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The Hector Family Cemetery is a family burial site located on the original Astyanax “Stine” Troy Hector (1823-1905) farm, which in later years was known as the Johnson Farm. To reach the cemetery from San Marcos, begin at the intersection of IH 35 and SH 123, go south 4.1 miles toward Seguin on highway 123. The cemetery is located on the left side of the road and behind the barn. Jim Smith owns the land on which the cemetery is located.
The Hector cemetery was born of necessity and was, without a doubt, established by Valerus Gordon Hector, the thirteen-year-old son of Astyanax and Sarah Hector. Valerus Gordon's mother died seven days after she gave birth to her seventh child. This tragic event occurred on November 28, 1864, in the absence of the husband, who was serving in the Confederate States Army.
Valerus Gordon buried his mother, Sarah Jane Hocker Hector on the family farm near their house. He apparently marked his mother's grave with an uncarved stone. This was the beginning of the historic Hector family cemetery.
Beginning in the 1830s and continuing through 1846, Stine Hector, his parents, brothers, and sisters immigrated to the Republic of Texas from Virginia. Other events significant for the family occurred before another Hector family member would be placed in this cemetery. Upon release from the Confederate army at the end of the war, Stine Hector returned home to find that his young son had been managing the affairs of the farm and caring for the other Hector children sinceSarah Jane's death.
On October 24, 1865, Stine Hector married Susan Nancy Hocker, his deceased wife's youngest sister. This second marriage produced eleven children. On June 1, 1870, Susan Hector gave birth to twin sons. These infants died six days later on June 7, 1870, apparently before their names could be recorded. These babies are buried near Sarah Jane Hector's grave and their graves were marked with uncarved stones.
Records and headstone inscriptions show that in addition to Sarah Jane Hector and the twins, the following family members are also buried in the Hector Family cemetery:
Charles Obed Hector, a son from the first marriage. His headstone inscription reads, "C. O. Hector, Husband of Ida Hector, Born August 17, 1856, Died Aug 20, 1880".
Astyanax Troy Hector Junior, a son from the first marriage. His headstone inscription reads, "A. Troy Hector, Born Aug 1, 1862, Died July 13, 1883".
Susan Nancy Hocker Hector. Her headstone, the first of two markers for her, bears the inscription, "Susan J Hector, Born Dec 12 1842, died July 7 1888". Please note that Susan was incorrectly given the letter J for her middle initial. Apparently her middle name was confused with that of her sister Jane.
David Alexander Hector, a son from the first marriage. His headstone inscription reads, "D. A. Hector, born Jun 28 1860, Died Aug 5 1899, Farewell my wife and children all, From you a Father Christ doth call".
The last recorded burial in this small family cemetery was Stine Hector, the husband of the sisters Sarah Jane and Susan Nancy Hocker Hector. On November 5, 1905,he was placed to rest beside his second wife, Susan Nancy, and their graves marked with a joint headstone. His inscription reads, "Father A. T. Hector Sr, Born Jan 14 1823, Died Nov 5 1905, Gone to a mansion of rest to the glorious land by the Deity blest". Susan Nancy's headstone inscription, her second, reads “Mother Susan N Hector, Born Dec 12 1842, Died July 7 1888, Rest in quiet sleep while friends in sorrow o’er thee weep”. Both of her headstones remain in the cemetery.
Although records are incomplete, it is assumed the following additional family members are also buried in the Hector family cemetery:
B. Maney Hector, a son from the second marriage.
May Hector, a daughter from the second marriage.
Mary H. Mitchell Hocker, mother of Sarah Jane and Susan Nancy Hocker Hector, born around 1810 and buried sometime in the 1880s.
All of these graves were marked with uncarved stones.
The Hector family cemetery went unnoticed and without proper care and maintenance for many years, although occasionally some of the Hector relatives visited. At some point, a concrete curb and a wrought iron fence were installed around the cemetery. Farm animals subsequently destroyed the fence, and many of the headstones were knocked down and damaged. Trees, bushes, grass, and weeds were allowed to cover the ground.
On August 23, 1997, a group of Hector relatives, who agreed that the deplorable condition of the cemetery had to be corrected, met in San Marcos, Texas, for the expressed purpose of organizing what is now known as the Astyanax Troy Hector Cemetery Association, Incorporated. The purposes of the association are:
1. To preserve, maintain and safeguard the Astyanax Troy Hector family cemetery located near San Marcos, Hays County, Texas, in perpetuity, and its historical significance to the early settlement of the Republic and the State of Texas.
2. To benefit and protect the public by preserving and keeping the cemetery from becoming a place of disorder, reproach, and desolation in the community in which the cemetery is located.
On October 23, 1997, Articles of Incorporation were approved and filed with the Secretary of State. The Association is an Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (13) nonprofit organization. Copies of these documents and copies of the Association Bylaws may be obtained from the association secretary.
The Hays County Historical Commission took an active role and interest in restoring the Hector family cemetery. Lila Knight Ethridge, then Chair of the Hays County Historical Commission and Winton Porterfield, then Chair of the commission’s Cemetery Committee, attended and participated in the August 1997 Hector family meeting. These officials provided encouragement, guidance, and support for the announced objective to restore and safeguard the Hector Family Cemetery. Through their help the Hays County Historical Commission provided the initial funds for the installation of a barbed wire fence and for a professional survey team to determine the costs to restore the damaged headstones. Ms. Knight Ethridge and Mr. Porterfield stayed the course and assisted the Association throughout the restoration work.
Mr. Smith, the owner of the land, was helpful and supportive of efforts to restore and safeguard the cemetery.
The Hector Family Cemetery is now restored. The headstones have been repaired and reset on bases. The cemetery has been enclosed within a barbed wire outer fence, and a new wrought iron fence has been installed inside the concrete curb. The ground is now covered with washed river gravel to reduce maintenance.
On January 26, 1999, the Texas Historical Commission designated the Hector Family Cemetery as an Official Historic Texas Cemetery, and the Declaration of Dedication Certificate has been recorded in the Hays County Clerk's Office. On May 25, 1999, the Texas Historical Commission Marker Review Board approved the Hector Family Cemetery for an Official Texas Historical Marker. In addition, a permanent plaque has also been placed in the cemetery recognizing the outstanding support and contributions of all the association’s charter and honorary members, as well as the friends of the Hector family.
Additional information about the Hector Family Cemetery or the Astyanax Troy Hector Cemetery Association, Incorporated may be obtained by contacting any one of the following:
E. Roy Hector
49231 E. CR 1620
Stratford, OK 74872
Geri Hector Lilly
4406 Mockingbird Lane
Midland, TX 79707-1615
Garland D. Hector
5353 FM1237 #60
Temple, TX 76504
1708 Pease Street
Sweetwater, TX 79556-7842