Angels of Oakwood LbNA # 37654
|Owner||Mitchel & Tami|
|Placed Date||Jan 20 2008|
|Last Update||Dec 24 2014|
Enter Oakwood Cemetery in Jefferson, Texas, through the main Webster Street entrance. As you follow the drive, just after the second intersection you’ll see a family plot surrounded by a black wrought-iron fence on the left. Just past it (also on the left) you’ll notice several individual graves – three of them are above-ground, and are made of brick. Find the one that belongs to Cullen Baker.
Face the headstone, and pause a moment to pay your respects to this Confederate soldier who became a notorious outlaw. Baker’s life ended when he stopped by to visit his father-in-law and found a dinner of ribs and whiskey laid out for him. He didn’t realize that everything was laced with arsenic, though. As he collapsed from the poison, his father-in-law along with all the neighbors ran into the room with guns drawn, and as the old west expression goes, they filled him full of lead.
Now turn around so that you’re facing away from the headstone, and you’ll see that the next row of headstones is lying flat, sunken into the ground. One of them has a pointing hand on it. Follow the direction that the hand is pointing, and you’ll see that it is indicating a mausoleum a little ways away. Follow the road toward it.
The road will dead-end before you get there. When it does, turn right. Just ahead you’ll see a single grave surrounded by an iron fence, with a bench and a plaque beside it. This is the grave of Jefferson’s adopted daughter, Diamond Bessie – walk over to it, and sit on the bench facing the grave.
Bessie was a girl who came to town with a mysterious male companion back in 1877. She was decked out in diamonds and other gems, which caused the townsfolk to give her the nickname. She was seen walking into the woods with him for a picnic, but only he came back to town. Her body was later found propped up against a tree, shot through the head. The town took up a collection to bury her, and the search for her gentleman killer and his subsequent arrest became the trial of the decade.
Look to your right, and you’ll see several tall headstones. One has a cross on top, another has a statue of an angel holding a cross on top. Proceed to it.
In the short row of graves with it, you’ll notice two small ones: “Our Jessie” and “Our Lily”. We originally thought that they were children’s graves, but later discovered that they were two loved dogs who belonged to the woman who owned the Excelisor House Hotel long ago.
While you’re facing Jessie & Lily’s graves, look to your left and you will see one of the smallest magnolia trees in the cemetery – it’s only about seven feet high. Walk to it.
Facing it, with your back to Jessie & Lily’s graves, you’ll notice a short distance away to your left are three identical headstones marked “Whelan”. Proceed toward them, and as you pass, look ahead to the fence line. You will see a small pillar-like grave standing by itself. Continue on toward it. When you get there, you’ll see that it is the grave of “James Fitzgerald, Died July 22, 1902.”
Face away from the front of his gravestone, and you’ll see a concrete block marker in front of you. It is labeled “David Quinn, 1854-1909”. Look along the fence beside it, and not far away you’ll see several stacks of bricks along the fence. The letterbox is at the bottom of the second stack from the right.