Limestone County Historical Commission
Limestone County Historical Commission

Personville Cemetery


A worn and yellow-stained volume of historical sketches located in the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia, Texas gives the first written record of the founding of the town of Personville in the fall of 1853.  B. D. Person settled with his family on a sandy ridge overlooking Big Creek bottom, in the southeast part of Limestone County.  An early writer says that this was the beginning of the community.  


The first two business houses established at Personville were a "dram shop" and a blacksmith shop.  That was enough to bring the settlers together and the village grew and prospered.  The records of the Post Office Department in the National Archives show that a post office was established at Personville, Limestone County, Texas on September 24, 1858 with William F. Person appointed as its first postmaster.  Grayson Masonic Lodge #265 was charted in 1861 and demised in 1889.  By 1880 there was a store opened by Dr. Glass and J. F. Boyd.  Later W. R. Merrill and T. H. Beaver opened a business.  A general merchandise store was opened in 1884 by R. P. Merrill and his son W. R. Merrill.  This store was moved to Coolidge in 1905.  There were two physicians, Dr. Glass and Dr. Shell.  John Glass was Justice of the Peace and Joe Worsley brought the mail from Mexia to the Personville Post Office daily.  In 1904, a railroad was built through Personville, which ran from Mexia to Navasota.  Rail service was used to ship sand for commercial uses and timber and cordwood also became an industry.  A telephone system was installed at the turn of the century and a school building was constructed.  By 1910, Personville had grown considerably.  There were about sixteen business houses including four general stores, a bank, a lumber yard, a telephone exchange, hotel, tin shop, drug store, milliner shop, café, barber shop and a pool hall. 


In October 1916, a fire broke out in the Rohus store.  Fanned by high wind, it soon spread through the business district.  The town burned all night and nothing was left standing.  Many had no insurance.  The most substantial firms rebuilt but the community lost more that night than it ever regained.  But out of those ashes have come memories that inspire and memories that will live.


B. D. Person Sr., one of Limestone County's oldest settlers, was a native of North Carolina.  Born in 1816, but when only a small boy, his father moved to Tennessee where he was reared to farm life.  About 11838, he located in Shelby County, Texas and two years later married Amanda Corder.  In 1854, he took up his abode in a village, which bears his name in Limestone County, where he died in 1861 at the age of forty-five.


Four members of the B. D. Person family are buried in the Personville Cemetery.  In the early 1950's, a grandson of his, W. S. Mckinney and a friend of the family, W. J. Green built a four foot concrete wall around these monuments and poured concrete over the inside area in order to protect the graves.


The oldest marked grave is that of B. D. Person sr. who died January 8, 1861.  A daughter, Martha Person, died December 30, 11867.  A son, R. B. Person died August 1, 1888 and a grandchild, Bobbie Lee Person, died November 15, 1888.  Two infant daughters of W. J. and S. C. Wren were buried there: Lonie Wren born March 20, 1888 died June 12, 1888 and Hattie Wren born June 12, 1889 and died October 5, 1889.  Also, Dean Allen who died February 21, 1900 and his mother, wife of C. W. Allen died in 1905.


At one time, there were numerous other monuments but they have been destroyed or damaged and are no longer legible.  Records of other burials there, as late as 1914, have been recorded from The Groesbeck Journal.  There is no known record showing that the land was ever deeded to the cemetery.  However, there is mention of a cemetery in a deed record for Alvis Wedgeman.


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