Osage Community Cemetery


Little Histories

A little history on the individuals buried at Osage Community Cemetery are provided on this page. Any descendent of those buried in this cemetery can offer additional information to be added to this page. There are links to this page from the Map Linked Alphabetical Listing by Name page for those we have additional information for.

Arthur Lee Burford (1876 - 1900)

Arthur L. Burford Arthur Lee Burford, the son of William Thomas and Mattie Pinchback Burford, was born October 17, 1876 and died January 5, 1900. He had recently graduated from the University of Texas law school and begun his practice in Columbus, Texas. His father was sheriff of Colorado County at this time. A trial of a prisoner had been moved to Bastrop and many people from Columbus took the train to attend the trial. Arthur accompanied his father to Bastrop. The judge postponed the trial, and as Arthur left the court house with two other men and walked down a street in Bastrop, someone began shooting and Arthur dropped dead with a bullet to his head. No one was ever prosecuted for his death.

The night before he died, Arthur wrote his mother in Columbus that they had arrived safely and that everything was quiet in Bastrop. The Rangers were there and he was confident that peace would prevail. His mother received the letter after she learned that he had been shot.

Arthur´s parents buried him in Osage near his grandparents, Francis Marion and Cordelia Ann Shaw Burford. His family never truly recovered from his senseless death.

Information and photo provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

Charlotte Eldora Burford (1880 - 1893)

Charlotta Eldora Burford was known as Dora to her family. Eight months after her birth her mother died from lingering ill effects of childbirth and was buried in the Osage Cemetery. At that time, the family lived in Schulenburg where Dora's father, Dr. Jonathan Edward 'Ned' Burford practiced medicine. Ned had been born and raised in Osage, and had attended school there, before moving on to Texas Military Institute in Austin and medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans.

After his wife's death, Dr. Ned Burford continued to practice in Schulenburg and in 1885, he married Grace Cameron in Colorado County. He relocated his practice to Patterson in Walker County. He and Grace had three additional children, two girls and a son, but only the two girls lived to maturity.

In January of 1893, little Dora visited her aunt Florence Marion Burford Weller, her father's sister, and her family in Austin, Texas. While there, she wrote to her cousin, Fay Burford, a daughter of Ned's brother, William Thomas Burford who was living in Osage.

Her very beautiful and precise handwriting and her loving letter to a young eight year old cousin exemplifies the family's close ties. But child like, Dora proudly tells what all she had gotten for Christmas and inquires what Fay had gotten. The two boys she mentions in her letter, Clarence and Burford, are her Weller cousins who she is visiting in Austin. The other children mentioned, Mamie and little Mattie, are Fay's sisters.

In July 1893, six months after writing this letter, Dora visited friends and relatives in Osage and tragically drowned in Harvey's creek. Her body was taken to the home of her uncle William Thomas Burford, Fay's father. Dora was buried in Osage Cemetery near her mother and Burford grandparents.

My grandmother, Fay Burford Youens, carefully saved little Dora's letter.

Information and photo and transcript of letter provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

Cordelia Ann Burford (1831 - 1889)

Cordelia Ann Burford Home of Cordelia Ann and F.M. Burford Cordelia Ann Shaw Burford was born on July 25, 1831. She married Francis Marion Burford in Hardemann County, Tennessee on October 22, 1849. They came to Colorado County, Texas in about 1850 and settled in Osage, Texas.

A petite woman, she had a family of eight children, all born in Osage except the first who was born in Tennessee. She died Nov. 26, 1889 in Weimar.

Information and photos provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

Francis Marion Burford (1823 - 1877)

Francis Marion Burford Francis Marion Burford was born November 26, 1823, in Tennessee, the fourth of eleven children of Dr. Jonathan Burford and Euphemia Nancy Chaffin. Whether or not he had been named for Francis Marion of American Revolutionary War fame is a matter of speculation. Jonathan´s father had served in the war, and it is within the realm of possibility, that Jonathan felt naming his son for an American hero was in order.

After Euphemia´s death, Dr. Jonathan married the widow, Harriet B. Campbell. They had four children. Dr. Jonathan died in March 1849 and in his will generously provided for his widow Harriet and all his children.

According to his father´s will, Francis Marion received two slaves, Tom and Mary, valued at about $1200, a horse bridle and saddle bed and furniture, all of which he had already received except the bed and furniture. Francis married Cordelia Ann Shaw on October 22, 1849, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Their first child, William Thomas Burford, was born July 24, 1850 in Tennessee.

Soon after William Thomas´ birth, Francis Marion and Cordelia joined with other families and moved to Colorado County, Texas. Francis´ sister, Caroline Sharp, and her husband Dr. Thomas W. Harris were already in Texas and probably were the inspiration for the move. Harriet and her children joined the group of settlers that included Shaws, Yorks, and Campbells. Many of the group settled on property along Little Harvey´s Creek in Colorado County in an area that came to be called Osage.

