also called McCulloch Cemetery or Williams Cemetery
Contributed by Jean Caddel
Sources: Research of Hubert "Doc" Henderson, descendant of Francis & James McCulloch; Memorial and Biographical History Ellis County, 1892 and information from Kelly Witten Bilbo.
Major Alexander McCulloch II died in Tennessee in 1846. His wife, Frances Fisher Lenoir McCulloch, came to Ellis County about 1854 to join her sons, John, James and Alexander III. She lived with James (near Files Valley, southwest of Maypearl) where she died in 1866 and is buried in a family cemetery there. Two other sons, Gen. Ben McCulloch and Gen. Henry Eustace McCulloch lived in another area of Texas.
Gen. Benjamin McCulloch fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, was a Texas Ranger, Captain in the Mexican War and Brigader General in the Civil War. He was killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge and is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
After Jane McCulloch's death, the land was sold to Nelson G. Witten in 1871 and remained in that family until it was sold in 1980. The two acre plot location of the cemetery and home place, was reserved and remains in the Witten family. In 1938, Frances McCulloch was re-interred beside her son, General Benjamin McCulloch, so honored for being the only known mother of two generals. Her original stone lay broken in the old cemetery until 1998-99 when McCulloch and Witten descendants restored this historical spot.
The cemetery is located on the Carter Farms 1.5 miles this side of the Hill County line. Take Hwy 66 from Maypearl to Itasca. An old windmill still stands at the first gate past the Carter house. The cemetery is directly behind the windmill and can be seen from the road. In February 1999 the stones were taken down for repairing and cleaning and are now in a fenced enclosure. The gate is locked and permission is needed to enter.
John McCulloch, son of Frances Lenoir McCulloch, lived 2-3 miles southeast of James [location of McCulloch-Witten Cemetery]. Originally it was located on the old Chisolm Trail between Waxahachie and Hillsboro. The property now belongs to the Bell Branch Ranch - a game preserve - and one must have permission to visit the cemetery which is unfenced and not maintained. Burials here began after 1870. Flooding is bad during rainy seasons. Nine burials are said to be here - including that of little Joe Williams - but only five markers have been found. It has been inventoried in 1956, 1978, 1996 and 1999.
[The following was added 18 June 2018.]
McCulloch – Witten Cemetery
6 miles west of Maypearl
James Coffee McCulloch (1819-1866) purchased this land in 1856 from the family of the original grantee, W. O. Wheeler.
James's mother Frances Fisher LeNoir McCulloch; is well noted because five of her sons were military men:
1 was a Private; 2 were Majors, and 2 were Generals-they fought in various wars such as The War for Texas Independence, Mexican War, and The War Between the States. With the most notable being General Ben McCullough.
Frances McCulloch (1779-1866) was originally buried here and her broken stone is still legible. However, in 1938, following the 1936 Texas Centennial; her body was moved to the TX State Cemetery in Austin to be buried and memorialized with her son Gen. Ben McCulloch.
This land was later sold to Nelson G. Witten, a Texas Ranger, who moved to Ellis County in 1866 due to Indian problems in Wise Co. The land remained with Witten descendants till 2000. They cared for the cemetery, having cleaned and fenced it.