a lack of maintenance.

That’s about to change. Abernathy said the group hopes to have the cemetery designated as a historical cemetery by the Texas Historical Commission, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and “This Place Matters,” a campaign by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company that supports historical community sites.

“The new Madeley Ranch Elementary School is right across the street from the old cemetery,” Brown said. “The revitalized cemetery could be a wonderful resource to teach children about the history of this area and the people who lived here.”

Organizers hope to clean up the cemetery and the structures that surround it before the 2009-10 school year begins in August. They also hope to raise money to build a fence around the site to help preserve it while they work to restore the grounds.

A rally is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, located at 611 Community Center Road in Montgomery, in support of the restoration effort. The public is invited to both the cleanup and the rally.

For more information about the cemetery restoration effort by JHCCA, call (936) 756-6747.


Cemetery Location

Johnson Cemetery aka Haynes Chapel Cemetery is located off Walden Road, and is a part of the Dan Madeley place. Dan Madeley gave 17 acres for this cemetery and two acres for a church.

In this cemetery we have white, Mexican or Spanish and Black people buried here. There are many unmarked graves outside of the chain link fence and was used during the time of slavery.

According to the Montgomery County Cemetery Book, Volume VI, page 21 the following is written regarding Haynes Chapel:

(Guide: W. S. Saddler)
Rev. Abe Brown, Pastor
Present Deacon: W. S. Saddler
Former Deacons: J. Y. Young, W. W. Watkins, T. W. Washington
Level by Silver Trowel Lodge No. 76 A. F. & A.M. Bro. Leroy Felder, 32°W. M.; Bro. Willie Saddler, Secretary; M W. C. L Woods, 33°C. M. ; Mary C. Brown, Treasurer; Atlanta Saddler, Clerk; Betty S. Haynes, Asst. Secretary.

Transcription of Johnson
aka Haynes Chapel Cemetery

Photos of Johnson Cemetery &
Haynes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church

Cemetery is across this fence in clump of trees

Darlene Madeley Lee
in front of what remains of the Church


Darlene investigates inside

Remnants of the Piano



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Page Modified: 18 October 2016