Past Presidents (all known Presidents)
|W. O. Reves 1917||Walter R. Turner 1940-1948 ?|
|Loyd Booth 1968 ?||Noble Norman ?|
|Leslie Angle 1970-1971||Ronnie Stevenson 1971-1976|
|Edna Anderson 1977 ?||Bill Reeves 1989-1995|
|Bryan Flippo 1995-1999||George Angle 1999-2003 & 2005-2006|
|Todd Flippo 2003-2005||Roger Brooks 2007 to present|
Edna Anderson 1969-1975
Yvonne Flippo 1987-2004
Wilson Dale Boaz 2004 to present
Callie McCullar 1973-1976 ?
Sandra Newton Carter 1987-1997
Sarah Angle 2004-2005
Cheryl Newton Helton 1999-2003 & 2007 to present
Attendance at Some Annual Meetings
Judge Benjamin Franklin Barkley
In 1855, B. F. Barkley, a Kentucky Physician, with his wife Malinda Elizabeth Duncan (1827-1917), and their children settled on a farm at Birdville. There, he practiced medicine, became a lawyer, and a charter member of Masonic Lodge No. 148 in Fort Worth. In 1856, Dr. Barkley tried unsuccessfully to keep the county seat at Birdville. As a Republican leader, he spoke out against slavery and secession. Barkley was admired for donating land for Birdville’s cemetery, and participating in Indian campaigns. But his strong will and pro-union stand stirred anger in the area. He barely escaped death several times.
Dr. Barkley treated wounded Confederate soldiers and aided their families despite his opposition to the Civil War, and served as local postmaster during the war.
During reconstruction, Barkley headed the county Registration Board which denied the vote to former Confederate supporters. He was appointed County Judge in 1867, and used Federal troops to maintain order. With great courage, he fought to protect the rights of ex slaves. He left office after Democrats won all county offices in 1873. He remained active in law and medicine throughout North Texas for the remainder of his life. (See Exhibit A)
|1899||A 14’ X 40’ lot sold for $12|
|1906||Holl Hardisty purchased a plot|
|1909||Rufe Snow purchased a plot|
Burial & Ownership Listings
The cemetery maintains a computer listing of people buried in the cemetery. It also has a computer listing of lot ownership.
These records are currently maintained by Bill Reeves. Cheryl Helton, secretary, maintains a membership listing.
Civil War Veterans
There was no record of the Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery prior to 1993.
In response to a request in a newsletter sent out by the cemetery association, Elmo Dungan provided the names and locations of 12 Civil War veterans and one Spanish American War veteran buried in the cemetery.
On 11/171996, the Children of the Confederacy placed flags on the Confederate graves and on the grave of H. V. Calvin USA.
There was a May 3, 1998 Dedication Ceremony of Eight Iron Crosses Honoring Confederate Service by Members of the Nicola Marschall 757 Chapter Childrens of the Confederacy. Bryan Flippo, president, presented the welcoming speech for the cemetery, and Bill Reeves presented a History of Birdville Cemetery at the ceremony, which was conducted in Civil War era costumes. Exhibit B
On 4/24/1999, The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War placed a new marker on the grave of H. V. Calvin. (See Exhibit C)
We now know of 46 Confederate and one Union Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery.
The Association mailed an annual Newsletter to the members from 1991 through 1995.
The cemetery is governed by a set of By Laws that have been amended a number of times over the years. Attached as Exhibit D is a copy of a form indicating that By Laws of Mount Olivet Cemetery was used as a basis for the first By Laws of the Birdville Cemetery, and it lists exceptions and additions to their By Laws in formulating the one for the Birdville Cemetery.
There are three Historical Markers in the cemetery.
Near the front gate is a Texas State Historical Marker which was dedicated on 5/29/1976. Ronnie Stevenson, president, delivered the response, and George Angle gave a history of the cemetery. (Exhibit E)
A Texas State Historical Marker, in the south end of the cemetery, was dedicated to Judge Benjamin Franklin Barkley on 9/9/1979. The response was given by Ronnie Stevenson, president, and the marker was unveiled by three descendants of B. F. Barkley. (Exhibit A)
The third Texas State Historical Marker, also in the south end of the cemetery, was dedicated to A. F. Leonard for his numerous contributions to the community.
Booth Family Contributions
Maude Booth donated the chain link fence around the cemetery in memory of her mother and father. The fence is one of the principal reasons that vandalism has not been a major factor in the cemetery. Because of the fence, the cemetery is able to be locked at all times, with the combination available upon request.
The estate of Loyd Booth, a past president, and a brother of Maude Booth, donated$10,000 to the cemetery, which was added to the permanent fund.
Lloyd Booth, a nephew of Loyd Booth, has also made monetary contributions to the cemetery, including one third of the cost of the new wrought iron gate.
