Woods Prairie Cemetery

Designated a Historic Texas Cemetery


295646N 970314W

Named after Zadock Woods, who was killed in the Dawson Massacre on September 18, 1842, Woods Prairie is the area immediately west of the town of West Point and approximately 10 miles west of La Grange on Highway 71.

Woods and wife, Minerva Cottle Woods, were one of 300 families that Stephen F. Austin brought to settle Texas. Zadock Woods and his son built a home known as Woods Fort that was used as protection of the settlers. The cemetery was established near the fort in the 1830s. Zadock Woods was buried on Monument Hill. When his wife died in 1839, she was buried in the Woods Prairie Cemetery. On her marker are these words: "No tongue is eloquent enough to weave into fitting story the rich traditions and the romantic history of our forefathers, who laid broad and deep the foundations of Texas.” 

The site is located about 1/2 mile off Highway 71 on County Road 117 (Woods Prairie Cemetery Lane). To the right of the entrance gate, there is a large area where no markers were found but evidence of sand stones and rocks was present. There are probably many unknown burials here.

Kathy Carter and Helen Muras of the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives visited this site on January 25, 1993. This report was generated from the survey records and mapping done in 1976 by Mr. T. H. Johnson and by the visit on 1-25-1993. Norman C. Krischke visited and mapped the site on March 1999. Additional information had been added from his research. See his booklet, Woods Prairie Cemetery [1999.12.3], in the cemetery files of the Fayette Heritage Archives.

A new ornamental fence was placed at the cemetery in 2003 before the dedication of the Historic Texas Cemetery marker. The marker reads as follows:

Zadock Woods (d. 1842), veteran of the War of 1812 and one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, brought his family to settle in this area in 1828. He built a fortified home on land deeded to his son, Montraville, and established a cemetery here for his family and neighbors.
The first burial is said to be that of a ranch hand. Another alleged early grave belongs to Stephen Cottle, brother of Woods' wife Minerva. He died c. 1828, and tradition holds he is buried north of his sister's plot; hers is the first marked grave, dating to 1839.
Zadock Woods himself is not buried at the cemetery. Killed at the Dawson Massacre of 1842, he is buried at Monument Hill State Historic Site in La Grange, in a vault with others who fell with him. A veteran of the massacre who survived capture and then imprisonment in Mexico is buried here, though. That survivor, Joseph C. Robinson, lived until 1861 and was honored here with a Texas Centennial marker in 1936.
To protect and preserve the cemetery property, which is the resting place of many early Texas pioneers, J.A. Darby, M.E. Darby, T.C. Moore and A.W. Young purchased the site in 1875 and deeded it to their heirs. The pioneer graveyard serves as a reminder of the area's early history. - 2002
Photos contributed by Pat Topping.

If you are interested in learning more about the cemetery, joining Woods Prairie Cemetery Association, or giving a donation for the care of the cemetery, please contact Patricia Topping, Vice President, at pattopping@icloud.com. Additional information can be found at Woods Prairie Cemetery Index, a site created by Jo White using information from Norman C. Krischke's booklet, Woods Prairie Cemetery.


A Footprints of Fayette article published October 24, 2003 by Josephine White:

Woods Prairie Cemetery

Woods Prairie Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Fayette County, and may date back as far as 1828. The name of the cemetery has always been Woods Prairie Cemetery.

Woods Prairie was named for Zadock Woods and his family. Zadock Woods, a veteran of the War of 1812, was one of Austin's Old Three Hundred he was a veteran of San Jacinto. He had first come to Texas in 1823 from Missouri, went back, got his family and brought them to Texas in 1824. In 1828, he resettled his family in what is now Fayette County. He completed a fortified home for his family on land owned by his son, Montraville Woods. The home became known as Woods Fort, and was a refuge for women and children during troubled times.

Zadock Woods created the cemetery near his home for the use of family and friends and neighbors living in the area. The cemetery is located about two miles west of the community of West Point and is one mile north of Highway 71.

A Woods family historian alleges that Stephen Cottle, brother to Zadock Woods' wife, Minerva Cottle Woods, was visiting the fort in 1828, took pneumonia, died, and was buried in the cemetery. The grave is no longer marked but is said to have been near the grave of Cottle's sister, Minerva Woods. Minerva Cottle Woods' grave is the oldest marked grave in the cemetery.

