Boren-Reagor Springs Cemetery

Boren-Reagor Springs Historical Society

This website is dedicated to maintain for posterity the history of the community, its early settlers, and other related facts of the community, and to help preserve the History of the Boren-Reagor Springs Cemetery located in Reagor Springs, Ellis County, Texas.

Cemetery Day is coming up! October 9th, 1999!

We need you! Along with your shovels, gloves, wheelbarrows, mowers, & weedeaters!


Special Thanks to the O.M. Roberts SCV (Son's of Confederate Veteran's) Camp #178 of Waxahachie who started the clean up, and have been dedicated to the cemetery and its revival for over 2 years!.



 History of the Boren-Reagor Springs Cemetery & Reagor Springs
 Who's buried in the Boren-Reagor Springs Cemetery (Includes directions to the Cemetery)
 Contact Information
 Biographical Information of Individuals buried in the Cemetery
Pictures of the Clean-Up of the Boren-Reagor Springs Cemetery
Legend of the "Monster"
Other Interesting Boren Material (Buy Helen Meeks Book, "Borens, Past & Present")
Civil War History

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History of the Boren Cemetery & Reagor Springs

Michael Boren and Riley Boren donated the land for the cemetery in the early 1830's. Most of the burials occurred during the later 1800's-early 1900's. There are 154 burials in the cemetery, which were recorded. Mr. & Mrs. A. L. Feltenberger did the last transcribed listing of the cemetery on October 4, 1956. The earliest burial was in 1851 and the last burial was 1951.

Prior to the coming of the white settlers, Ellis County was inhabited by the Tonkawa Indians, a peaceful tribe that wanted to hunt in peace. It was a happy hunting ground for deer and buffaloes and the streams were filled with fish. Small black bears, turkey, antelope, and wild hogs roamed the area. The Tonkawa's moved from the area without trouble when their happy hunting ground was taken.

Reagor Springs, midway between Ennis & Waxahachie, tells the simple story of the courageous pioneers who settled near the several springs shaded by fine trees. They turned a wilderness into a pleasant community. The springs were named for Captain John Reagor, who came to the area in 1849. The first settler of the area was Southerland Mayfield, who came in 1844.

Captain Reagor, a veteran of the War of 1812 and he fought in the Battle of New Orleans, came from Mississippi by wagon train bringing his family with him. He purchased over a thousand acres including the springs. His children settled around him.

In 1847 the Borens came to Ellis County, at that time it was Navarro County, and was a wilderness, with streams and creeks flowing in several places. Mustang Creek was named from large droves of Spanish Mustang ponies roaming its banks; Waxahachie is the Indian name for "cow"; and the Arkikosa River was named by the Indians in the area and was later changed to Trinity River by the Spanish for the Deity.

If you know someone who is buried in the Boren Cemetery, please let us know. We would like to document the information for the Ellis County Historical Commission and the Ellis County Genealogy Society.

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Contact Information

Nana Lou Dudley
Denise Maddox
Stacy Cooke

Please send all donations to:
Boren-Reagor Springs Historical Society
c/o Nana Lou Dudley
1052 South Walnut Rd.
Midlothian, TX 76065

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Biographical Information

John W. Bell A Confederate Soldier

John W. Bell was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee on June 24th, 1840 and died Feb 2nd, 1920. John W. Bell served as a Private in the Civil War in Company G 43rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry. Company G was organized October 19, 1861 at Mossy Creek, Jefferson County, Tennessee and commanded by Captain David Neff and Captain Thomas G. Bryan. In the second year of the war, 1862, he was transferred to Company C, 1st East Tennessee Calvary under Colonel Carter. J

An affidavit in Bell's pension application by one Alex Rogers states as follows: "I knew J. W. Bell in Jefferson Co. Tenn, long before the war. I belonged to Co. A 1st E. Tennessee Cav. in 1862. We were at Knoxville, Perryville & Chickamauga when I was captured. I personally know he served till Sept '63. I saw him almost every day up to that time. He was a good soldier, never deserted or abandoned his post."

Without doubt, John W. Bell was witness to many historical events, but survived with his memories until the good old age of 80 years and was laid to rest in the Boren Cemetery under a tomb simply inscribed: "John W. Bell, Co.G Tenn CSA Inf."

If you have any information on John W. Bell, please contact Stacy Cooke at

Nancy Boren Pioneer Woman of Texas

Nancy Boren was born in Virginia around 1754 and died in Ellis County on 11 February 1851. She is buried in Boren Cemetery, Reagor Springs, Texas. Nancy was supposedly a full-blood Cherokee Indian.

