Limestone County Historical Commission
Limestone County Historical Commission

Billington Cemetery

Billington Cemetery is located in the northwest corner of Limestone County on LCR 114.  It is approximately 2 miles east of the McLennan County line and 3 miles south of the Hill County line.  From Highway 84, go north 2.5 miles on FM 939, turn right on LCR 114 and go 2.3 miles.  The cemetery is located on the left side of the road.1

               

Perhaps the most important person, historically, buried in Billington Cemetery is Ezekial Jackson Billington.  He was born January 11, 1826, in Bedford County, Tennessee, but moved with his parents to Ballard County, Kentucky, in 1830, where he was reared.  After his marriage to Kitty Ann Rasco, the couple came to Texas in 1854 with four children, his parents, his sister and her husband, Midian and Haughton Hughes, and M. J. Billington and settled in the northwestern part of the county to farmed.  He also organized Baptist churches.  E. J. Billington is credited with organizing churches at Mt. Antioch, Frosa, Horn Hill, Prairie Hill, and Hubbard.  He died August 8, 1896 and was buried in Antioch Cemetery which was later renamed Billington Cemetery.2, 3

           

Billington community, located six miles northwest of Prairie Hill, was named in honor of Ezekiel J. Billington. The area was first settled in the 1850’s.  Among the first businesses was a general store, owned and operated by Alexander R. Boyd.  A grist mill, a gin, a shoe repair shop, barber shop, a justice of the peace, two physicians, and two churches made up the village at the turn of the century.  The Billington community was granted a post office in 1886 with mail being delivered three days a week.  E. J. Billington was the first postmaster.4

           

Billington Cemetery came into existence in 1890 with the burial of John Sanders, who had requested to be buried in Billington upon his death.  Two friends, John Ellison and Gus Haney, bought ½ acre of land from E. J. Billington to build Antioch Church and a burial ground.  In 1900 an additional 1 ½ acres of land was purchased from the Billington estate.5    The cemetery was originally named Antioch Cemetery.  After the death of Ezekiel J. Billington and his burial in the cemetery in 1896, the name was change to Billington Cemetery in his honor.6

           

The church at Billington, started in 1876, was originally named Antioch because the members came from the nearby church of Mt. Antioch.  In honor of Rev. E. J. Billington, Antioch Church was renamed Billington Baptist Church in 1900.7       

               

Known veterans buried in Billington Cemetery are Ezekial Jackson Billington, Texas National Guard during the Civil War; Ellis Grover Coker, World War I; Clint Culberson Terry, World War I; Dean Garlin Walker, World War II; John C. Anderson, World War II; Manley L. Branch, World War II; and Joseph C. Pickens, II, U.S. Air Force.8

           

Billington Cemetery was incorporated by the State of Texas on August 11, 1994.  A memorial service is held each year on the fourth Sunday in April.9

 

Endnotes

1 Roads of Texas. (Addison, Texas: MAPSCO, 2005), p. 92.

2 Weempe, Carmen McClinton.  A History of Billington, 1876 to 1978.  Unpublished.

3 Ray A. Walter, A History of Limestone County  (Austin:  Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959), p. 111.

4 Walter, p. 96-97.

5 Weempe.

6 Walter, p. 111.

7 Weempe.

8 Jordan, Bruce,  Survey of Billington Cemetery.

9 Billington Cemetery Association Minutes, 1994.

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