Stiff Homestead -- Stiff Chapel Cemetery, New Hope TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 33° 15.443 W 096° 31.257
14S E 730936 N 3682561
Quick Description: James Stiff, son of homesteader Jesse Stiff, was buried next to his father's house on the Stiff homestead in 1847. Later that land was deeded as Stiff Chapel Cemetery
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 12/5/2017 2:55:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMX71Q
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 3

Long Description:
The state historic marker for the Stiff Chapel Cemetery is located along Collin Co Rd 412, at the driveway of a ranch which occupies the former Jesse Stiff homestead. The cemetery is located on the ranch, and is accessible in accordance with state law from dawn to dusk by going through the open driveway gate, and taking the left-hand fork of the road. The right-hand fork leads to the private home.

The state historic maker reads as follows:

(one-half mile south)

Jesse Stiff (1796-1871) came to Texas from Virginia in 1835 and settled on several thousand acres of land in this area. His brother, Louis, arrived in 1849, and a community known as Stiff Chapel developed around their homesteads. In 1847, Jesse's son, James, died while serving as a Texas Ranger. He was buried near his father's house on land that later was deeded as the Stiff Chapel Cemetery. Most of the graves in the two-acre family burial ground date from the 1800s. The last burial in the Stiff Chapel Cemetery, that of Minnie Swaim, took place in 1935. (1984)"

The flat engraved tombstone of James Stiff reads as follows:

to the
Son of Jesse and Mary
Born Oct 11th 1829
Died Sept 10 1847
Aged 17 years 11 mo
and 7 days"

From the Collin County History website: (visit link)



Jesse Stiff and his family came to this area in 1835 making them some of the earliest settlers in the county. This was ten years before Texas became a state. He fought in the Mexican War in 1846. A section of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 provided that all heads of families living in Texas at the time of the Declaration of Independence (March 2, 1836) were entitled to one league and one labor of land (4605.5 acres). Jesse Stiff claimed his one league and one labor about seven miles northeast of McKinney. The creek going through his land was called Stiff Creek.

A small community grew in this area called Stiff Chapel. In 1856 land was donated for a school. Wallis Chapel Christian Church was on a hill nearby. This cemetery is 2 acres surrounded by a 6-foot chain-link fence. The first grave in the cemetery was for James Stiff, a Texas Ranger, who was a son of Jesse Stiff. He came home sick and died on September 10, 1847. This makes the cemetery one of the oldest ones in the county. The cemetery is in fairly good condition. The western side of the cemetery is grass while the eastern side has heavy trees. The fence could use a little work and the trees could be trimmed. The grass has not been cut this year but it had been cut the previous year. Several of the stones could be repaired. Some of the early stones came from the rock quarry near Farmersville.

According to COLLIN COUNTY CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS I, there are 100 graves here. About ½ that amount are evident. There is a row of old stones for the Stiff family that have been laid flat and set in concrete. The deed for the cemetery is listed in Vol. 55, p 625.

The cemetery has a historical marker.
Cemeteries of Collin County, Texas, by Joy Gough"
Link to the Homestead: [Web Link]

Structure Type: Stone

History if no Link: Not listed

Additional Parking or Point of Interest: Not Listed

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Stiff Homestead -- Stiff Chapel Cemetery, New Hope TX 12/3/2017 Benchmark Blasterz visited it