History of Corinth Cemetery
Corinth Cemetery is located approximately a mile and a half north of Kennard just off the Old Crockett Road. The name Corinth, one of the stops on Paul's missionary journeys in the Bible, was the name of a school and a Methodist-Episcopal Church, founded on the site in the late 1850's. The land was patented to Edmund Mason, a Methodist preacher and teacher, who, it was believed, founded the school and church. By 1855, tax records indicate he had set aside five acres of his own land for the church and school. Sometime prior to 1872, the Edmund Mason tract was purchased by Thomas Blunt and Nelson and Sarah Patton. Subsequent deeds to the cemetery property date from February 5, 1881. In 1883, a new site was donated by the Julian Family for a church and school, to serve Old Randolph, Corinth, and Old Zion. Because of its central location, it was called Center Hill.
The first known burial in Corinth Cemetery is a grave marker for Joseph M. Armstrong, Jr. (b.July 24,1960, d.September 16, 1864). This child was the son of Joseph M. Armstrong, Sr. and Annie Elizabeth Webb Stubblefield Armstrong. They lived north of Kennard toward Old Zion Cemetery. Old-timers remember other markers in the cemetery, made of wood or rocks, long since disappeared. At least three pieces of petrified wood rock that are still in existence in the cemetery, appear to mark grave sites. The earliest burial at Corinth Cemetery may have been Easter Alexander Morgan, the first wife of Evan Morgan. Family history, being compiled by Gerald Morgan, indicates that Easter Morgan died with her child who died after the arrival of Evan Morgan in East Texas. Both these deaths and burials occurred before 1857 when Evan Morgan married his second wife, Nancy Jane Shott. Markers for Easter Alexander Morgan have been placed at Corinth Cemetery, although it is not yet proven that she is buried there.
There were only 20 known burials in Corinth Cemetery prior to 1920. In 1916, when William Bankhead Tunstall died, his brother, nephews and neighbors had to cut a swath through a thicket to get to the burial site. During the early years of Kennard, the cemetery was little used, and maintained sporadically by individual families who came occasionally and cleaned off their family plots. As early as 1940, semi-annual gatherings of families and descendants of people buried at Corinth began to meet to clear and keep the cemetery clean. These gatherings usually included dinner on the ground. Esther Louisa Morgan Julian and Lillie Morgan West, granddaughters of Evan Morgan, were two who came faithfully. By 1945 the cemetery had been fenced and trustees elected. In 1974, the Corinth Cemetery Association was formed, electing officers, and collecting funds for the annual maintenance of the cemetery. The first Board of Trustees for Corinth Cemetery, elected under a charter from the State of Texas, was John Neal Morgan, Chairman, Shelton Adams (Junior) Curry, and Smith Vickers. Herman Ainsworth served as President of the Association for many years, and Betty Tunstall Swindall served faithfully as Treasurer for nearly 10 years.
A Texas Historical Marker was awarded to Corinth Cemetery May 17, 1992, and dedicated to the memory of Herman E. and Louise Merriwether Ainsworth by their sons. The Annual Meeting of the Corinth Cemetery Association is held in the afternoon of the third Sunday of May.
Author - Jim Tom Ainsworth