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Historical Marker Dedication for the McNeir Cemetery

Sarah Ridge's gravesite
Chambers County
Smith Point, Texas
04/08/2006

11AM

by Paul Ridenour email

HIT REFRESH IF ALL PICTURES DO NOT APPEAR

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

 
County
Administration Commissioner Mark Huddleston

 
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


Stand Watie's "Cherokee Braves" flag, a copy of the "Cherokee Phoenix" newspaper, and a replica of Sarah Ridge's lizard brand along the fence

 


Dottie
Ridenour and the trying-to-stay-warm Anna Smith


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
Judge Jimmy Sylvia

THE STATE OF TEXAS
Governor

~  ~  To all to whom these presents
shall come, Greetings:  Know ye, that this
certificate is presented to the: 

        McNeir Cemetery

 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.

                                                     Rick Perry
                                                                 Governor of Texas

 
The lovely Desiree Doyen of Hollywood and sister Dottie Ridenour

 
Rev. Barbara McNeir

 
McNeir
Cemetery Historical Marker

 McNeir Cemetery

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


Forest McNeir of New Orleans, Dottie and Paul Ridenour (photo by Jack Baker)


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

THE PROGRAM

                                           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 N
                                                            M 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     

 
                                                         
             
                                                                                 
                                                          WELCOME
 
GREETERS' TABLE ..............................................................John Randolph Doyen
                                                                                                   Dorothy Doyen Ridenour
                                                                                                   Mary Edith Scott
 
                                                          CEREMONY
 
GUARDS TAKE PLACES ........... Freeman-Spath, American Legion Post #104
                             Spaight's Battalion Camp #858, Sons of Confederate Veterans
 
ENTRY OF FLAG BEARERS, U.S. AND TEXAS
 
INVOCATION ..........................................................................Rev. Marjorie McNeir
 
PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE
 
   Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.................................Led by Bob Wheat, Chair
                                                                       Chambers County Historical Commission
 
      "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the
        Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty
        and justice for all."
 
   Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag (Texas Citizens)...Led by Bob Wheat
 
      "Honor the Texas Flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one
        and indivisible."
 
U.S. AND TEXAS FLAG BEARERS RETIRE
 
CHAMBERS COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
 
    Recognize Guests and Visitors.........................................Bob Wheat
    Preservation Program for Historic Texas Cemeteries....Bob Wheat
    County Administration ........................................................Judge Jimmy Sylvia
                                                                                                   Commissioner Mark Huddleston
 
ANCESTORS' HONORS
 
   McNeir Descendants' Greeting ..........................................Dorothy McNeir Horner
  
    "The Real Meaning of Peace" (author unknown) .............Desiree Doyen
 
     Descendants' Grave Decorations
        Call to family volunteers ..................................................Desiree Doyen   
        Floral Placements ...........................................................Family Volunteers
 
      A Stroll Down Memory Lane
          Life Story Highlights ......................................................Presenting Descendant
 
          Sarah Ridge Paschal Pix .............................................Mary Edith Nelson Scott
          and Charles Forest Pix
 
           ENTRY OF FLAG BEARER, CONFEDERATE
 
           Emily Agnes Paschal McNeir .....................................Ruth Nelson Stanford Hendrix   
           and William McNeir, (Confederate States Army, Civil War)
 
              TRIBUTE TO CONFEDERATE VETERAN
               Historic Flag Salute (Optional)
              
               "I Salute The Confederate Flag With Affection, Reverence, And Undying
                 Devotion To The Cause For Which It Stands."
 
               Grave Dedication .....................................................Hazel Meaux
                                                                      Thomas Jefferson Chambers Chapter #2591  
                                                                                    United Daughters of the Confederacy
                Rose Tribute ............................................................UDC
                Rifle Salute ...............................................................Spaight's Battalion
 
            CONFEDERATE FLAG BEARER RETIRES
            
             Forest Waldemar McNeir ..........................................R. W. McNeir
             and Stella Frick McNeir
 
             George Paschal McNeir ............................................Ridge Watie McNeir
             Edith Hogan McNeir
             and Margaret Celeste McNeir
 
             ENTRY OF FLAG BEARER, U.S.
 
              Kathryn McNeir Nelson Roberts Stuart ...................Anne Roberts Benge
              Susan Roberts Nevills
              and Floyd Wayne Scott (United States Navy, World War II)
 
              TRIBUTE TO WORLD WAR II VETERAN
               Widow's Rose Tribute ..............................................Mary Edith Nelson Scott
                Rifle Salute ...............................................................Freeman-Spath
 
                 U.S. FLAG BEARER RETIRES
 
MARKER UNVEILING AND INSTALLATION .......................Jean McNeir Williams
                                                                                                    Harold Williams
 
MUSIC
  
   Hymn, "In the Sweet By-and-By" (Bennett & Webster, 1868)...Led by Paul Ridenour on guitar
     
      There's a land that is fairer than day, And by faith we can see it afar;
       For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there.
       Chorus:  In the sweet by-and-by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore,
                        In the sweet by-and-by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
        We shall sing on that beautiful shore, The melodious songs of the blest,
         And our spirits shall sorrow no more, Not a sigh for the blessing of rest. (Chorus)
        To our bountiful Father above, We will offer our tribute of praise,
         For the glorious gift of his love, And the blessings that hallow our days. (Chorus)
 
   Bugle Call "Taps" ..................................................................Instrumental, Pam Sweeney
                                                                                                     Vocal, Ridge Watie McNeir
 
CLOSING REMARKS ..............................................................Bob Wheat

 BENEDICTION .........................................................................Rev. Barbara McNeir

 
                                              PICNIC AND FAMILY REUNION