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Patton Cemetery - Crystal Beach, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
N 29° 27.745 W 094° 37.819
15R E 341908 N 3260325
Quick Description: Located off of Hwy 87 on Bob's Road in Crystal Beach. Once overgrown, it is now maintained. Unfortunately only three headstones remain of the at least ten burials from the mid 1800s.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 10/20/2019 3:55:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM11GFJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member elyob
Views: 1

Long Description:

According to Find A Grave - Also known as Yates Family Cemetery, Robertson Family Cemetery

From RootsWeb Texas Galveston Patton Cemetery Worksheet

The entire article was too large to fit here. Individual family histories were left off.
To view the entire text please see the link above.
The History of Patton Cemetery Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County, Texas

Researcher's Note: The following history of Patton Cemetery - sometimes called Yates Cemetery - is written by unknown authors. It is reproduced here for its historical content. I have not confirmed the accuracy of the content of this report, however much of this information is "common knowledge" on the Bolivar Peninsula. This report seems to have been written in the 1970 - 1980's. The town of Crystal Beach voted to abolish itself and is now an unincorporated area of Galveston County, Texas.

The location of the cemetery is on Bob's Road, off State Highway 87, about 12 miles north of the Bolivar Ferry landing. Turn north on Bob's Road. I visited the site on September 13, 1999, only to find it extremely overgrown with native vines and trees. The only marker found was the one with the inscription: She was self-sacrificing and beloved by all who knew her. No other markers were visible, but might be obscured by the dense undergrowth.

All tables, plates, copies or other type of attachment said to be with this report, are, unfortunately, not. For questions, please contact Floyd Hunter, at

There is a pioneer cemetery on the Bolivar Peninsula, located within the presently incorporated town of Crystal Beach, Texas. To reach this graveyard, one turns from State Highway 87 between the Ship's Inn building and the new waterslide, onto a crossroad leading toward the intracoastal canal. On the left, about 100 yards away, is a culvert that was established several years ago by the local American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Chapter 1591. There, in a complex of native trees plus some cultivated plants gone wild, one sees several inscribed tombstones, rather randomly situated.

In 1954, Mr. W. T. Hawes, of the Galveston County Engineering Department, listed the names and data on the six gravestones he discovered while making a survey in that area. At present, there are only five stones in position, in various stages of preservation:

  1. The Milton Yates marker is erect and well preserved, and the grave is surrounded by a crude fence consisting of four corner metal pipes held together by several strands of heavy wire;

  2. The stone of Robert Lyons Shaw is in generally good condition with rather elaborate carved designs, but a small piece of the upper right corner is missing;

  3. The Patton gravestone lies flat on the ground and is broken into several large pieces. The inscription is complete and in good condition, except that it gives only the name Patton, aged 46 years, and the death date of July 1, 1872. A separate stone has the initials C. R. P., which probably refers to C. R. Patton;

  4. The stone of Lorene W. Blalock is loose at ground base, but the inscription is good;

  5. A stone from which the top part that contained the essential date is missing has only the following anonymous inscription: "She was self-sacrificing and beloved by all who knew her." This apparently refers to Johannah Abrahamson or to Lizzie Griscom. (Photographs of the stones presently in the cemetery are shown in Plate I and in Plate II, in which some of the investigators of this cemetery are also seen.)

The significance of this cemetery has been stressed in several recent publications. In December of 1959, Vernon Lee Dugar, of the Beaumont Historical Society, mentioned the six names. The Beach Triton has an inspiring article on "The Pioneer Cemetery," in which the vandalism is lamented. Finally, Jerry Wall has published an article regarding the importance of the Patton Cemetery in The Beaumont Sunday Enterprise-Journal.

The cemetery was legally set aside when a hundred-acre tract was sold to Samuel H. Robertson by A. S. Merriman and his wife Therisa (Morgan) Merriman in 1880, and subsequently by Robertson to Charles Steinbach on August 28, 1882. The plat is 30 yards square, consists of 0.19 acres, and is 503.5 feet from the southeast corner of the Jonas Shaw Survey. According to A. L. Daniel, of the AARP, the present owner of the land adjacent to the cemetery, Mr. Bob Wicker, has offered to donate a bit of land around a grave that extends beyond the original plot.

