Major Ridge Main Page
Historical Marker Dedication for the McNeir Cemetery
Sarah Ridge's gravesite
Smith Point, Texas
by Paul Ridenour email
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The McNeir Cemetery is a family cemetery on my wife Dottie’s mother’s side of the family. Major Ridge’s daughter Sarah Ridge Paschal Pix is buried there along with her daughter Emily Agnes Paschal McNeir (1847-1928), son-in-law William McNeir (1836-1879), and son Charles Forest Pix (1857-1874). Sarah Ridge’s historical marker is on FM 562, just outside the 33-acre property. Sarah's property was once 540 acres. Two roads in the area are named McNeir Road and Watie Road. The cemetery was established in 1875. Others buried in the cemetery include:
George Paschal McNeir
(1877-1963) and wife Edith Hogan McNeir (1877-1963)
Margaret Celeste McNeir (1910-1910)
Kathryn McNeir Nelson Roberts Stuart (1906-1998)
Susan Roberts Nevills (1943-1998) – cremated/ashes sprinkled on her mother’s grave
Floyd Wayne Scott (1927-2001)
The McNeir Family genealogy can be found at www.paulridenour.com/mcneir.htm
April 8, 2006, was a very nice day other than the wind was blowing heavily and that made it a bit cold. The McNeir Cemetery historical marker dedication ceremony was about an hour and a half long and around 100 in attendance. A large Live Oak tree in the cemetery was planted by Charles Forest Pix at age 7 in 1864. In the tree were two owls and they remained quiet during the entire ceremony.
Bob Wheat, Chair of the Chambers County Historical Commission, was the Master of Ceremonies. He introduced special guests Jack Baker, the President of the National Trail of Tears Association, and Anna Smith, President of the Cherokee Moravian Historical Society. Anna is writing a book about the Cherokee women who attended Salem College in North Carolina, including Sarah Ridge.
Rev. Marjorie McNeir led the Invocation. Dorothy McNeir Horner, my mother-in-law, welcomed the McNeir descendants and guests. Dottie Ridenour’s sister Desiree Doyen read “The Real Meaning of Peace.” McNeir descendant family volunteers were called by Desi Doyen to place floral arrangements on the graves. Various McNeir descendants recalled their knowledge and memories of their ancestors who are buried in the cemetery.
Hazel Meaux, of the Thomas Jefferson Chambers Chapter #2591 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), gave a grave dedication and unveiled a new marker for William McNeir, a Civil War Confederate States Army veteran. Spaight’s Battalion Camp #858, Sons of the Confederate Veterans, gave a Rifle Salute.
Mary Edith Nelson Scott placed a rose on her husband Floyd Wayne Scott’s grave. Freeman-Spath, American Legion Post #104, gave a Rifle Salute to her husband, a World War II veteran.
Dorothy McNeir Horner’s sister Jean McNeir Williams along with her husband Harold Williams, unveiled the new McNeir Cemetery Historical Marker.
I led the attendees in the hymn “In The Sweet By And By.”
Dorothy McNeir Horner’s brother Ridge Watie McNeir sang “Taps,” played on the trumpet by Pam Sweeney.
Dorothy McNeir Horner was presented an Official Texas Historical Marker framed certificate signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Rev. Barbara McNeir closed with the Benediction.
After the ceremony, several ate at the RV Park. Jeri’s Seafood provided lunch cooked by the brilliant Chef Eddie Nelson. Other McNeir descendants drove to Galveston to spend the night.
The ceremony program is after all pictures.