The first burial in the cemetery is said to have been a ranch hand working for Joseph C. Robinson. There is evidence of a grave in the far northwest corner of the cemetery. The actual date of the burial is not known.

Many of the folks who are buried in Woods Prairie Cemetery were true pioneers. They were living in the area before and during the Texas Revolution and during the days of the Republic. The Woods family and others were in the Runaway Scrape.

Among the graves in the cemetery is the grave of Joseph C. Robinson. He was captured at the Dawson Massacre 18 September 1842, was taken prisoner and finally released from Perote Prison 27 March 1844. He died in 1861, but had already enlisted for service with the Dixie Grays, a Civil War unit. His grave has a Texas Centennial Marker (1936).

William Young, a veteran of the Mexican War and of the Civil War is buried in the cemetery, as are numerous Civil War veterans.

On 25 October 1875, the cemetery land was bought by four men in order to formally designate it as a cemetery and to protect the graves therein. The land was fought from P. B. Faison for fifty dollars in gold. The land is out of the Montraville Wood Survey. The men who bought the land were: J. A. Darby, . E. Darby, T. C. Moore and A. W. Young. The plot measures 139 feet by 282.6 feet and is fenced. The cemetery property is deeded to the "heirs and assigns forever" of the men who bought the property, and has been lovingly maintained by the heirs.

Many cemetery records were kept through the years by the families. T. H. Johnson of Plum, Texas, surveyed the cemetery during the late 1960s. It was last surveyed in 1999 by noted cemetery historian, Norman C. Krischke of Schulenburg, Texas. A copy of booklets prepared by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Krischke can be found in Fayette Public Library.

There are also some unmarked graves in the cemetery. There area a umber of such graves along the north fence line and in the southwest corner of the cemetery. These are said to be the graves of Asian railroad workers who died during an epidemic (probably Yellow Fever), when the MKT railroad was built through Fayette County.

Woods Prairie Cemetery has been awarded the status of Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. A Historic Texas Cemetery medallion (plaque) has bee obtained and the dedication ceremony has been scheduled for November 1st, 2003.

Paul Smith contributed the data on this page from his survey of the Woods Prairie Cemetery. Thanks to Pat Topping, the list of known burials is up to date as of May 12, 2019.





Allen, Ulmont

July 31, 1890

Aug 22, 1890

Bush, Green H.



Bush, M. Tennie



Carson, Daris C.

Oct 16, 1879

Oct 12, 1956

Carlson, Oscar E.



Carlson, Mary K.



Cox, Charles Earl Mar 30, 1919 Nov 9, 1980  
Cox, Middie Hart Moore Aug 22, 1916 Dec 8, 2005  
Cox, Norman Dale Jul 4, 1942 Jul 14, 1999  

Darby, B. F.

June 7, 1823

May 21, 1876

Darby, Sophia

No Dates

Darby, E. J.

Sept 26, 1836

Sept 9, 1861


Darby, Infant

Aug 30, 1861

Sept 9, 1861

Darby, Infant

Sept 1, 1859

Oct 9, 1860

Darby, M. E.


Aug 21, 1897


Darby, James A.

June 1, 1829

Feb 22, 1904

Darby, Melissa

May 7, 1840

June 26, 1882

Eisenboro, Mollie

Sept 9, 1860

Feb 22, 1883

Elliott, Charlie

Nov 6, 1882

Sept 10, 1889

Farris, Elton



Farris, William

Jan 19, 1868

Sept 27, 1893

Farris, E. J.



Farris, R. L.



Farris, John J.

Dec 16, 1893

Sept 22, 1895

Farris, James C.

Sept 9, 1864

June 9, 1929

Farris, Clara J.

Mar 7, 1869

May 17, 1938

Farris, Charles E.

Jan 15, 1902

Sept 25, 1971

Fleming, Reuben

Jan 18, 1821

Oct 16, 1871

Fleming, Harriet C.

Dec 15, 1830

June 2, 1891

Galley, Bettie Irene

Jan 12, 1906

Oct 11, 1923

Green, Mary Elinor

Sept 6, 1835

Feb 15, 1924

Green, Mattie M.

