115th District Judge Lauren Parish unveiled the marker in a Sunday afternoon ceremony at the site on FM Road 2454.
“We’re so proud of that marker,” Mrs. Carroll told The Mirror. She termed the ceremony “one of the nicest things I’d been to in my whole life.”
In her address, the text of which she furnished the newspaper, Mrs. Carroll said the cemetery dates from 1866 (the date of the first marked burial), but that evidence of earlier interments were marked by sandstone markers which have faded away or sunk into the gravesites.
The Mt. Gilead Primitive Baptist Church founded the cemetery before its one-room building (which also served as a school) was erected next to the graveyard 24 years later, she said.
Mrs. Carroll pointed out that other than deed record books in the county courthouse, one of the earliest written records of Upshur County events is an old volume of the minutes of the church, which was organized in July 1848. It met at members’ homes for the first 24 years it existed, she said, and the minutes were written in crushed poke berry juice, nearly too dim to read.
On March 8, 1872, church deacons Manyard S. Harriss and W.H.C. Bullard bought for $1 the tract of land where the cemetery is still maintained today, Mrs. Carroll said.
She cited some notable parts of the church minutes, such as the May 1852 admittance to membership of a slave, the dismissal of a woman from the congregation that summer for “dancing and persisting in it,” and an 1859 notation that the members had set apart May and September as “times for communion and foot washing.”
Though minutes were recorded fairly regularly from 1861-1865, the years of the Civil War, “not one mention of the war was made,” Mrs. Carroll added. The final minutes were recorded in February 1866.
Also at the Nov. 24 ceremony, Rev. Huey Jones said a prayer, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American and Christian flags, and read names of 20 veterans from six wars buried at the site.
Also speaking was Rockwall resident Wilma Williams Brown, who is related to many of the veterans. Upshur County Historical Commission Chairman Jim Daniels welcomed the audience, which included some members of the Gilmer-based American Legion R.E. “Peppy” Blount Post No. 320.
American flags were placed at each veteran’s gravesite, and that large American flags were placed on the cemetery gate and at the historical marker for the ceremony.
The 20 known veterans buried at Brumley, and a few details about them, include:
• Bagley, Harold Mac “Jinks,” 1918-1971, TX TEC4 MP, WWII.
• Bagley, W.H. (William Henry),1849-1919, TX Cal, Co. 1, 25th Reg., CSA.
• Capps, Joe Alex, 1910-1977, PFC, U.S. Army, WWII
• Cason, Richard L., 1948-2005, SP5, U.S. ARmy, Vietnam; Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals.
• Courtney, Lemuel W., 1836-1896, Co. A, 9th Reg., Cav., CSA.
• Crabtree, William Gray “Dub,” 1925-1995, MM3 U.S. Navy, WWII.
• Efurd, John Adam, 1822-1878, Co. C, Jefferson Davis Legion, CSA.
• Gibson, Thomas Lane, 1824-1882, Co. C, 10 TX Cav. James H. Rucker’s Co., CSA.
• Harris, John Carroll, 1833-unknown, Co. H, 2 TX Cav., CSA, Texas Ranger.
• Harris, M.O.S., 1840-1882, Sgt. of F, 14th TX Infantry, CSA.
• Ipsen, Charles C. “Ippy,”1921-1997, Pvt., U.S. Army, WWII.
• Lambert, Carey E. (“Crook”) 1922-1992, PHM1, U.S. Navy, WWII, North African Invasion, USS Edward Rutledge.
• Massoletti, Gerald Ray, 1931-1978, U.S. Navy, Korea.
• Massoletti, V.A., 1925-2003, PR2, U.S. Navy, WWII.
• Seay, Albert Washington, 1833-1914, Co. K, 12th Alabama, Inf., CSA.
• Steele, Thomas, 1824-1915, 7th Reg., TX Cav., CSA.
• Strange, George R., 1880-1970, TX F1, U.S. Navy, Spanish-American War.
• Williams, Clarence A., 1895-1983, U.S. Army, WWI.
• Williams, Henry H., 1916-1974, Tx PFC, U.S. Army, WWII.
• Williams, L.G., 1920-1982, SC2, U.S. Navy, WWII.