Long Branch Cemetery
Falls County, Texas
31 16.000' N 96 41.431' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of CR-269 and FM-2413. Go 300 yards east on CR-369. The cemetery is on the right (south) side of the road.
Historical Marker: The graveyard, one of the oldest in Falls County, was used for the interment of African-Americans for more than a century. Founded by former slaves in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Long Branch (later Long Branch United Methodist Church), it covers more than three acres surrounded by farm land. The cemetery is the last surviving vestige of the Long Branch Community. The earliest names associated with the settlement, including Thornton Craig, Jim Furry, Jessie Smith, Edmond Taylor and Nelson Weatherspoon, were all here by June 1870. Records do no indicate whether these men and their families were in the community as slaves or arrived after emancipation. Most came from Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Long Branch citizens built a two-room school house and chose educators from their ranks. Many made their living by tenant farming, working manual labor in nearby towns and taking in boarders, and several became landowners. They also served their country in military conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam, including Anthony Shaw, Co G 104th U.S. Colored Infantry, who is buried here. On September 30, 1883, community trustees bought land from William M. Stephens to establish a hall of worship and an eternal resting place for those calling Long Branch home. While cemetery interments exceed 200, some early burials went unrecorded. Among the decedents are the remains of 25 freed slaves. One of these, Silvia King, recorded valuable personal and cultural history in the 1930s before she died at age 133. The school at Long Branch closed in 1930, and the church closed in 1971 and later burned. This important community burial ground remains an active cemetery.