Hart & Howard Cemeteries
 2 small cemeteries northeast of Decatur, Wise County, Texas
Directions, Tables of Information & 
Links to Headstone Pictures are below on this page

Click Here to go back to the Wise County TXGenWeb Home Page
(Click Here to go to Listing & Pictures of All Wise County Headstones)

Hart Cemetery

   Hart Cemetery is just to the east of the town of Greenwood. From Decatur go north on Fm Rd 51. Turn left on Fm Rd 1204. Go into the little town of Greenwood on CR 2640 or CR 2740. Go across the creek and up the hill about a mile. The gate to the cemetery is on the right where the road curves around a hill on the left. The cemetery is on the left in the woods just inside the gate.



    When Rosalie Gregg took us to this cemetery in December 2001 there was only one "crypt type" stone. She said that at one time there had been several headstones there.
The Hart and Greenwood families were the first settlers in the area. The town was named for the Greenwood’s, and the creek that runs by the town was named for the Hart’s. Greenwood cemetery is further down this road to the east. See the text to the Historical Marker that’s in the town of Greenwood on the Greenwood Cemetery page.
There was a circle with letters and symbols below the name and dates on the crypt cover. It is pictured below. The inscription on the crypt cover reads as follows:

In Rememberance
Of Nancy A. Baley Wife
Of Daniel J. Baley Was Born
Dec 25 AD 1842 Deseased
March 16 AD 1866


(About This Circle)
In May 2009 we received the following email

    This is a very special designation and rare, as far as we know.  This is a designation that was given only to females of Mason members, popular during the mid-1800's (death dates of approximately 1863-1929), in southern states.  The designation of FNDOZBTKC/AMRY, was a degree conferred in the US on wives, daughters, sisters, or mothers of Masons to secure them, by investing them in a peculiar mode of recognition, the aid and assistance of the fraternity, along with a secret sign of recognition.  
    The mark was: AMRY encircled by FNDOZBTKC.  As written in John 12:15 - Fear Not Daughter Of Zion Behold The King Cometh, (and AMRY being an anagram of Mary).  More information can be found in Coil's "Masonic Encyclopedia".  We are aware of only 12 such markers, all in southern states.
Patricia Welch
The Association for Gravestone Studies
Greenfield Corporate Center
101 Munson Street - Suite 108
Greenfield, MA 01301

(Another email from May 2009)
This one concerns Howard Cemetery below and links it to the headstone above

    I would imagine that the broken headstone with the letters "rn" was on a marker for Ernest Howard, the son of James Barton Howard and Suzanne "Polly" Helms Howard.  I am related to James Arnold Howard (married Hazel Truitt) who both still live in Greenwood.  They recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.  James was the son of Knowles Howard.  James is now 94 or 95 years old and still helps mow and tend the Greenwood Cemetery.  I would love to find out any further info on James Barton Howards 10 children and their descendents.  Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 
    The Wise Co. Web site is my favorite and your crew does an outstanding job. This latest info on the Mason inscription was fascinating and I never would have guessed it involved one of my cousins.  It is a constant wonder what turns up in our genealogy and a tribute to those of you who offer so much info for us.  

God Bless all of you.
Del Daniel in Southern California

Howard Cemetery

    The headstones for Suzanne Howard and Birdie Howard are located about 12 miles north of Decatur out Fm Rd 730. Go past CR 2445 (Brumbalow Road) and turn right in the "CG Bar Ranch" gate. This place is the old Murphy place and is now owned by Cody Gillispie who has Dal-Tex Enterprises there. He was kind enough to show us where this cemetery is.
From the front gate on FmRd 730 go straight on the pasture road over the hill and past a very large tank, or lake, on the left. On the right you will see a tall single mound. The cemetery is in a plowed (sprigged with coastal roots) field just behind this mound. The remains of two headstones can be seen in a small patch of trees in the center of the field.
One stone says "At Rest", has a cross, and the date 1875 or 78 at the bottom. The other stone is broken up into small pieces and all I could see was "rn &" on one piece.
We were told that at one time there was a headstone that stood about 3 feet high, but someone used it for "target practice" and not much remains now.




    Thank you to Wilema Howard England for giving us this information about her grandfather’s family.
She said that her grandfather, John B. Howard (1850-1921 – buried at Greenwood Cemetery) moved to this Brumbalow Community with his first wife, Suzanne "Polly" Helms Howard, and their son, Ernest. They lived on what they called Tater Hill near Boat Mound (shown in the 3rd picture above). "Polly" died in 1878 and was buried there.
Wilema has the letter that her grandfather, John, wrote to her grandmother saying that Ernest needed a mother and that he needed a wife. Lilly Caroline Chance Howard (1858-1948 – buried at Greenwood Cemetery) married John and they had 10 children together (Knowles, Della, Mark, Birdie, Robert, Mae, Joe, Ethel, Grace and Paul).
John and Lilly’s child, Birdie (1886-1887), was buried at this cemetery with John’s first wife, Suzanne "Polly".

Row # Name Born Date of Death Information Notes Link to Headstone Picture
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Dec 25, 1842 Mar 16, 1866 Wife of Daniel J. (see Hart Cemetery for information about rare Masonic designation) Hart-01.jpg
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Additional Picture     Hart-01a.jpg
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Additional Picture     Hart-01b.jpg
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Additional Picture     Hart-01c.jpg
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Additional Picture     Hart-01d.jpg
Hart 1 Baley, Nancy A. Additional Picture     Hart-01e.jpg
Howard 1 Howard, Suzanne 'Polly' Helms   1878 First wife of John B. (1850-1921-buried at Greenwood)(from information sent by Wilema Howard England) Howard-01.jpg
Howard 1 Howard, Suzanne 'Polly' Helms Additional Picture     Howard-01a.jpg
Howard 1 Howard, Suzanne 'Polly' Helms Additional Picture     Howard-01b.jpg
Howard 1 Howard, Suzanne 'Polly' Helms Additional Picture     Howard-01c.jpg
Howard 2 Howard, Birdie 1886 1887 Child of John & Lilly Howard (from information sent by Wilema Howard England) Howard-02.jpg
Howard 2 Howard, Birdie Additional Picture     Howard-02a.jpg