Dallas, Texas

Durrett Cemetery

Durrett Cemetery


by Kathy Ann Reid

On September 16, 2019 we had quite a long, hot, interesting day as witnesses of the dis-
interments and re-interments of George and Elizabeth Durrett, and the Strong baby girl,
Nancy C. Strong. After the memorial service for the Durretts, our journey continued.
From the Edgewood Cemetery in Lancaster, we followed the truck and backhoe (of Steve
Lamb Metroplex Grave Services) on back roads to the Hutchins Cemetery in Hutchins. As in Lancaster, in attendance were Richard Warner (descendant of the Strong family), Jim Watson and family (two generations of the Durretts’ descendants), a prominent Kaufman County funeral director, Perry Cockerell (attorney who handled the legal proceedings), the elegant lady harpist, Steve Lamb with his son, Michael, and DCPA members.

Steve Lamb expertly removed dirt from the 1914 grave of the mother of Nancy, Melissa Ann Strong, to make room for the small metal box containing Nancy’s remains. In order to avoid encroaching into the remains of the mother, the funeral director kept his gaze squarely on the grave as each small scoop was removed. Then, as John Reid said during the memorial service, “Nancy C. Strong was placed in her mother’s grave, over the womb of her mother.”

John started by leading us in a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. He read verses in the Old
Testament about Abraham’s and Sarah’s graves, other patriarchs’ graves and Joseph’s
bones. From the New Testament we heard that the tomb Jesus used was only borrowed
because He rose from death to life.

Honor was given to all Dallas County pioneers. Gratitude was expressed for George and
Elizabeth Durrett who cared for the parents of Nancy by giving them a burial place in their time of grief. The descendants of both families, although having recently become acquainted, continued the caring about each other and thereby demonstrated the continuing legacy of Godly lives.

John read I Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The closing prayer: “O LORD, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.”

Everyone was silent for a few moments. Several listeners had tears in their eyes. The harpist continued her beautiful music. It was bittersweet, as Dottie Durrett wrote in tribute to her husband, Tim, for his determination in “finding the Durrett Cemetery and in being the catalyst and seeing this through to completion. This is bittersweet but I am afraid all would have been bulldozed over into the creek if Tim had not stayed on this. The landowner had no clue the cemetery was there and it was thick in the brush.”

The Durrett Cemetery is history, but thanks to Tim, not lost to history. The Edgewood
Cemetery in Lancaster and the Hutchins Cemetery in Hutchins are richer since each has
gained pioneer remains and the loving concern of descendants.