in a Pecan Shell
Henderson Hillin is widely accepted as the founder of Pinehill. He
arrived in the 1840s and wrote to his family and friends back in Alabama
and Georgia, entreating them to come to Texas.
Hillin became the town’s first merchant and when a post office opened
in 1847, the community (previously known as “Rake Pocket”)
was thereafter called Pinehill (or Pine Hill).
The office moved to Sharon, Texas (Panola
County) for two years beginning in 1856. Growth just prior to
the Civil War was said to be substantial although no figures are available.
Timber reserves were tapped early in the 20th Century via the Timpson
and Henderson railroad line. A fire in 1916 destroyed a good portion
of downtown Pinehill and a second fire in 1937 caused further damage.
The town’s population had risen to 250 in the first decade of the
20th Century and remained there through the 1940 census.
As part of the postwar exodus to urban centers, Pinehill lost more
than half of its residents by the 1950s, leaving a population of just
100. The 2000 census showed a mere 48 people residing in Pinehill.
1 mile N at intection of FM 1798 and CR 1335D
John S. Buckner
(1806-1870), his wife, Mariah T. (d. 1874), and their two sons, Arthur
Washington (1828-1894) and Mumford Jackson (1831-1872), traveled from
Georgia and settled in this area before 1850. As the family and community
grew, this site was set aside as a burial ground. John was one of
the first to be laid to rest here in 1870. Both Buckner sons served
the Confederacy during the Civil War. Mumford enlisted in Johnson's
Brigade, 1st Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers, and later served
in the Texas Cavalry. Arthur was part of Company C, 1st Texas Infantry
and was at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865, when Robert E. Lee surrendered.
He returned to his business in Pinehill where he ran a sawmill with
his father, as well as a general store and cotton gin. One of his
daughters, May Buckner Hillin (1869-1966), is remembered for her response
to an 1892 incident in which a man was stabbed at a local drugstore
that secretly sold whiskey. She led the women of Pinehill to the site,
where they broke up the whiskey containers with axes. The Buckner
Cemetery chronicles these pioneers, veterans and generations that
have contributed to the development of the Pinehill area or Rusk
County. A trust fund created in 1974 provides for its upkeep.
Historic Texas Cemetery – 2001
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