Hopewell Cemetery #1


WARNING - This cemetery is a traditionally Africian-American burial ground. There is another Hopewell cemetery located in Freestone County near Teague that is a traditionally Anglo-American burial ground.

Status: Active

Special thanks to Wilbur Thirkield (Bill) Bonner-Titus for this information:

Church: Hope Well Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1874 in a log cabin on land given by Ned and Chloe Titus. J.A. and F.E. Hill later donated an acre of land to the Northern Texas Methodist Episcopal Conference for Hope Well Methodist Church on January 29, 1881. On July 28, 1968, Hope Well Methodist Church merged with Jones Chapel United Methodist Church in

Community: African American established Brown's Creek Community after Emacipation. The Brown's Creek or Titus Farm Community was aroung Big Brown Creek, where the Hope Well Methodist Episcopal Church, Hope Well Cemetery, Titus Farm School, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Heroines of Jericho, and F.A. and A.M. Masons were established.

Background: Henry and Susan Titus on July 7, 1888, gave the land for the cemetery, where their son, Arthur, was buried. The cemetery has been in use ever since.

Cemetery Association: Hope Well Memorial Cemetery Association

Annual Memorial: Hope Well Cemetery Fund Committee plans to have its annual memorial observation on Saturday, June 23 2007.

Location: Hope Well is an active African American cemetery that is located on the northern shores of Fairfield State Lake, adjacent to the southern side of Big Brown Mining Plant.

Directions: To find it, one should go east on Main Street of Fairfield until the street turns to FM Road 488, after approximately 2 miles, FM 488 will divide with FM 2570 to the right and 488 to the left. Take 2570 and remain on it for approximately ten or eleven miles when one will be at the Big Brown Mining Plant. Turn right on the first road that opens to the right. Proceed to the guard house and request a key to the cemetery. Follow the road to the left, around the plant on the shore of the lake. One will find a locked gate and a chain link fence around the cemetery.

Oldest Marked Grave: Arthur Titus July 7, 1888
[Thanks to Wilbur Thirkield Bonner-Titus for submitting this. This is a report from the Hope Well Memorial Cemetery Association:]

"Center Juneteenth Celebration Report

The staff and members of the A. M. Hunter Titus Charitable Cultural Center, Inc., hereafter in this report referred to as the Center, appreciates the support that it received during its first coumty-wide Juneteenth celebration which was held in Freestone County, Texas, during the week of June 17 - 23, 2007.

The Center decided to sponsor an annual celebration because it endorses the idea of African Americans being thankfull for its emancipation, its freedom from slavery in all of its manifestations. It also emphasizes education and achievment and believes that the levels of achievment that have been reached should be heralded and celebrated. Organizations and individuals were invited
to participate by sponsoring celebrations at their own home sites.

Dung the week, individuals and families held their celebrations and informed the Center of these activities The Center sponsored a grave marker installation for Mrs. Doris (Dotsie) Dailey celebration on June 23, 2007.

The installation ceremony was held in conjunction with the Hope Well Cemetery's memorial day celebration, in the arbor of the cemetery, Fairfield, Texas, 11 a.m., with Elawrence Gabriel presiding.

The schedule of activities including devotions of congregational singing and the 23rd Psalms led by Mistress of Ceremonies Sherry A. Brackens, prayer by Mack A. Hunter, a testimonial session during which persons shared memories and reasons
for their being thankful, reading of the history by Ramona Terry Tanksley and Delilah Terry, financial reports, a sermon by Reverend Darrell Houston, Sr., Pastor of Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, Fairfield, Texas, and the installation exercise with Wilbur Thirkield Titus, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center presiding.

He reported the progress that has been made on surveying the cemetery, the results of which will be posted on Texas Archives on the internet and included in His book SEE HOW WE HAVE COME: A Profile of Courage and Achievment which he is writing. He made assignments that will facilitate the completion of the early survey.

The Chairman of the Board emphasized the importance of the people of the United States, especially Africans, being grateful for emancipation, without which we would not have life as we know it.

A directory was begun. This directory will contain the names and contact information of persons who have relatives and/or friends buried in Hope Well Cemetery. This directory will be added to the files of the Center. It will be invaluable in the Center's work of assisting cemeteries.


With the improvement of the Hope Well Cemetery in mind, the Center made the following recommendations:

1. Place a sign at the intersection of 2570 and the road that leads to the cemetery to make it easier to find the cemetery,

2. Place restraining walls on the sides of the ramp, the narrow road that crosses the water leading to the gate of the cemetery to prevent a horrible accident that is just waiting to happen,

3. Place the name of the cemetery over the cemetery's gate.

4. Organization the campus of the cemetery so that there will be designated parking, an divide the space allotted to burying into plots that can be sold. The income could be used to support the cemetery.

5. Move the date of the memorial to May to avoid the heat, if the present format is to be continued.

The Center committed itself to assist with any or all of these projects if it is invited.

The chairman explained that the reason for the exercise was to help a 91 years old veteran of WWII, Andrew Dailey, who was overseas when his mother died, realize his dream of honoring his mother by placing a grave marker with suitable ceremony at her grave site.

Virgil Keeton, Jr. read a poem, "The Perfect Creation," by Ron Anthony, and dedicated it to the memory of Mrs. Dailey. A copy was given to the veteran, Andrew Dailey. Betty J. Hunter sand Malotte's "The Lord's Prayer, and Reverend Houston spoke words of dedication. Photographs of the marker and other scenes of interested were made.

Sack lunches, accompanied by socialization, were served.

These are the persons who registered: Ashley Betts, Billy Mack Betts, Dallas, TX; Charles and Tracey Betts, Waco; Sherry Brackens; Minnie J. Canady; Andrew Dailey, Bakersfield, CA; Katie Mae Dickens, Quannah, TX; Mary Lou Dickens, Quannah, TX; Sharon Dixon, Wortham, TX; Elawrence Gabriel; Nell Gabriel; Martha Govan; Anna J. Henderson; Arne Henderson; Darrell Houston, Sylvia Houston; Katina Gatson, Paulette Gatson, Betty J. Hunter, Sylmar, CA; Mack A. Hunter, Sylmas, CA; Fannie Jo and Eva Lois Jordan, DaJewell Keeton; Willie C. Keeton, Dallas, TX; Virgil Keeton, Jr.; Christine Manning, James Milford McIlveen; Loreta Phillips, Dallas, TX; Louie T. Phllips, Dallas, TX; Christi Pendergrass, Teague, TX; Jewellene Richard; Carlton R. Rischer, Streetman, TX; Ramona Tanksley, Lantana, TX; Delilah Terry, Dallas, TX; Jeremiah Titus, Jr.; Johnnie Harold Titus; Wilbur T. (Bill) Titus; Floyd and Florida Turner, Dallas, TX;

Those who attended reported having a delightful time.

The Center plans to sponsor a celebration that will be more comprenhive and festive in 2008. Watch for announcements.

Reading from left to right on the front row are Andrew Dailey, Minnie Jo Canady, Wilbur T. (Bill) Bonner-Titus, Florida Turner, Anna J. Henderson, Unrecognized, Elawrence Gabriel, and Sylvia Houston. Back Row, lleft to right are Charles Betts, Tracey Betts, Jewelene Richard, UNKwn, Fannia Jo Jordan, Billy Mack Betts, Milford McIlveen, Loreta Phillips, Jeremiah Titus, Jr.,Louie Phillips, Nell Gabriel, Sherry Brackens, and Reverend Darrell Houston."

NOTE - A survey of the cemetery is being attempted at this time.