Land records for Colorado County show the first recorded land purchase by F. M. Burford was for 500 acres in the F. Pettus Survey purchased from Mary A. Harvey on August 18, 1852. A map of the subdivision of the H. Austin Haciendo, south of of the Pettus Survey, shows a house just north of the Austin haciendo, inside the Pettus Survey, clearly labeled Burford. This undoubtedly was the home place of F. M. and Cordelia Ann Burford.

Francis Marion and Cordelia had seven additional children born in Texas. He prospered as a cotton and corn planter prior to the Civil War. The 1860 Colorado County Census shows his real estate valued at $16,000 and personal assets valued at $24,000.

According to the book Texas and Texans, 1 when the Civil War started, Francis, being loyal to the Southern cause, tried to enlist. He was 37 years old and was rejected four times before finally being inducted as Major. In that capacity, his command got as far as the Mississippi River where they learned the war was over. Like many others, he was in debt at the end of the War but through diligence and hard work he was able to pay off his debts and provide well for his family, as well as generously help others in need.

A firm believer in education, Francis and Cordelia sent three of their sons to Texas Military Institute in Austin in the 1870s. Family letters document that William Thomas, Jesse E., and Robert Franklin all attended T.M.I.

As his tombstone indicates, Francis was a Mason. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and served as a steward in the Osage church. Letters from his son William show that the family felt strongly about their religion.

Francis Marion and Cordelia are both buried in the Osage Community Cemetery. Other Burford relatives are buried near by, including Francis Marion´s sister, Phoebe Burford Shaw, his son Robert Franklin Burford, his daughter Sallie Burford Bock and her husband Harmon. Four grandchildren are buried near, including three children of his son William Thomas and his wife Mattie Pinchback Burford and one child of his son John E. Burford and his wife Charlotta Eldora Clayton. William´s children are Arthur L. Burford, Willie Burford, and an unnamed infant son. John E.´s daughter Charlotta Eldora drowned in Harvey´s Creek while visiting her cousins in Osage. John E.´s wife also named Charlotta Eldora is buried next to their daughter.

Although Harriet Campbell Burford is not buried in the Osage Community Cemetery, a number of her descendants are.

Information and photo provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

1 Texas and Texans, pp. 1555-1556.

Robert Franklin Burford (1857 - 1890)

Robert Franklin Burford died of cancer in Austin, Texas. He had been ill and had gone there to seek medical attention. He wrote a poignant letter to his brother William Thomas Burford on May 26, 1890, saying he was going to have surgery and in the event that he did not survive, he wanted William to take care of his family. Robert Franklin, called Frank, died on May 30 and was buried in the Osage Community cemetery near his father and mother, Francis Marion and Cordelia Ann Burford.

Frank was married to Davie E. Hubbard on October 17, 1881, and at the time of his death, they had three small children, William Edward Burford born Dec. 5, 1883, Verna Belle Burford born 28th Dec. 1884, and Harry Otway Burford born Dec. 7th, 1887. Davie Hubbard Burford never remarried. She died on October 11, 1942 in Yoakum, Texas.

The letter that Frank wrote to his brother Will was written in pencil and is now very faint. Mary Elizabeth Hopkins, granddaughter of Will, transcribed it sometime before her death in 1990. It is now on file at the Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Information provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

Willie Burford (1891 - 1892)

Willie Burford was one of twin daughters born to William Thomas and Mattie Burford. The twins were born on Oct. 21, 1891, and were named Willie and Mattie Burford for their parents. Willie was larger than Mattie and always more robust. The family didn´t think Mattie would survive because she was so small. Mattie clung to life, however, and she and Willie were seven months old when Willie suddenly was taken ill. She died within a few days and the family was shocked. They had expected to lose Mattie, but not Willie. As it turns out, Mattie not only survived but lived to be ninety-nine years old. Willie died May 28, 1892.

W.T. Burford home in Osage, TX

Picture identification: 1. Mattie on the donkey named Pomp; 2. Lizzie; 3. Ned; 4. Frank; 5. Fay; 6. Dick; 7. Aunt Bell Burford; 8. Nimmy, the Black Maid; 9. Dan Chapman; 10. Mattie Pinchback Burford; 11. Visitor; 12. W.T. Burford

Information and photo provided by Mary Anne Pickens.

F.E. Caldwell (1823 - 1903)

memory card for F.E. CaldwellMemory card for F.E. Caldwell provided by Virginia S. Moerck.

John and Amey Campbell (1892)

John Jones and Amey McMillan Campbell Amey McMillan back of John and Amey Campbell marrage photo John Campbell and Amey McMillian were married September 15, 1892. They had three children; Sarah Faye (b: Aug. 17, 1893, d: Dec. 24, 1897), John Ray (b: 1898, d: 1976), and Charles David (b: Aug. 20, 1905, d: July 4, 2002).

The picture of Amey McMillan in the black dress is thought to be taken about a year before her marriage.

Information and photos provided by Virginia S. Moerck.

Sarah E. Campbell (1822 - 1889)

memory card for Sarah E. CampbellMemory card for Sarah E. Campbell provided by Virginia S. Moerck.

