Morse Cemetery



By George E. Wolf Jr.
Located in West Houston on South Wynden Drive in the West Oaks II Sub. Aka McFee cemetery.
The 11/3 acres was decicated as a cemetery in 1874, with one acre called the Morse Cemetery.
No markers showing, one base is the only sign that there was a graveyard there at one time.
No recorded names or dates at site.
May be moved or destroyed.
(Houston Chronicle, Dec. 8,1994, Stefanie Asin.)
From AT REST by Trevia W. Beverly.
Est. by Grace Morse, by 1992 there was only two markers.

Lovett Taft, Died Oct. 25,1864

Mary Bragg, Died July 12,1873

Other names that are buried here are,
Grant, McFee, Morse.

Statement made by Joe B from the Houston Architecture Info Forum

Cemetery in West Oaks, I saw it as a kid in the 1950's. At that time there were a number of headstones, one of prominance with the name Travis of 1800's, maybe 2 of children made of concrete, with the information scratched in, laying on the ground. Someone has removed all. Has anyone else seen it, or remember it when it could be recognized? There was a Houston Press story back in the 1950's, a short mention of the "lost cemetery".

Regards, Joe
My family had history in the area sense around 1916,my father said there was a cast iron fence around in at one time,during the time around WW2,apparently during of the drive for materials it disapeared.During the eary 50s there was some concreat anchors for the fence in place.Today it looks like someones home is on part of the original plot.Whats disturbing to me is how someone got title to property that was dedicated to the community,as cementary/water works?Is there no protection for cementarys in Texas/Houston, that they can be left to neglect or worse,my concerm being for the deceased.Regards Joe B         

S. G. Loy/2011

My ancestors,the Sillimans,(of Italian'german Jewish heritage),first
came to Texas around 1830,and received or purchased a land grant from
Stephen Austin.Not liking Houston so much,and having married into the
Thornton and later the Morse familes,moved out to an area some 12 miles
west of Houston,between Spring Branch and Buffalo Bayou,,at the end of
the Katy Prarie.It was a heavily wooded area,with plentiful game.The
familes,now related,settled down in the area,and began a lumber
operation.As the amount of land they had,and later accquired,was
substantial,(including parts of what is now Memorial Park,River Oaks,and
the entiriety of Tanglewood up to Piney Point).Along with the
operation,they also had a large auxillary labor force of 1,011,very
large in this part of Texas at the time.It was a profitable
enterprise,expanding to operations along the Brazos River as well.The
family house,a two story wooden colonial,was on Westheimer,between the
farm road and the narrow guage railway,between Voss and Fondren.The
cemetery had been used as such since at least 1840,as there are two or
more shroud burials from people who died along the nearby San Felipe
trail.The cemetery was officially established with the Buffalo Bayou
Church Association by my great grandmother,Grace Morse,in 1874.The
Methodists were buried in the southern part,while the Episcopalians were
buried in the northern section.The two sections were seperated by a
low,wrought iron fence,with a gate,now long rusted away.While still a
'living' cemetery,the last burial was in 1932.I remember as a child my
grandmother would take us to picnic at the cemetery,this would have been
in the early 1960's,and the cemetery was intact.I remember it as being a
cool place,as large shade trees provided needed cover,and remnants of
the fence remained.The fence,as well as most of the trees,and all of the
tombstones are gone now,removed by aspiring developers.

There are a few US Army,(Spanish American War,WW1), and Army of
the Confederacy veterans buried on the plot,but,as I said,the tombstones
are gone,though the tombstone bases remain.
The registration
designation # is HR CO17.I've done about all I can do on this.I have
discovered such a mess of double talk and
subterfuge,mismanagement,questionable dealings,games,and
stonewalling,going back years on this place,and it's impossible for me
to get any straight answers from those people as well.I have been
threatened indirectly by JW with lawsuits for 'control' of the cemetery
unless I form a cemetery association (which I am in no position to
do,timewise or otherwise),and directly by the developer,who threatened
to sue me if he was not allowed to cut down a certain tree if it fell on
some house,(which,by the way,is sitting right on top of a good chunk of
the cemetery.The owner wasn't told about it and didn't know until I
showed her a map)..I don't own it,there was never any title in my or my
family's name since 100 years ago probably,I don't own the title,the
State of Texas protects the cemetery,all I did was let myself get
suckered in by these people and register what was left with the State of
Texas Attorney general's office for protection,which I think was the
right thing to do.But then,I kept finding out more things that
happened,and more bs.It is silly,in a way,that people can be like this.A
cemetery is a cemetery,whether it's my ancestors or yours or
whoever,they should be respected and simply left alone.I know you
agree,but it's too bad other people don't think right.While I went to
the cemetery with my grandmother as a kid,when it was a lot
bigger,(there were graves on the so called abandoned
sections,black,white,and of probably all denominations except
Islamic,and maybe some of them,too,I don't know.I have spoken to living
eyewitnesses about it,one of them being the son of of the Italian man
who owned the property immediately adjacent to the cemetery,many years
ago),plus records,a couple of photographs,all of that.He;s elderly but
he said he remembers it.I had not seen it in years,until I met JW in
2008.I do not understand why,when she was overseeing some sort of
archeological excavation there in either the late 1980's or 1990's,that
my father or aunt were not contacted.It was their grandmother who
founded the cemetery,and permission needed to be granted after geneology
was done,(which it was I am sure),and those people started digging.The
law requires that,not to mention common courtesy...My dad only lived 200
yards away from the cemetery at the time,over on Longmont.It took me
awhile,but I think I got the picture on what went on there.What's done
is done,and,hopefully,at least what remains will be left alone.Maybe
when the smoke clears a little,we can do something to at least mark
it,plant some bluebonnets,or something..Thanks again

The cemetery is in Reserve B, West Oaks subdivision, Houston. The lawsuit
began in the early 1990s against the California trustee for West Oaks II, wanted
to dig up any bodies found. I am not sure, as I've not had contact with the
property owners in quite a while, but that lawsuit may have been concluded.

Lovett C. Taft, son of Lovett W. and Betsy Taft, was b. ca. 1829 in Berkshire
Co MA. Sometime between Aug 1850 and Jul 1857, he immigrated to Harris Co TX.
He married Elizabeth A. MORSE (dau of Ager Tomlinson and Grace G. Morse,
Lowndes Co MS) on July 15, 1857. Names associated with the Cemetery are BRAGG,