Cemetery Walk to feature actors portraying area’s early settlers
They came from Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, Germany and Galveston, but they all eventually made their way to San Marcos, where they put down roots, raised their families and shaped the small town they called home.
These 12 early settlers of San Marcos will come to life from 3-5 p.m. Nov. 2 during the second annual Cemetery Walk, sponsored by the Heritage Association of San Marcos and the Friends of the San Marcos Cemetery.
The event is open to the public, and admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students (children under 12 will be admitted free).
Student actors from San Marcos High School's Drama Department will portray the following individuals during the event: Charles S. Cock, David Dailey, J. W. Earnest, Augusta Hofheinz, D. P. Hopkins, W.O. and Leonora Hutchison, William Lindsey, Eliza Pope Pitts Malone, Thomas McGehee, Dock Roberts and Walker Wilson.
Wearing period costumes, the actors will stand by the gravesites of the local settlers to share details about their lives and why they are significant figures in the history of San Marcos. Among the highlights of the presentations are the following:
• W.O. Hutchison was an attorney who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army and later served as a state senator. The home he and his wife, Leonora, built across the street from the courthouse was later moved a few blocks from that location and now serves as the Texas State University Alumni Center.
• William Lindsay made his mark on San Marcos when he joined Gen. Edward Burleson and Dr. Eli T. Merriman to lay out the town in the late 1840s. He is the only one of these three city fathers buried in the town he helped design.
• Augusta Hofheinz and her husband, Daniel, emigrated from Germany and became proprietors of one of San Marcos's most popular hotels, located on the corner of San Antonio Street and LBJ Drive.
• Both Walker Wilson and Thomas McGehee participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. McGehee would later build his farm on Thompson's Island as the first Anglo settler in the San Marcos area.
• In 1868, Peter Roberts, an African-American Freedman, purchased land on the site that would become the San Marcos Cemetery. His son, Dock, later sold some of that property to the Cemetery Association. Members of his family are said to be buried on that property in unmarked graves.
• A doctor and Methodist preacher, David Dailey traveled by covered wagon with his wife and 10 children from Georgia. He built his home in the settlement known as Stringtown, which was located along present-day Hunter Road .
• Many will recognize the name of Charles S. Cock, a former San Marcos mayor whose rock house on Hopkins Street is now a museum that opens for lunch on Fridays as the Cottage Kitchen. Joe Earnest, who married one of Charles Cock's twin daughters, was a rancher and a Texas Ranger.
• D.P. Hopkins, for whom Hopkins Street is named, served as the local tax assessor-collector and was an amateur historian and journalist.
A research and planning committee composed of members of the Heritage Association and Friends of the San Marcos Cemetery has been working for several months to plan the “Echoes from Our Past: Early Settlers of San Marcos” Cemetery Walk. Advance tickets for the event will be sold at the First United Methodist Church office and at the Charles S. Cock House Museum during the Oct. 25 Cottage Kitchen Luncheon from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund improvement projects at the San Marcos Cemetery, which is located at 1001 Old Ranch Road 12. Tours will depart at intervals from the historic cemetery chapel.
In the event of inclement weather, the reenactment will be staged at the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, 131 N. Guadalupe St. beginning at 3 p.m.
For more information, visit sanmarcoscemetery.org or heritagesanmarcos.org or call (512) 392-3552.