Aug 1, 1845

Oct 23, 1896

Green, Susanna

Feb 24, 1861

May 24, 1888

Grege, William

Jan 17, 1864

Oct 26, 1908

Harrell, William

Jan 10, 1797

Sept 5, 1891

Harrell, Minerva W.

Oct 30, 1798

June 10, 1897

Haynie, Alexander Clark Jun 20, 1977 Jul 25, 2009  
Haynie, Frank Clark Mar 10, 1945 Jun 29, 2017 Viet Nam Vet USN

Haynie, Miles

Jan 22, 1865

Nov 25, 1893

Haynie, William Ezell

Jan 7, 1872

Aug 2, 1872

Haynie, John G

May 5, 1866

July 28, 1867

Haynie, Constance

Jan 25, 1899

Feb 15, 1957

Haynie, Susanna

Sept 25, 1871

Dec 20, 1957

Haynie, Alexander Clark Jun 20, 1977 Jul 25, 2009  

Haynie, Am Zi F

Aug 9, 1869

June 2, 1942

Hays, Riborne B.

Nov 12, 1888

Aug 2, 1943

Hazelwood, Thursden L.


Aug 3, 1907

Hess, F. A.

Mar 7, 1844

Oct 8, 1905

Hofner, Robert   Apr 23, 1858 Born in Bradenberg, Germany, died in Houston

House, Trini

Sept 29, 1892

Feb 28, 1893

Huff, Elizabeth Young ca 1814 1851  
Huff, Henry ca 1809 1874  

Langston, John R.

Nov 11, 1891

Jan 29, 1918

Langston, Addie Mae

Feb 19, 1887

Dec 14, 1963

McClellan, Thomas M.

Oct 7, 1863

July 30, 1865

McClellan, Mary S.

Dec 11, 1836

June 20, 1870

McClellan, Mollie S.

Jan 12, 1869

July 2, 1872

McClure, Willie R.

Dec 25, 1912

Feb 17. 1913

McClure, Travis C.



Michulka, George A.

Jan 23, 1912

Jan 30, 1950

Moore, Emily T.



Moore, Sam Fulton



Moore, Charles



Moore, Elizabeth



Moore, Brooks

July 6, 1894

July 24, 1984

Moore, Thomas C.

May 24, 1816

Dec 1, 1897

Moore, Williamfield

Feb 19, 1874

Age 9 yrs

Moore, Virgie

Mar 3, 1887

Oct 5, 1889

Moore, Fleming

Nov 29, 1855

Sept 14, 1889

Moore, Flemmie

Feb 13, 1886

Dec 8, 1886

Nichels, Mary B.

May 12, 1905

May 1906

Norris, Emma Farris



Norris, Joe



Queen, B. R.

July 20, 1882

Aug 19. 1931

Reeves, Fannie B.

Aug 11, 1884

Feb 13, 1890

Reeves, Eddie

Feb 13, 1887

Feb 18, 1887

Reeves, Mollie T.

June 19, 1861

Feb 23, 1904

Reeves, Andrew B.

Nov 17, 1872

June 12, 1919

Reeves, Andrew W.

Co B. 12 Ala Inf. C. S. A .

Reeves, Katie M.

Mar 13, 1887

Oct 5, 1889

Reeves, George W.

June 8, 1871

Apr 19, 1941

Reeves, George E.

Feb 10, 1914

Nov 16, 1981

Robinson, Joseph C.


Gray centennial marker

Scallorn, Missouri Ann Huff ca 1845 1875  

Shropshire, Gay



death date incorrect; 8 Aug 1891 Weimar Mercury obituary [RAJ]

Smith, Ida

Aug 8, 1858

Feb 12, 1923

Smith, George R.

Oct 7, 1846

Feb 9, 1914

Stiles, Mrs. M. O

Feb 10, 1860

May 15, 1887

Williams, Priscilla R.

Jan 25, 1805

Jan 12, 1873

Woods, Minerva C.

Dec 22, 1776

Mar 28, 1839

Young, Alfred Apr 12, 1903 Dec 14, 1999  

Young, Eleanor E.

