By Mason W. Canales
Harker Heights Herald
NOLANVILLE - One of Bell County's oldest cemeteries was honored Saturday as several guest speakers and attendees helped dedicate the burial ground's state historical marker.
State Reps. Ralph Sheffield and Jimmie Don Aycock both spoke at a Pleasant Hill Cemetery Historical Marker dedication, along with Bell County Historical Commission members and members of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association Board.
The Nolanville Elementary Choir sang the national anthem, and VFW Post No. 3891 members posted the colors.
"We are just happy to get the marker," said Marie Parmer, Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association Board president. "We spent a lot time working on that marker. ... There is a lot of history out there on the tombstones."
The oldest grave in the cemetery is marked 1855 and belongs to J. Carmack, according to the historical marker. Prior to Carmack's burial, the land of the cemetery belonged to Fleming Trigg Cox and his wife, Mary Guinevera (Leigh), who arrived in the area from Missouri three years before Carmack's death.
The Coxes were among the first settlers in the Killeen area, the marker states. In 1907, descendants of the Coxes deeded 4 1/3 acres as the Pleasant Hill Cemetery after Cox was buried there in 1890 and Mary in 1907.
It has since grown to about 8 acres.
Other early settlers buried in the cemetery are members of the Kaiser, Sutton, and Shriver families. Some of the families still have members living in the Killeen area today, Parmer said.
"The burial ground serves as a reminder of the hard-working pioneer families who settled this area so long ago," the marker states.
The cemetery is also the final resting place of a former Texas Ranger and veterans of the Mexican War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, Parmer said.
Members of the Bell County Historical Commission and the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association Board are excited that cemetery visitors can read the story of the cemetery because of the historical marker.
"(The marker) in general draws attention and helps to tell the story of the cemetery," said Beverly Zendt, Historical Marker Committee chairwoman for the Bell County Historical Commission.
Because the cemetery has a state historical marker, the information and the location of the cemetery will be placed in the Texas Atlas, Zendt said.
The Pleasant Hill Cemetery Historical Marker is the 216th marker for Bell County, said Joe Button, who serves on the Cemetery Committee for the Bell County Historical Commission.
Each marker tells something about Bell County and preserves the history for future generations, Button said.
"People that will stop and look at the Texas historical marker will think about all the history our state has," Parmer said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.