It seems desirable to begin with the history of the Shaw Survey and with some of the relationships of the buried persons to each other, and to note the subsequent changes of land ownership in this area. Before progressing further, this study will deal with the family members of Jonas Shaw, who were closely associated with this cemetery.

Jonas Shaw surveyed a portion of the Bolivar Peninsula in the early 1830s, when Mexico had ownership. In 1836, after the capture of Santa Anna and the routing of the Mexican armies at San Jacinto, Texas became a Republic. It so remained until 1845, when it was made a state of the United States, seceding temporarily with the Confederacy during the Civil War (1861-1865).

In the 1840 Texas census, Jonas Shaw was listed as having 4620 acres of land under survey, based on a grant, but without final title conferred by the Grant Land Office.5 The land on Bolivar Point was patented to him by the state of Texas on May 12, 1846.

The area encompassed in Shaw's survey is shown in Map 16. It is a rectangular area completely including the Peninsula from the Gulf to East Bay, bounded on the west by the Samuel Parr Survey, which was made during the same time period, and on the east by the Van Nostrand and Burrell Frank early surveys.

Jonas Shaw leased 400 acres on the west end of his survey to Edmund Jacques Ridout and Josiah B. Benjamin (of Galveston). The lease was to endure until his youngest son (John M.) was of age, which was nineteen years old, and the charge was one dollar plus one peppercorn per year. Ridout immediately sold his portion of the lease to Benjamin for $50.00. Frank H. Merriman and I. Vansike were witnesses.

In 1847, Jonas Shaw died and left no will. On November 3, 1848, Martin Dunman, guardian of one of the heirs, Robert Lyons Shaw, filed a petition with the courts for Partition and Division of the estate among the heirs. A committee of three was appointed, namely Pryor Bryan, George Bryan, and Thomas B. Bryan, and the official decision was published on February 25, 1850. A daughter, Mary Ellen (Shaw) Dorsett, and her husband, William Dorsett, were also concerned in the partition. The youngest son, John M., had died in February of 1847. Pryor Bryan was to be the guardian of Amelia (Camelia) Shaw, but she was married in 1849 to Charles R. Patton. The three remaining minor children--Franklin D., Walter B., and Julia C.--were placed under the guardianship of Oscan Fausch, clerk of the court. There was also a son, William D., who was no longer a minor, and in 1849 the oldest son, Robert Lyons Shaw, had married his guardian's daughter, Sarah Dunman. The widow, Mrs. Amanda Shaw, was to remain administrator of the estate and to have control of her half of it, with the remainder divided proportionately among the other heirs, Mary Ellen Dorsett and her husband were awarded property in the westernmost part of the estate. Debts to Franklin H. Merriman, H. H. Hitchcock, and E. C Franklin were to be paid from the community estate.

In September 27, 1852, the widow of Jonas Shaw, Amanda C. Shaw, died without leaving a will. Her son, Robert Lyons Shaw, was also dead as of March 2, 1852. Probate records showed the estate holdings to be 3204 acres of land on Bolivar Peninsula and one labor of land on Cedar Point. Her oldest living son, William D. Shaw, was appointed administrator of the estate.


This is the end of the quoted report. Some spelling has changed since this was first written. Also, to the best of my ability, I have typed exactly as the original report was photocopied. Misspelled words/names were not edited or verified.

One additional grave was placed in this cemetery. It is the infant son, Edward David Naylor, born 25 July 1982, died 16 December 1982. Child of Frances Orlena Naylor and James Dodge Naylor.

During the early 1990's a group of people vandalized this cemetery and some of the grave markers were stolen. The markers were later recovered by the Port Arthur, TX. Police Department. As of this date, the markers have not been returned for placement in the Cemetery. If/when they are returned, this will be updated. As well as if any new burial information comes to light.


City, Town, or Parish / State / Country: Crystal Beach, Galveston County, TX, USA

Approximate number of graves: 4

Cemetery Status: Inactive Maintained

Cemetery Website: Not listed

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