Annual Cemetery Walk to benefit Tarleton library, Historical House Museum

Friday, October 20, 2017

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Characters from Erath County’s past come to life Sunday, Oct. 29, at the 10th annual Sprits of Erath Cemetery Walk.

The event takes place at 2 and 3:30 p.m. at the West End Cemetery at the corner of Washington and Lillian streets.

The public event is sponsored by the Friends of the Tarleton Dick Smith Library and the Stephenville Historical House Museum. Tickets are $5, and proceeds benefit both.

“Each year we choose people from Stephenville and Erath County’s past to portray,” said event organizer Glenda Stone. “We have actors and actresses, complete with period costumes, presenting five-minute vignettes about the people. It is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and learn about our local history.”

This year’s historical cast features Professor Earl A. Funkhouser in a nod to Tarleton’s centennial celebration. Funkhouser began the manual arts program in 1918 and designed the university’s iconic east rock gate and rock wall along Military Drive. Stephenville blacksmith John Akey, who designed and fabricated the cemetery gates, is also one of this year’s characters.

Sallie Mothershead, who ran Mothershead Cottage—a boarding house where some Tarleton students lived—is highlighted, along with Robert and Nancy Sloan. The Sloans were early ranchers whose children married well-known city leaders, including Jennie Sloan Jones, whose family once owned some of the land that is now part of the Tarleton campus. The names of many of the streets near campus—Jones, Sloan, Lillian, Cain, Neblett and Ollie—are part of the Sloan family legacy.

Also on the Spirits of Erath playbill are the Titus sisters, one who was married to attorney Silas Buck, and Sallie Oringderff who was wed several times, once to a bigamist.

Walkers are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes, hats and sunscreen. Folding chairs are allowed but must be moved from station to station. Water will be provided. There are no restrooms at the cemetery.

Parking for the event will be available along the south road inside the cemetery and at the back of the graveyard. Limited parking will be available at the Knights of Columbus hall and at the Tarleton parking lot on the corner of McNeill and Lillian streets. Other areas for parking are behind the pecan orchard near Washington Street and at the lot on the corner of Washington and Harbin Drive near the Tarleton Horticulture Center.

For more information, call Glenda Stone at 254-968-4750.

Tarleton, celebrating 100 years as founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. As a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service.


Contact: Phil Riddle, News & Information Specialist
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.