SAD ENDING TO A MEMORIAL CEMETERY – VETERANS CEMETERY at Liberty Grove. The below headstone base is one of the last traces of a cemetery that was once known as the Veterans Cemetery because many of those buried here were Civil War veterans. The cemetery contained about 22 headstones in this once peaceful cemetery. Many of those headstones were the only remaining traces of some of the area’s earliest settlers. I only remember seeing those headstones once when I was a teenager because it set back from the road in a grove of trees. One of my aunts reminded me of the cemetery when I was writing a book on the Liberty Grove community around 1998. Liberty grove is in NE Dallas county near the Rockwall and Collin County line. I was so disappointed to later learn that cemetery was completely destroyed.
I knew where the cemetery should be, but after a thorough search of the area, I found only one remaining headstone base. My theory was that the land would be worth more it there was no cemetery.
The Cemetery is located on what was once the Ratterree farm at Stonewall & Troy Road. Several years ago, Frances James put me in contact with a state official and I met with him at the cemetery site and he identified the boundary using a backpack with a GPS unit attached. It is now officially recorded as a cemetery so that no one can build on it. The cemetery is officially listed with the state and on state maps it is now known as the “Old Veterans Cemetery”. Henery Ratterree, father of Billy Ratterree says there were around 22 graves there.
Some of the early pioneer settlers were not accounted for in my research project. I’ll always wonder if they were laid to rest in this once peaceful little country cemetery which at one time was known as the Old Veterans Cemetery.
Article and photo by Jim Foster.