Locklin Cemetery receives ‘historic designation’
Locklin Cemetery Association of Milam County has been approved for a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation by the Texas Historical Commission. Begun in 1998, the Texas Historical Commission designation is an official recognition of family and community graveyards that encourages preservation of historic cemeteries. The designation imposes no restrictions on private owners’ use of land adjacent to the cemetery or the daily operations of the cemetery.
The benefits of designation include having its location and boundaries recorded in the county deed records as a historically dedicated cemetery worthy of preservation. As well, the designation provides some State of Texas protection from encroachment, vandalism and theft. The Locklin Cemetery has already received an Official Texas Historical Marker back in May 1995. The cemetery is located about seven miles north of Thorndale and two miles south of San Gabriel.
This cemetery is rich with history. In the year 1835, the State of Coahuila and Texas granted one league of land and one labor to Abigail McLennan Fokes, declaring her as a colonist and the legal recipient of this Mexican Land Grant. Abigail Fokes had come to America in about 1800 with her family and then to Texas from Florida with several other Scottish families. She brought with her six children (her husband died just before leaving Florida) and found and occupied the land, periodically retreating to Washington on the Brazos for protection from the Indians.
In June 1844, a close friend of the family named Peter M. Mercer was buried where this cemetery is now located and represents t he fi rst g rave. E xactly when the land for the cemetery was given is unknown, as the Milam County Court House burned in April 1874, taking with it most of the county records. Through the reconstruction of some deeds, it is evident that small portions of Abigail’s land were given for the city of San Gabriel, including land for the school and the San Gabriel Baptist
Land was also given for the cemetery, but it is unclear whether this land was given by Abigail or one of her children and the exact date it was given is unknown. Regardless, the name Locklin probably came from William Lawson Locklin, Sr. who married into the Fokes family. Since 1844, there have been about 600 burials in the cemetery, composed mostly of Locklins and families related or connected to the Locklins.
Locklin Cemetery Association officers are Jerry McDaniel, president; Mary L. Thornton, vice president; Nancy Graham, secretary and Fritzi Simon, treasurer.
The Association has recently embarked on a comprehensive mapping and condition assessment of all existing gravesites and gravestones, using sophisticated global positioning satellite (GPS) technology.
MEETING—The Association’s next meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Thorndale Senior Citizen Center. Any interested person is welcome to attend and participate in discussion of Association plans and operations. For more information on the meeting, contact Nancy Graham at Nancyfirstname.lastname@example.org.