Chambers County Historical Commission Chair Bob Wheat
Dorothy McNeir Horner and Rev. Marjorie McNeir (photo by Desi Doyen)
Chambers County District Clerk Bob Scherer
Desi Doyen and "The Real Meaning of Peace"
Mary Edith “Wicki” Nelson Scott on Sarah Ridge Paschal Pix and son Charles Forest Pix
Ruth Nelson Stanford Hendrix on Emily Agnes Paschal McNeir and husband William McNeir
UDC Representative Hazel Meaux
Tribute to Confederate Veteran William McNeir
William McNeir's new Civil War marker
Private in Pelham's Battery
J. E. B. Stuart's Horse Artillery
R. W. McNeir on Forest Waldemar McNeir and wife Stella Frick McNeir, both buried in Houston
Ridge Watie McNeir on George Paschal McNeir, wife Edith Hogan McNeir, and Margaret Celeste McNeir
Anne Roberts Benge on Kathryn McNeir Nelson Roberts Stuart, Susan Roberts Neville, and Floyd Wayne Scott
Rifle Salute to Floyd Wayne Scott
Forest McNeir (standing) and Chris McNeir (behind the gate)
Harold Williams and Jean McNeir Williams unveiling the historical marker
Paul Ridenour leading in the hymn “In The Sweet By And By” (photo by Jay Doyen)
Ridge Watie McNeir singing "Taps" – trumpet played by Pam Sweeney
The handsome Jack Baker (blue coat jacket) and Marj Lowe (sunglasses), a direct descendant of Treaty of New Echota signer James Foster
Dorothy McNeir Horner being presented the Official Texas Historical Marker certificate by
THE STATE OF TEXAS
~ ~ To all to whom these presents
shall come, Greetings: Know ye, that this
certificate is presented to the:
on the occasion of the dedication ceremony of the
Official Texas Historical Marker
Under the laws of the State of Texas,
with all rights,
privileges and emoluments appertaining to said office,
I grant this official recognition. In testimony whereof,
I have signed my name and caused the Seal of the State
to be affixed at the City of Austin, this the 20th day of
March A.D., 2006.
Governor of Texas
The lovely Desiree Doyen of Hollywood and sister Dottie Ridenour
Rev. Barbara McNeir
Also known as McNeir Family Cemetery, this burial ground is the final resting place for Sarah Ridge Paschal Pix and her descendants. Her father, known as Major Ridge, was a Cherokee Chief in Georgia. He and others were assassinated in 1839 over a controversial treaty. Sarah came to Texas in 1848 with her husband George Washington Paschal and settled in Galveston. There, in 1850, she treated yellow fever victims using a Cherokee remedy. She also divorced Paschal the same year. In 1856, she wed Charles Sisson Pix and moved to Smith Point, where their son Charles Forest Pix was born in 1857.
Tradition holds that at the age of seven, Charles Forest planted an acorn near the Pix home, and the resulting Live Oak tree later shaded the site of his grave. Although he died in 1874, his father, who had abandoned the family, delayed permission for the burial on the land until the next year. The site later passed to Emily Agnes Paschal McNeir, Sarah’s daughter. Emily’s husband, William, was the second burial here in what became known as the McNeir Cemetery. Family members continue to maintain this small burial ground as a link to their rich history.
Note: Charles Sisson Pix was killed by a falling wall in the 1900 Galveston hurricane.
The two owls in the Live Oak tree
McNeir descendants’ Chase Doyen, Desi Doyen, CJ Doyen (Christopher), Jay Doyen, Stefan Doyen, and John Doyen
Deer, antelope, and other exotic animals on the 33-acre McNeir property
LUNCH AND FAMILY REUNION
Anna Smith and Wicki Scott
R. W. McNeir brought one of five books given to Forest W. McNeir's children and the Carnegie Hero medallion
Some of Forest W. McNeir's trophies and awards (original photo brought by R. W. McNeir)
This picture of Forest McNeir [bottom right] hangs on an office wall of the Carnegie Foundation. It is autographed by Andrew Carnegie.
Double Bayou, Texas (1946) [original photograph brought by Ruth Hendrix]
Top row L to R: Paschal McNeir, Floyd Gersbach, Barbara Gersbach, Ridge McNeir, and Dorothy McNeir
Bottom row L to R: Edith McNeir, Otto Gersbach, Lenore Gersbach, and Jean Stevens
More pictures of Paschals and McNeirs
H I S T O R I C A L M A R K E R D E D I C A T I O NM C N E I R C E M E T E R Y
Smith Point, Texas
A P R I L 8 , 2 0 0 6
BENEDICTION .........................................................................Rev. Barbara McNeir