Janice Williams

Tombstone Tuesday: J.M.C.

In Gravestones, RIchard Tankersley Cunningham, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on August 25, 2015 at 1:59 am

Tuesday has come again and we find ourselves once more in the Newburg Cemetery.

DCF 1.0

This is the grave of James Mitchell Cunningham. It is near the “center” of the cemetery, near the graves of Captain James and Susannah Cunningham. James was their grandson.

But his grave was in the cemetery before their graves were. Sadly, he was just 17 when he died.

James was the first son of Richard and Louella Cunningham—Uncle Dick and Aunt Lou to most people in the family and the community. I believe he was the seventh grandchild in the Cunningham family, with Betty, Aaron, and John already having children. James was born March 20, 1866, less than a year after the last shot was fired in the Civil War and while Texas was under the Reconstruction government. He was likely named after his grandfather.

James died just before his 18th birthday on January 17, 1884.

Aaron and Dave had each lost a wife in the years before James died. Both are buried in the Albin Cemetery. Aaron and Minerva had 3 babies die and they are all buried in the Albin Cemetery. Betty’s daughter Zimarou had died in 1880 in childbirth. She also was only 18 when she died. She and the baby are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Comanche. I believe James Mitchell Cunningham is the very first member of our Cunningham family to be buried in the Newburg Cemetery.

Imagine how the cemetery looked then with so few graves. And imagine Dick and Lou, their brothers and sisters and in-laws, James and Susannah, and probably every neighbor in the community there for the funeral (assuming there was a funeral).

I do not know the cause of James Mitchell Cunningham’s death. Maybe someone in the Richard family does and can inform me. The earliest photo I have of the Richard Cunningham family is from 1890 with their other 10 children that were born after James.

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  1. Yes, Janice– I echo cousin Chris! This website is a breath of connection and grounding when I really need it– thanks!

  2. Thanks Janice! Love Tombstone Tuesdays!

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