John Heinsohn, Jr. (1854 - 1894)

John Heinsohn, Jr. John Heinsohn, Jr. was the son of German immigrants, Johann (John) Heinsohn and Anna Meyer. Though his tombstone states he was born in 1850, he was actually born March 22, 1854 near New Ulm in Austin County. (His surname is also misspelled on his tombstone.) John married a neighbor, Maria "Louisa" Brune, in 1886 and they had two small children before moving to a farm in the Osage community around 1888. Three more children were born to the couple and his widowed father also lived with them at Osage.

John was only 39 when he was caught in a rainstorm while riding horseback to Richmond. He contracted pneumonia and died on February 6, 1894. Louisa married Wilhelm Rinn later that year and moved her family back to Austin County.

Information and photo provided by Rox Ann Johnson.

Gideon B. McLeary (1834 - 1860)

Gideon Blackburn McLeary was named for a Presbyterian clergyman who was active in the early 1800s in Tennessee and Kentucky, where he established schools and churches in pioneer communities. Gideon was only 26, and about to become licensed to practice law, when he died of a fever, leaving a widow (Jeannette Willis) and two young daughters. He came to Texas from western Tennessee with his father, brother, and other family members, in 1855.

Information provided by Sally Grey Weeks.

James McLeary (1788 - 1873)

James Allen McLeary is buried beside his youngest son, Gideon Blackburn. Although his wife, Eliza Allen Moore, died only a short time before the journey, James Allen came to Colorado County with some of his extended family from Tipton County, western Tennessee, in 1855. His farm homeplace was up Harveys Creek just two or three miles west of Osage community. James Allen´s son, Dr. Samuel Davies McLeary, was post master at Osage during the Civil War, and his wife, Sarah Ann Weller, was an early school teacher in the Osage community. Dr. Sam Davies and Sarah Ann are buried, along with an infant granddaughter, on the old McLeary place.

Information provided by Sally Grey Weeks.

Liza McMahan (1906 - 1993)

Liza (McLeary) McMahnElizabeth (Liza) McLeary was born in Weimar, the daughter of Dr. Sam B. McLeary and his wife, Mamie Kindred, and spend her childhood there. The family moved to Columbus in 1917. Liza was a great-granddaughter of James Allen McLeary, buried here in Osage Community cemetery.

Liza owned and operated The Style Shop in Columbus for several years during the late 1930s, then bought The Colorado County Citizen in 1943. She married Truman (Mac) McMahan, a Houston journalist, in 1946, and together they edited and published The Citizen until 1968. She once was voted Chamber of Commerce "Woman of the Year". After selling the Citizen Liza bought a small house near the east river bridge and established The Hodgepodge, where she started an antique business, and added a small kitchen. When she heard of British pub booths going for sale in a nearby town, she had an interior wall taken out to fit the booths into the house. Many travelers between Houston, San Antonio and Austin regularly stopped there for refreshments.

Liza supported a small local Humane Society for many years, and took in abandoned dogs and cats. To raise money for animal care and veterinarian fees, Liza and a few volunteers established The Rummage Room in a large empty building near the tracks on Milam Street in Columbus. This was an all-volunteer outfit, accepting and sorting donations of clothing and other items to sell at low prices to local customers.

Later, Liza moved to Glidden, where she had Liza´s Antiques, a small business refinishing amd selling wooden trunks from the 1800s and where she enjoyed visits from two nieces and their families.

Information and photo provided by Sally Grey Weeks.

Truman McMahan (1915 - 2002)

Truman R. McMahan grew up in Madison County, Texas, son of Henry L. and Rosa (Denman) McMahan. He served in the Armed Forces (radar unit) during WWII, attended Baylor University after the war and later worked at the Houston Post, then a Houston daily newspaper. When Truman, also known as "Mac", and Elizabeth "Liza" McLeary married in 1946, he came to live in Columbus. For many years he was active as editor, news writer, printer and columnist for the Colorado County Citizen, where Liza was owner and publisher.

Information provided by Sally Grey Weeks.

Peter Nave (1848 - 1873)

Peter Nave was the son of Michael Nave and Rhoda Ann Rue who married in Lexington, Kentucky. His parents, typical of many families in those days, moved often. Their first child, Catherine Elizabeth, was born in Kentucky in 1847, followed by Peter (1848) and his sister Josephine (1850) born in Ohio. The next child, Mary Love was born in Kentucky in 1852. After that the family moved to Texas in 1852 where they had their last two children, Martha (1854) and Sam (1858).

Peter Nave´s sister, Catherine Elizabeth, married Seaborn Stapleton. They and some of their descendants are buried in the Borden Cemetery.

Information provided by Kay Klauber.

James A. Taylor (1902 - 1904)

memory card for James A. TaylorMemory card for James A. Taylor provided by Virginia S. Moerck.

James S. Taylor (1875 - 1899)

memory card for James S. TaylorMemory card for James S. Taylor provided by Virginia S. Moerck.

Waymond W. Taylor (1879)

memory card for Waymond W. TaylorMemory card for Waymond W. Taylor provided by Virginia S. Moerck.