We’re not done at Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas, Texas just yet. With a cemetery this big, there are too many stories that I can’t seem to leave out.
I am often drawn to markers with the names of multiple children on them. I always find it hard to grasp the grief of a couple who has anticipated the joy of the birth of a child, only to experience heart-breaking loss within a year or two. Over and over.
The Clark family is one such family.
Tennessee native William Jefferson Clark, born in 1828, moved with his family to Harrison County, Texas. After serving in the Mexican War in 1848, he met and married Loucinda Jane Fisher around 1858. She was a recent arrival to Texas from Georgia.
Clark farmed alongside his family and John H. Bryan, a family friend who came from Tennessee with the Clarks. By 1860, William Clark was a wealthy farmer with large property holdings.
In March 1862, Clark helped raise Company A of the 19th Texas Infantry of the Confederacy in Jefferson, Texas. Following the Civil War, Clark returned home and moved his family to Dallas County where he invested in Keyes, Clarke, and Company, a dry goods mercantile, with his friend, John H. Bryan. The two renamed their store Clark & Bryan Dry Goods.
William and Loucinda had their first child, Leslie, in 1859. He would marry, raise a family, and operate a successful real estate business in Dallas with help from his father. Second son Atwell Wycliff was born in 1865. He never married but helped his father in the day-to-day operations of his dry goods business.
On Ancestry, I found a few letters Atwell wrote to his cousins later in life describing memories of his childhood in Dallas. Wycliff Avenue and Wycliff Avenue Lake in Dallas are probably named after him as it is located on what was originally the W.J. Clark Cedar Springs addition that his father and brother developed.
Young Lives Cut Short
Over the next several years, Loucinda would give birth seven more times. Herbert was born in 1869 and died in 1871. Jessie Lou was born in 1871 and died the same year. Leeta was born in 1874 and lived a long life. Virgia was born in 1876 and died the same year. Fannie was born in 1876 and died the same year. Bertha was born in 1878 and lived well into adulthood. Their last child, Mathew Ennis, was born in 1880 and only lived a week.
The Clark monument features a statue of a female figure that was originally pointing upward but has lost a few fingers. When I first saw this photo I took of her, it almost looked like she was holding her fist up in defiance. It made me wonder if there were times Loucinda’s got angry at God because so many of her children died. It had to have been so hard to bear.
William’s partnership with Bryan resulted in a highly successful Dallas retail establishment and provided Clark with capital that he invested in real estate and railroads.
I wasn’t able to trace Loucinda with any of her adult children after William’s death in 1901 of heart failure. But she was living in Atlanta when she died in 1917. Her remains were brought back to Dallas for burial at Greenwood Cemetery beside William and her little ones. Son Leslie, who died in 1919 at age 59, is also buried at Greenwood with his wife, Lula, in a different plot. Atwell died in 1925 and is buried with his parents.
The Loss of Four Children
The markers for the Terry family also attest to the deaths of several children. But I found more holes than fabric when I tried to knit together their history.
Born in South Carolina around 1837, Charles Terry moved with his family to Mississippi where they farmed. Charles moved to Dallas in 1866 and his brothers followed in the next few years. He married Martha “Maffie” Clark at some time after that. They had two daughters, Winnie (1871) and Maidie (1873). Charles is listed as a merchant in 1870, a miller in 1880 and as a landlord in 1900. Apparently, the Terry brothers owned and operated a flour mill with a Charles Beauchamp. I found an ad for a dry goods store opened by the two Charles from 1870.
Both of Maffie and Charles’ daughters lived well into adulthood, married, and had children.
I don’t know if Maffie died or the couple divorced. But Charles married Louisiana native Caroline “Carrie” Beauchamp in 1874. She was likely related to the Beauchamps he operated the store with but I’m not sure how.
Daughter Augusta was born in 1876. Over the next several years, they would have several children but none of them would live to adulthood. I do not know what years these children were born or died. Only the names on four stones at Greenwood Cemetery survive. According to the 1900 Census, Carried reported that she had given birth to six children but only one (Augusta) survived.
Charles died in 1907 and his will reveals that he left everything to Carrie, Winnie, Augusta, and Maidie. Carried died in 1931 of heart failure at the age of 81. She and Charles both have what are called “cradle” style graves because of their oval shape. I believe that they were created after Charles died and that one was made for Carrie at that time. But there are no dates on either. Such a style would not have been common in the 1930s.
Maidie died of a brain tumor in 1926 at age 53 and is buried with her husband (who would become mayor of Dallas in 1932) in Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas. Winnie died in 1942 at age 72 and is buried with her husband in Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas.
Part I of the Life of Henry C. Coke
My start my last story is what I’ll call Part I of the life of Henry C. Coke. I say that because his first wife and two of his children with her are buried at Greenwood. But Henry is not buried with them. He would go on to remarry and have a second family. Perhaps a second life.
Born in 1856 in Norfolk, Va., Henry Cornick Coke was the son of farmer/attorney William Coke and his wife, Lucy Cornick Cook. William was the nephew of Senator Richard Coke of Dallas. Henry graduated from the College of William and Mary and got his law degree from the Univ. of Virginia in 1879. He arrived in Dallas in 1881.
Henry married Texas native Roberta Lee Rosser sometime in 1884. Before their union, Roberta was often lauded in the Dallas papers for her musical prowess as a vocalist. Their first child, Roberta, was born in 1885. Henry was practicing law and making a name for himself in Dallas by this time.
Their second child, Henry Coke, Jr., was born on Nov. 17, 1884. Hobson Coke was born on Feb. 8, 1887 but died only three months later on May 10, 1887. His marker is what I term the “baby on a half shell” style that I see from time to time.
Roberta would give birth a final time on Aug. 3, 1888 to Rosser “R.J.” Coke. She died a week later on Aug. 9, 1888. I found no newspaper articles about her death. Henry erected this large monument to her that is topped with an urn from which an eternal flame emerges.
Part II of Henry Coke’s Life
Henry would marry again in 1890 to Missouri native Margaret Johnson, whose father was a civil engineer in Dallas. They had three children together over the next 10 years: Richard in 1892, Lucy in 1896, and Anna in April 1900.
But tragedy would strike again a month after Anna’s birth. Henry Jr., 15, was attending high school in Sherman, Texas at Letellier High School when he went swimming with three friends. According to a newspaper article, he got a cramp and drowned. He was buried beside his mother at Greenwood Cemetery.
Henry and Margaret had their last child, another Henry Jr., on Aug. 24, 1903. Henry Sr.’s success as an attorney continued. He served as chief counsel for Standard Oil when Texas sought to dissolve the company as a corporate entity there. He was also heavily involved in the banking industry. When he died in 1933 at the age of 77, he was chairman of the board of the First National Bank of Dallas.
Wife Margaret died the following year. They are buried together at Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas. Henry and Roberta’s first child, Roberta, and her husband are buried there along with three of his children with Margaret. They all lived well into old age. Anna is interred in the mausoleum at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas.
There are many more stories that I could share from Greenwood Cemetery. But I’ll leave those for another day. Next time, I’ll be across the street at Calvary Cemetery.