Of course, many other families have made significant contributions to the cemetery, but the Booth family is mentioned because of the major impact of the fence in preserving the integrity of the cemetery.
The flag pole was donated to the cemetery by Mary Reeves Hunderup.
The cemetery has a road system that circles throughout the cemetery. It is of interest that in August, 1933, that a funeral home donated $35 to the cemetery to apply to building a new road. The existing roads were recently paved by the county as a result of a request by Betty Porter, director.
A request was made to the county, by president Roger Brooks, to build the loop in the south end of the cemetery. The cemetery also has tentative plans to build a direct access to Belknap, which entails many complications.
The sign at the corner of Cemetery Road and Belknap was donated by Leslie Angle and Bill Reeves.
Cemetery Burial Requirements
The cemetery cooperates with the various funeral homes pertaining to burials in the cemetery. Two directors, currently George Angle & Roger Brooks, have been appointed to handle sales, to mark graves, and to assist in placement of tombstones. Burials require a vault or cement grave liner. If there is no marker on the grave, the funeral homes are requested to get a deposit, currently $300, which is refunded if a stone is place on the grave within a year. Grave spaces currently sell for $1,500, and spaces in the Garden of Eden (cremains) for $500 each.
Stone of Honor
For many years, the Association honored people who had made outstanding service to the cemetery by passing a resolution and entering their names in the minutes of the annual meeting. In 1991. Edna Anderson and Lynn Fisher were conferred titles of Life Members and Honorary Members of the Board of Directors. Because of their significant contributions over the years, the president, Bill Reeves, decided there should be a permanent, visible, recognition of such service. The president suggested a Wall of Honor near the front gate.
In 1992, a Recognition Committee was appointed to establish a permanent memorial, which became the Stone of Honor. The committee consisted of:
|Dale Boaz, Chairman||Yvonne Flippo||Cheryl Helton|
The committee looked at monuments that had been placed by Cheek Monuments and decided on a stone similar to the Stone of Honor. The Stone of Honor is inscribed “In recognition of dedicated service and leadership inperpetuation of the Birdville Cemetery” and the original honorees were:
|Reginald & Edna Anderson||Leslie Angle||B. F. Barkley||Loyd Booth|
|Maude Booth||E. F. Crites, Sr.||Charles Haslett||Mary Hunderup|
|Fred & Callie McCullar||Dick Melbourne||Noble Norman||Guy Reeves|
|W. O. Reves|
In 1994, the following names were added:
|Dale Boaz||Yvonne Flippo||Wilson O. Boaz||Bill Reeves|
In 2006, 2011, and 2012, respectively, added to the Stone of Honor were:
|Bobby Hunderup||Roger Brooks||Cheryl Newton Helton|
2016 addition to the Stone of Honor:
Rachel & Wilson Boaz
Dr. Wilson O. Boaz
Dr. Wilson Boaz was a veterinarian, who served in World II and the Korean Wars, and was a long time member of the Board of Directors. Wilson’s dedication and service to the cemetery merited inclusion on the Stone of Honor. He is receiving mention because of a very special contribution to the cemetery. He proposed and implemented a plan to insert concrete markers, with four numbers on each marker in the cemetery as reference points to identify the location of lots and grave sites. He supervised the installation of the markers, which were inserted in the cemetery by volunteers using sharpshooters. These markers facilitated the later preparation of a computerized plat of the cemetery.
For many years, the cemetery used as its record of lot ownership and burial locations, a surveyor’s outline of the cemetery with the lot ownership and burials drawn on it by hand. The ones drawing the lots and grave spaces on the plat did a very good job, but, of course it was not, necessarily, drawn to scale or placed precisely on the plat.
In 1991, Bill Reeves, president, proposed the preparation of a new plat and had the cemetery surveyed. He tried unsuccessfully to find a draftsman who could draw in the lots and grave spaces to scale. Charles O’Hara, a draftsman, suggested to Reeves that he talk to O’Hara’s son-in-law, David Kellogg, about the possibility of developing such a plat using a computer. Kellogg undertook this monumental task for a rather modest fee. In developing the plat, he located all of the markers previously buried in the cemetery and entered them on the plat. At the suggestion of Reeves, he inserted unused grave spaces, which greatly facilitate finding, marking graves for burial, and sales locations.
The plat was completed in 1993 and has proved to be very valuable in cemetery operations. Kellogg later prepared such a plat for the Arwine Cemetery, and another cemetery.
Operation of the cemetery is financed from interest derived from investment of a Permanent Fund, and from gifts and bequests designated for specific purposes by donors. The Fund is increased from all funds received as annual fees, special gifts and bequests (unless designated for a specific purpose by the donors), lease rentals and royalties from mineral leases. and sales of lots and grave sites.
