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UNIVERSE, TEXAS

Smith County, East Texas
Highway 64
1 Mile East of Tyler Loop 323 and
1 Mile West of Bascom
Population: Included in the population of Tyler

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Universe Cemetery tombstone, Texas
A farewell handshake in the Pines

Photo courtesy Lori Martin, January 2006
History in a Pecan Shell

The date of settlement is given as 1861. The Headache Springs Medical Laboratory of the Confederate Army operated here during the war. One of nine facilities located west of the Mississippi, this is where Confederate doctors made medicine (and medicinal whiskey) from local roots, bark and mineral waters from the springs. They were, as the historical marker says, the "medicines of desperation."

In 1936, county maps showed a church, cemetery and school for Universe.

The school was consolidated with the Tyler ISD in 1952. In 1972 Universe was still considered "a residential community with a church, cemetery and three businesses." In 1990 part of the area had been designated the "Headache Springs Natural Park."
Universe cemetery, Texas
Two smaller tombstones

Photo courtesy Lori Martin
Photographer's Note: "I found this cemetery accidentally. There are no markers or signs for the cemetery. The gates are hidden and the cemetery itself is overgrown with weeds and small trees. There is a gate in the backyard [of a house] that enters the cemetery. I looked around on the Internet and found out that it is the Universe Cemetery." Lori Martin, January 2006
Broken tombstones in Universe Cemetery, Texas
Vandalism or tractor damage?

Photo courtesy Lori Martin
Broken tombstones in Universe Cemetery, Texas
More shards among the pine needles.

Photo courtesy Lori Martin
From the rootsweb page for Tyler County: The 3-acre unmaintained cemetery is at Latitude: N 32:20:08.4 - Longitude: W 095:14:47.9
Directions: From downtown Tyler, take Highway 64 E to CR274 (aka Nottingham Lane). Turn left. One half mile on Nottingham Lane will bring you to the 9100 block. The entrance to Headache Springs Park is a few hundred yards further north. Earliest burial is 1871 and the most recent is March of 2001.

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More Photos by Lori Martin

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This page last modified: May 18, 2007