HERNDON CEMETERY - McKINNEY
Correction: It was actually George Henry Herndon Jr.'s son James Rodney Herndon who was born the first white child in Collin County. It was told to us by my grandmother and her father (James Rodney's Father) that it was the first white child on record. He was born 12/15/1847. (AC)
The Herndon Cemetery is about ½ mile north of the Collin County Poor Farm Cemetery, 1 mile north of the Williams Cemetery, 1 mile south of the Buckner Cemetery and 1 mile northeast of the McGarrah Cemetery.
The Herndon family is one of the oldest families in the county. George and James Herndon married sisters of Jack McGarrah, who started the town of Buckner. The Herndons arrived in Collin County on election day in 1847. George and his wife Cynthia had a child 5 weeks later. James settled here and George settled southwest of here in the southern part of Stonebridge. The creek that crosses Foncine Rd./Hardin Blvd. south of Virginia Parkway is the Herndon Branch. The hill down to the creek on Virginia Parkway is called Herndon Hill. George Herndon had a cemetery on his property, but the graves were moved to Rowlett Creek Cemetery in 1923.
This cemetery contains 3 known graves – those of James Herndon and his wife Elizabeth McGarrah, and their daughter, Ellen N. Montgomery. The stones are in numerous pieces but the writing is still legible. The cemetery itself has not been used for dumping, but the edge of the field near the cemetery has been. It is rumored that there is an Indian Burial Ground east of the family cemetery that has bois d'arc markers. They were not visible on my visit.
All of the land around the cemetery as far north as US 380 is undeveloped and belongs to various members of the Crutcher family. The cemetery is mentioned in a couple of early deeds as a point to measure from. However, no deed has been found for the cemetery itself.
According to a newspaper article printed in the McKinney Examiner in 1949, the oldest burial in the county is supposed to be in this cemetery. It is said to be the grave of Ellen N. Montgomery, a daughter of James Herndon and the wife of John Montgomery. They are saying she died in 1853. Her stone says she died in 1881, unless it is a different Mrs. J. C. Montgomery. There were numerous burials in Collin County before 1853. The article also claims that the first white child born in Collin County (on record) was George Henry Herndon. He would have been born in December of 1847. There were other white children born in Collin County before 1847. (Note: It was James Rodney Herndon, son of George Henry Herndon, Jr., who was the first white child on record to be born in the county.)
Cemeteries of Collin County, Texas, Joy Gough
Several unmarked graves have been located in the cemetery.