May 30, 1873

July 31, 1948

Young, Elizabeth Caroline Byler Oct 25, 1827 Sep 21, 1914 Wife of Wm. Young and Frank Hess
Young, Frank Clyde Apr 27, 1912 Nov 22, 2001  

Young, Susan Green

June 5, 1842

Apr 11, 1939

Young, Martha Jane

Nov 25, 1865

Feb 2, 1942

Young, Frank Clark

June 26, 1868

Dec 8, 1950

Young, Charles A.

Sept 23, 1868

Aug 21, 1931

Young, Mary A.

Aug 21, 1866

June 6, 1934

Young, Stella B.

Dec 27, 1884

Sept 16, 1888

Young, Robert V.

Mar 9, 1857

Jan 9, 1890

Young, Sam

Oct 3, 1867

Age 79 yrs

Young, Jane

Nov 14, 1851

Age 57 yrs

Young, Laurana

Apr 12, 1816

Sept 12, 1864

Young, D. K.

Aug 13, 1854

Aug 13, 1854

Young, Laura

Nov 3, 1862

Nov 3, 1862

Young, Annie

Mar 7, 1865

Mar 7, 1865

Young, Lottie C.

Sept 1, 1944

Sept 2, 1944

Young, Mary M.

May 24, 1901

Aug 5, 1901

Young, Zeddie C.

May 7, 1900

Sept 17, 1900

Young, Joseph C.

Apr 12, 1903

Apr 14, 1904

Young, Zed S.



Young, Belle C. 1877 1941
Young, W. D. June 30, 1829 Jan 29, 1872
Young, William Feb 3, 1814 May 3, 1873
Young, Virginia E. Dec 2, 1848 Dec 6, 1862
Young, David A. June 25, 1841 Age 9 yrs
Young, Robert Sept 18, 1853 Sept 18, 1853
Young, Pleasant Apr 24, 1852 Sept 25, 1869

Text of centennial marker:


Captured at the "Dawson Massacre" September 18, 1942. Died in 1861.

Photo of Robinson marker contributed by Marion and Steve Daughtry

A Footprints of Fayette article submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn:

Woods Prairie Cemetery Marker: M-K-T Katy Railroad Monument

By Larry Lutringer and W. O. Wood (MKT ENGR 1968-1988: UP ENGR 1988-2008)

If you travel to the Woods Prairie Cemetery near West Point, TX you will find a M-K-T Katy Railroad Monument which was placed there by Bobbie Robbins Stevens in 2013 and paid for by her mother, Susan Grace Young Robbins. Susan had heard the story of the railroad workers all her life and had helped her Aunt Molly (Mrs. Charles Young) tend the graves when she was a child. It was Charles Young and his brother Zed (Bobbie Robbins Stevens' grandfather) who gave the railroad foreman permission to bury the men in the cemetery. The railroad workers who died earlier were buried in a field next to the railroad tracks near Primm, which was later renamed Kirtley.

Zed Young lived west of West Point and owned several plots of land in the area. Zed had three children, two boys (Frank and Alf) and one girl (Susan). In his younger years he was a school teacher. Zed was a tall man, very heavyset in his later years, and always wore a mustache.

Charles Young lived across the road from Zed on the south side of Hwy 71. He was a farmer and he also sold Watkins Products. He served as Fayette County Commissioner and donated the land for the roadside park on Hwy 71, which was the first roadside park in the state of Texas. Charles had three children, two boys (Allen and Will) and one girl (Ivy).  Ivy married Jake Whitworth, who worked for the Katy Railroad.

Zed had made a deal with the railroad to sell them timber from his land. These young white men were working with Zed Young cutting timber to make railroad ties. They came from different parts of the country and were working their way West.

These young men died of Yellow Fever in the late 1880s while laying track between Primm and West Point and were buried in the cemetery at the site of the present-day marker. No individual markers were previously placed at the site, because in the 1880s no burial records were required and markers were expensive. It wasn't until 1903 that burial records were required by Texas law.

There was research done at the cemetery in 1999 by Norman C. Krischke. He published a booklet on the history of the Woods family and the Woods Prairie Cemetery. You can find the booklet at the Fayette Public Library.