Prior to 1970, the maintenance of the cemetery was financed by a yearly donation of $10 per family, which was recognized as too small a fee considering the cost of labor and the number of graves. It was therefore decided to attempt to try to raise $40,000 to establish a permanent fund. A plea for contributions to the permanent fund was made by Leslie Angle, president, by letter dated 4/2/1970 (Exhibit F) to the membership. It was stated there were only a limited number of grave spaces for sale, so revenue could not be counted on from that source. There were about 278 family groups represented in the cemetery, but it was felt that they could depend on only about 100 families to raise the money.
The steering committee consisted of:
|Mrs. Callie McCullar||Loyd Booth|
|Guy Reeves||Mrs. Juliet Barkley Gibbons|
|Mrs. Mary Ellen Snow Greenfield||Mrs. E. F. Crites, Sr.|
|W. O. (Bill) Reeves||Mrs. Mary Hunderup|
Exhibit G is a copy of a letter, dated 4/27/1970 to Leslie Angle, president, from E. F. Crites, Sr., chairman of the drive. advising the cemetery to hold the funds in savings at all times and to use only the interest for expenses and upkeep of the cemetery. This advice has guided the Board of Directors to this day.
Cemetery Charter & Tax Exemption
The Birdville Cemetery Association was originally chartered for 50 years in 1917 by W. O. Reves, president. The cemetery charter was extended for 50 years by the State of Texas in 1967. By letter dated 12/18/1968, the U. S. Treasury Department concluded the cemetery was exempt from federal income taxes, and that contributions received for exclusive public purposes are deductible from income taxes (Exhibit H).
|1980||Charlie Haslett began maintaining the cemetery.When Edna Anderson became president, she requested Charlie to take over maintenance, which he ably did by himself for about 10 years.Charlie was also elected to the Board ofDirectors, and is on the Stone of Honor.|
|2006-2008||Gerick Schraub--Green Earth Landscaping|
|2008 – Present||AJ Southwest resumed maintenance|
Vandalism is always a problem in a cemetery as alluded to above.
Examples: In 1990, the south fence was cut twice, the barb wire on top of the fence, in the SE corner, was cut.The door on the tool shed was removed and a push mower and flag were stolen.The riding mower was also removed from the shed but proved too heavy to get over the concrete wall.
In September, 1993, 13 large stones were overturned, and the East fence was cut.Using an automotive motor hoist,Dale Boaz, William Boaz,Leslie Angle, Bill Flippo, Charlie Haslett, and Bill Reeves put the stones back and glued them in place.
A number of measures have been taken to discourage vandalism:
The gate to the cemetery is kept locked.
The old tool shed was moved closer to the front gate, and a new sturdy door was installed.The old tool shed has now been replaced.
Three mercury vapor lights were installed, with the help of a monetary donation from Helen Ruth Brooks Smith.
At that time, a water line was run into the cemetery for Association use only.
The construction of a Gazebo for the cemetery resulted from a remark by Yvonne Flippo at an annual meeting that the entrance needed to be beautified.Yvonne suggested installation of a flower bed.A bid was obtained from AJ Southwest to construct the flower bed, which would have been quite expensive.The committee appointed to handle this project consisted of:
Gayle Crouch, Landscape Committee Chairperson
Dale Boaz, vice president Birdville Cemetery Association (BCA)
Wilson D. Boaz, treasurer BCA
Todd Flippo, president BCA
At the 2003 Annual Meeting, it was decided to add a gazebo near the front entrance to the cemetery.None of the Permanent Fund was used for the project.The committee solicited donations,by letter, for the project.Upon completion, Todd Flippo, president, issued thanks to Bobby Hunderup, Dale Boaz, Bill Reeves, Nora Lee Elkins, Edna Anderson, and the Callaway Estate for their hard work and donations to the project.
The gazebo was built by Bobby Hunderup, and a helper. It is located near the front gates. The Gazebo is a beautiful addition to the cemetery, and provides a place for the annual meeting, burials, the annual picnic by the Birdville Historical Society, etc.
As mentioned previously, the old tool shed was moved near the front entrance to discourage theft and vandalism.It contained the riding mower, when Charlie Haslett mowed the cemetery, as well as walking mowers and other tools.It became an eye sore, and deteriorated.It was torn down and removed by Roger Brooks in 2006.The termites sadly bid it adios.
In 2005, Bobby Hunderup, constructed a brick Tool Shed in the south end of the cemetery.He built a very sturdy building with metal doors.Donations were solicited construct the building.
Wrought Iron Gates
For years, the gate to the entrance of the cemetery was the chain link gate donated by the Maude Booth Estate.It was decided to enhance the entrance, and a new wrought iron gate was donated by Lloyd Booth, Roger Brooks, and Bill Reeves.
Prepared by Bill Reeves - 12/27/12
I apologize for any errors or omissions in the data above.There may be some errors in dates.Where I was unsure about the date I have inserted a “?”.