Atoka Cemetery, Novice, Coleman County, Texas


(Click to enlarge.)

(May 2011, Jenniffier SHIELDS HAWES)

Original Wood from Atoka School House

(Click to enlarge.)

(May 2011, Jenniffier SHIELDS HAWES)

(Click to enlarge.)

(Shirley Oligney Baker)

(Click to enlarge.)

History of Atoka Cemetery

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On this page: Local History; Cemetery History, including Texas Historical Marker

Latest update: Monday, June 13, 2011

•  "It is not known just when the Atoka school started, but some of the early settlers thought it started in the mid 1870's. Rev.

R.F. Mitchell who arrived in Atoka community in 1882 said there was a building at the Atoka Cemetery in the 70's.  Most of

his children went to school there..." "Atoka... Early Settlement: Atoka Schools" article by Jack Shield

• "As the land was sold and people started to come there was a store, school, church and Masonic Lodge Hall built at Atoka. A

cemetery had been started." "Atoka... Early Settlement: Charlie PARKER" article by Jack Shields

• "In the early 1870’s, a large building was built and a cemetery was started at Atoka.  It is probable that the land was donated

by the early Parker settlers." Atoka School by Violet G. Tyson from A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 

• "The Atoka Cemetery was probably the first community type service or place to come about in Atoka Country.  Possibly, the

first person buried there was a Mexican child (only blank stones mark the early graves).  There are about 50 unmarked graves

total.  Another story says the first grave was a cowboy who worked for Rev. Childress or a man who was buried just west of

the present cemetery area.  This was around 1870 (?)" History of Atoka presented by Bill SHIELDS at the Annual

Homecoming, May 2010.

"When the building [Atoka School]

became unfit for use, it was torn

down and some of the lumber was

used to build a structure with just a

roof covering a table and benches. 

It is in one corner of the cemetery

lot." Atoka School from A History of

Coleman County and Its People,


• Texas Historical Commission: Historical Marker #232, 1996

The Texas Historical Marker for Atoka Cemetery was dedicated to Jack SHIELDS during the 1996 Annual Homecoming.

• Marker Title: Atoka Cemetery

• City: Novice

• Year Marker Erected: 1996

• Marker Location: From Novice take FM 1770 3 miles west.

Turn north onto county road and continue about 1 mile

to cemetery on the left fork of the road.

• Marker Text: "Settlement of this area began in the 1850s with the establishment of

Camp Colorado, a United States cavalry outpost. At the outbreak of the Civil War the

camp was occupied by Texas State Troops and Texas Ranger units. The existence

of the camp spurred permanent settlement in the area, and many families moved

here from the southern United States after the Civil War. The settlers established

farms and ranches, and the Atoka community included a general store operated by

D.A. Parker and S.N. Edenborough, a combination church/school building, and a

cotton gin built by D.A. Parker. This cemetery was established in 1880 on land

deeded by C.E. Bush. Among the early pioneers buried here are the Rev. Hugh

Martin Childress, Sr., a former Texas Ranger and Republic of Texas soldier; his son,

Elisha Childress, who served as the first Coleman County sheriff; veterans of the Civil

War; and several workers killed in an explosion that occurred during the construction

of a Santa Fe Railroad bridge across Jim Ned Creek in 1910. The cemetery, which is

maintained by an association of descendants of those buried here, is one of the few

physical reminders of the Atoka community and its pioneer settlers. (1996)"

Internet References to Historical Marker

Texas Historic Sites Atlas

Fort Tours

Cemeteries of Texas

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