Denver Cemetery - Montague County, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 33° 31.613 W 097° 41.733
14S E 621131 N 3710461
Quick Description: Besides a monument down the road, Denver Cemetery is all that remains of the community of Denver, with at least 150 burials. Practically inactive by the middle of the 20th century, there are still occasional burials here.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 3/28/2014 1:36:11 PM
Waymark Code: WMKE1J
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Max Cacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
The 150 figure is what we know, but there are plenty of field stones here that mark the graves of both early settlers and possibly even natives. The Denver monument stands north of here (Dry Valley and Posey Brewer Roads, southeast corner) at the site of the town's well, where business once thrived . It honors the vanished community and those settlers who made it what it was:

Denver

Townsite Settled 1857
Post Office 1880 - 1903

Families Who Settled In The Area Before 1900
Kilgore
Wainscot[t]
Savage
McDonald
Willingham
Davis
Moore
White
Bigger
Jackson
Taylor
Thompson
McFarland
Holbrook
Messer
Roberts
Dowdy
Grissiom
Stephens
Schoolfield
Younger
Gardenshire [sic]
Williams

"Wainscott" is the more common variant, and "Gardenhire" is what you'll find when you walk the cemetery.

Early families were the Wainscotts, Jacksons, Kilgores, McDonalds, and Willinghams, among others. The monument at the old townsite is more comprehensive. The Denver community has its roots in conflict, when settlers recently arrived from Iowa had an encounter with the local natives on August 25, 1858. Initially a friendly exchange, including some trading, the natives returned later in the day, considerably less pleasant than earlier. In the ensuing fight, two young men, Dan Wainscott and Jack Kilgore, were killed, and other settlers were injured in driving off the natives. One wandered in the woods for three days with her baby before they were found by their companions. Wainscott and Kilgore were buried in what is now known as Denver Cemetery, with nothing obvious to mark their graves, although the cemetery has many fieldstones indicating burials.

It is possible, but undocumented, that the name "Denver" has the same source as its larger cousin in Colorado: The early settlers passed through Kansas Territory and Indian Territory en route to the area. At the time, the governor of Indian Territory was James W. Denver, who was also Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

The final battle between settlers and natives took place in the summer of 1872, between Denver and Sunset, when Crede Roberts killed one of the chiefs, routing the natives. Until this time, the settlers had been wary of spreading deep roots, but after the battle, the local population began to grow, under the protection of a ranger fort, and farming increased, with cotton and corn as the main crops. Cattle on the Chisholm Trail were occasionally driven through the area. Within a few years, Denver had become a village of about seventy-five people. By the late 1870s, there was a number of businesses, including stores that dealt in dry goods, groceries, and hardware, a drugstore, a cotton gin, a weight house (which later hosted a barber shop), a grist mill, and a saw mill, and there were two local physicians. There was also a school that went through high school level, multiple churches, and an active Odd Fellow lodge. The post office followed, but it closed in 1903 after rural mail routes were established in nearby Sunset. By 1880, the town was in decline, with cotton weevils progressively curtailing cotton production, and by World War I, residents were moving out and looking for better lives elsewhere. Classes in the school were held until the 1930s.

All the old Denver buildings are gone, torn down. Besides the Denver monument, the only vestige of Denver is the Denver Cemetery, which still sees the occasional burial of a descendant of one of those same pioneer families who arrived in 1858.

Thanks to the Montague County Historical Commission for providing documentation related to Denver so I could create this brief narrative.
The Name of the Cemetery: yes

City, Town, or Parish / State / Country: yes

Post a Picture of the Cemetery into this Waymark gallery: yes

Approximate number of graves: yes

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