A warranty deed dated February 24, 1914 in which Mollie E. Gray (formerly Mollie Dugan) joined with her husband, William Gray conveys one fifth interest in the D.H. Dugan farm to R.A. Long states that 8 ¾ acres had been sold off for lots and 62/100 acre tract had been reserved for the Dugan family cemetery.(3) The first marked burial in the IOOF Cemetery was Nancy Gary, wife of A. A. Gary born 25 December 1839 and died January 1893. (4)
The Caddo Mills Cemetery
Association (now known as the IOOF Cemetery Association) was formally organized
December 11, 1925 when the IOOF Lodge formally turned their cemetery one mile
south of Caddo Mills to lot owners and citizenship of Caddo Mills and
vicinity. The Grand Master and
Grand Lodge IOOF of
An irrevocable trust agreement was
made between William R. Nunn, Jr. of
The IOOF Cemetery Association officers for 1926 were E. L. Foster, president, C. B. Briscoe, secretary, E. C. Fagg, assistant secretary, W. E. Drake, superintendent of lots and directors were A. Fagg, Dr. W. C. Welch, Jas, R. Bass, R. O. Parker, J. A. Harper, W. F. Strawn and C. F. Stevenson. Entertainment and decorating committee members were Frank Drake, John T. Watson, Roy Johnson, Earl Fagg, Mrs. M. D. Shuler, Mrs. Allie Bass, Mrs. H. F. Royce, Mrs. Vera Foster, Mrs. E. C. Fagg, Mrs. C. F. Stevenson, Mrs. C. B. Briscoe, Mrs. A. H. Moore, Mrs. Nellie Welch, and Mrs. Pearl Foster. (8)
The first memorial and homecoming service was May 1937. In the early years, funds were raised with ice cream suppers and bake sales. Later, lot owners paid yearly $2.50 to pay for the upkeep of the cemetery. Today, the cost of the lot includes monies to be used for the upkeep of the cemetery. (9)
In the early 1900’s, the IOOF Cemetery Ladies Auxiliary was formed. A tabernacle/gazebo was erected with bois d’arc post to support the roof. In 1997, the IOOF Cemetery Ladies Auxiliary was reorganized under the direction of Linda Hess. The members were Linda Hess, president, Rheda Davis, Vivian Hess, Marilyn Rentfrow, Joan Bentley, Marie Bentley, Marsha Nelson, June Jordan, Katherine Griffis, Evelyn Newman and Mozzelle Bearding. With the help of the IOOF Cemetery Association, the auxiliary was able to erect a new tabernacle/gazebo with Ionic columns and balustrades roofed with slate to replace the aged one.
The IOOF Cemetery Association presently is very active with President James Rentfrow, James Green, Linda Hess, Amos Kohn, Buel Bentley, Rex King, Harry Garlington, JoNell Garlington, Glenn Newman, and Joyce Reeves. The association works to continue to beautify the cemetery and make it as serene as possible.
There have been approximately 2,205 burials in the cemetery. Of those burials are a number of soldiers. The oldest soldiers buried in the cemetery were Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The Confederate soldiers were Jessie Bledsoe, J. W. Griffis, Joseph R. Bass and B. F. Hill. Those who fought in the Spanish American War who are buried in the cemetery are Tom Long, Richard M. Nesbitt, Jim Bell and Ed Rogers. Many others who served our country in World War 1, World War11, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are also buried in the cemetery. (10)
The cemetery is well kept with grass covered graves. Tombstones marking burials vary with tree stumps, marble, pink and gray granite. Curbing marks the site of some family plots. The cemetery continues to serve the Caddo Mills, Josephine and surrounding areas.
The cemetery was marked with a State Historical Marker in October 2001. Future generations will be able to reflect and experience a part of the area’s history.