The Old Saltillo Cemetery Memorial Day meeting was held at the Old Saltillo United Methodist Church on Sunday July 15, 2018. Over 200 persons attended in cool comfort inside the newly renovated and air conditioned sanctuary. After the business meeting and program, a long line wended it’s way into the Woodrow Kirby Fellowship Hall to enjoy the covered dish lunch spread on numerous tables.
Pastor Stephen Cotten led the welcome and opening prayer. Reverend Victor Casad, District Supt. of the NE Texas Conference of United Methodist Churches remarked that, though the church building is functional, it is not yet completed so therefore, the church could not be consecrated at this annual gathering according to UMC guidelines. However, a Dedication can be planned for next year’s Memorial Day on the third Sunday in July, and pilgrimages are encouraged for that. Program Speaker John Sellers gave some interesting history of Old Saltillo dating back to 1846. Included was an account dated prior to 1900, in which a postman serving the area on horseback was attacked by a panther, was rescued by his family, but passed away a few days later due to infection. About that time, a teamster trail, the Jefferson Bonham Highway, was a major early thoroughfare for goods and travel, and with Saltillo located along that highway, the Twin Groceries supplied goods for families living in a wide radius prior to rail service. A portion of Interstate 30 was constructed along the roadbed of this early highway. Sellers’ notes also pointed out that the very first airport in Hopkins County was located in Saltillo, in use during the 1930’s. Sellers also announced that in 2018, the Texas Historical Commission accepted the application making the Old Saltillo Cemetery a Recognized Texas Cemetery. Cemetery Board President Vivian Dennis Monzingo gave an extensive report on the 2018 renovation of the church, perpetual care fund and recent cemetery projects, one of which was the installation of pipes as flower holders on every grave. Constance McGill headed up placement of flowers on each grave with non-resident family, and all Veterans graves were marked with flowers in May and July. Families were invited to send articles and photos for postings on social media by Ryan Agee and website by Trapper Pace. A vote placed Kenneth Patridge, Ryan Agee and Randy Agee as incoming Board members for 2019-2021. Youth Pastor Luke Dennis and youth members led the Pledge of Allegiance and a special a capella Lord’s Prayer was provided by Peggy Capps. Congregational singing was led by Mike Briley and Lisa Lowry. The youngest person in attendance was 6-month-old Luke Wardrup, the oldest was Velma Locke at 101 years of age, and Harold Martin, Bob Spearman and Ardis Dennis were among the 0ver-90 age group. See more on facebook and at oldsaltillocemetery.com