Pictured are Bruce and Bernadette (Bernie) Harris, who donated land to the Linden Cemetery Association in August of this year. Bruce Harris is a direct descendant of the original owners of the 320-acre Story headright assigned in 1848 to Edward and Jane Story – who promptly donated 50 of their 320 acres for the Town of Linden to be built. Three towns appeared on the ballot of 1848, and Linden was elected that year (and again in 1850) to be the first permanent seat of Cass County – Cass being one of the new counties formed upon annexation of Texas as a State. Bruce Harris believes he is the only descendant of “Linden’s first family” now living in the city.
The Storys were among many settlers emigrating to East Texas from Perry County, Tennessee in the late 1840’s. The 35-acre Story homeplace, on which Bruce and Bernie now live, is in the northwest part of the original Story land patent, and the Linden Cemetery evolved from the Story family graveyard located in the far northwest corner of that family home place — both house and graveyard having been set along the west side of the old road leading north from the seat of Cass County to the seat of Bowie. The oldest 4-1/2 acres of the present cemetery, with a number of graves from the 1850s, comprise that original family graveyard.
Bruce’s mother, Charlie Reece Crow Harris, was the granddaughter of Martha (Mattie) Story Crow and great-granddaughter of Edward and Emily Jane Story. Charlie Reece inherited the land from her parents, Jim Crow and Charlie Mae Powell Crow.
By 1852, Edward and Jane Story were making their Graveyard available to other Linden families in need of burial plots. In 1948, it was brought to the attention of planners for Linden’s Town Centennial Celebrations that the graves of Edward and Jane Story were unmarked. As part of the 100-year celebration, a handsome white and pink marble monument was erected to commemorate the Story gift to the city. That monument bears the following inscription: “Memorial sponsored by Linden Lions Club and erected by friends, on the 100th Anniversary of Linden, in the memory of Edward W Story and wife, Emily Jane, who donated town site of 50 acres of land to Cass County on June 29, 1848, for the county seat.”
The above photo was contributed to the Find A Grave Project by Norman Daniels and can be found on the Linden Association website https://lindencemeteryassociationtx.com/
The Linden Cemetery Association oversees the Linden Cemetery and is currently researching and documenting its history. Authenticated records or photographs useful for the history may be emailed to email@example.com or mailed via the postal service to PO Box 863, Linden Texas 75563
Written by Joyce Henderson and Sue Lazara