Cottage Hill Cemetery, Celina
About Cottage Hill Cemetery, Celina
.In 1842 William Culwell had moved from Arkansas to present-day Collin County and settled west of the present-day town of Weston. He was soon followed by his four brothers, Hezekiah, Thomas, John, and Andrew. John Culwell organized several Methodist churches in the North Texas area after 1842. The brothers patented land in the area and the present-day church and cemetery are on the Thomas Culwell survey. Since 31 members of the Culwell families lie buried in the cemetery and the oldest marked graves are those of the family, the supposition arises that the cemetery began as a Culwell family burying ground.
the cemetery is located on the Thomas Culwell Survey. Records of the early burials are non-existent. There are many unmarked graves in the original part of the cemetery, just north and west of the church.
Eleven members of the Biggs family are buried here. The best-known member of the family is the Reverend Joab Harrell Biggs (1812-1891). He had come to Texas with the Culwell family in 1842. He was a native of North Carolina but was living in Mississippi when he was converted in the Methodist camp meeting and joined the Mississippi Conference. From Mississippi, he moved to Arkansas where he met the Culwell family with whom he came to Texas. He patented 320 acres of land as a member of the Peter’s Colony about five or six miles northwest of the resent church and cemetery. He was a Methodist circuit rider preacher who rode a circuit of around three hundred miles in North Texas, headquartered in Bonham, Fannin County at one time. He received about sixty dollars a year for his preaching.
Gravestones are here for other prominent people of the community such as Dr. Moses Hubbard (1837-1906) and Mrs. Hubbard (1843-1914), and their daughter Alla Hubbard Spencer (1860-1899). Dr. Hubbard will long be remembered for his gifts to the school children of western Collin County. After the untimely death of his daughter Alla, he established a school and endowed it with about 1000 acres of rich farmland, reputed to be the only endowed common school district in Texas. The school, the Alla Hubbard School,… became a part of the Celina Independent School District in 1957 and enjoys the profits from the thousand acres today.
Arriving in the community the same year (1866) that Dr. Hubbard came was a newlywed couple, Joseph R. Darnall and his wife, Mary Ellen. He was an ordained minister of the Christian Church and preached throughout the area as well as being a farmer of some 800 acres of land. When the Reverend Darnall died in 1909 he was buried in the cemetery on land which he had sold to the cemetery in 1895. Nine members of the family are buried in the cemetery.
Ten members of the pioneer W. E. Mallone family lie here. The family moved from Missouri in 1859. William E. (Uncle Billy) was well-known in the area because he was a lay preacher. He blew the cow horn announcing the beginning of the sessions of the camp meetings.
Ten members of the Pafford family are buried here in the cemetery. The Pafford’s came from West Virginia in 1872. J. W. Pafford had served in the Civil War under Stonewall Jackson.
F. F. Morrill came to the community in 1853 from Tennessee. He married Nancy Jane Stone, granddaughter of Joseph Russell, who had come from Missouri in 1845. They were married in 1856. She was also the stepdaughter of Samuel P. Brown, who attended the Quarterly Conference in 1848 of Honey Creek Campground Church. Nine members of the Morrill family are buried here.
Dr. David Powell prospected land, practiced medicine, and was one of the leaders in establishing the Cemetery Association. He came from Missouri in 1859; he was the father-in-law of Uncle Billy Mallone.
The Stambaugh family – Jacob R. and Mary Ann Hopkins Stambaugh, arrived in December 1858 from Illinois. They settled about three miles northwest of the present cemetery and church. A grandson, J. Lee Stambaugh, and his wife wrote a book A History of Collin County, Texas, published in 1958. Seventeen members of the family are buried in the cemetery.
The Reverend John S. Noble was born on May 17, 1813, and entered the ministry in 1844. In 1848 he was ordained as both a deacon and an elder and came to the Indian Territory as a missionary. In 1853 he moved to Collin County and settled on a farm two miles south of the present Cottage Hill Church. His home was a “preaching place.” He also preached in other churches in Collin, Denton, and Parker counties. He represented the Honey Creek Church in 1874. In 1881 he was present for the dedication of the Cottage Hill church. He died at Pilot Point on May 25, 1886. He is buried in the now-abandoned Noble Cemetery on the Noble farm in the Cottage Hill community.
Today there are more than two thousand graves in the cemetery.