Nancy's husband, James Boren, Sr., died in Hempstead, Arkansas 20 December 1826 and is buried there. In 1828 Nancy and seven of her children (Michael, Joseph, Elijah, Matthew, Mary Polly, Delilah Hudson, and Sarah) and their families came to Texas. James stayed in Arkansas and William M. Boren came to Texas in 1833.

Nancy was lured to Texas by promise of land. Nancy Boren received a Mexican Land Grant from the State of Coahuila and Texas on Sept. 1, 1835. This league of land is located in what is today Milam Co. This grant was subsequently found to be in conflict with an earlier grant issued to Jose Antonio Pena in 1833. The Boren title is listed as cancelled according to the Abstract of All Original Texas Land Titles. Nancy Boren's title is now in Box 37, Folder 71 of the Spanish Collection of this office. Nancy Boren also applied for Admission to Stephen F. Austin and Samuel M. Williams' colony in 1834. This petition for admission (Box 25, Folder 23) indicates that she was a widow and 64 years of age.

In later years Nancy moved to Ellis County to be near her sons Joseph and Michael. On the 1850 Ellis County census Nancy is listed as 96 years of age and living with her son Joseph and his wife Annie. She died in Ellis County, Texas on 1 February 1851 leaving behind for her children the 2,222 acres of land in Milam County, Texas. She was truly the spirit of a Pioneer Woman in Texas.

Michael Boren a Texas Veteran and Christian

Michael Boren was born 10 March 1806, Warren County, Kentucky and died 11 July 1875 in Reagor Springs, Texas. He is buried in Boren Cemetery. Michael and his first wife Bettie Morrow lived in Austin County, Texas near old Washington-on-the-Brazos as early as 1829. He was a hero in the fight for Texas Independence. He served as a colonel under Sam Houston in Sterling W. Robertson Co., Army of the Republic of Texas and was discharged, receiving 320 acres of land for his service. His wife, Bettie, and their 3 children were involved in The Runaway Scrape after the fall of the Alamo and before the Battle of San Jacinto. Bettie died after her son Albert was born and is buried in Burleson County, TX.

Michael married his second wife, Mary Ann and had 9 children. They moved to Ellis County in 1847 and settled 2 miles east of Reagor Springs, Texas. At that time Reagor Springs was in Navarro County. Michael hauled lumber and groceries with oxen from Shreveport, Louisiana to Reagor Springs, Texas. Most of his children settled in the area. On his tombstone is "Here lies a Texas Veteran and Christian".

Michael married his third wife, Mary Eliza Cooke, sister of Henry L. Cooke. Michael and Mary were married after June 1860. Their daughter Anna was born in 1861. He was 53 at the time of the marriage and Mary was 36.

Henry Lechmere Cooke Dedicated Teacher & Christian

Henry was born in Newbern, North Carolina on December 23, 1809. Henry brought his family to Texas in 1856 and settled on Mustang Creek. He was a schoolteacher who taught in a log cabin behind the Church of Little Bethel; a Baptist Church organized in 1859 where Henry and his wife, Martha, were both charter members. When Henry died October 11, 1885, his daughter, Sallie, had just given birth to her son Billy 2 weeks earlier. The body was in the casket in a wagon to be carried to Boren Cemetery. She was weak and still in bed and didn't go to the funeral, but, because she wanted to see her father once more, two uncles lifted her up to see him in the wagon.

Rhoda Wheat

Rhoda Wheat was the 2nd child of Michael & Bettie Boren. She is buried in the Boren Cemetery. She was born 27 August 1831, Austin County, Texas and died before 28 September 1868 in Ellis County, Texas. She married James Wheat 26 April 1848 in Lamar County, Texas. James Wheat died before 28 September 1868 and is buried in the Boren Cemetery.

James & Rhoda bought a farm from Wm. Gaston and Eleanor Catherine (Kendall) Cooke. The deed was delivered 25 June 1859. On 25 August 1877, the homeplace was 115 acres. At that time Wm. M. Boren was Administer of the estate.

James & Rhoda died leaving behind 5 minor children; James, William Riley, Sarah Eliza, Texana, & Joseph. On 28 September 1868 Michael Boren, the children's grandfather, was appointed Administrator of James & Rhoda's estate, dying without a will. After Michael died Wm. M. Boren was appointed temporary Administrator on 21 July 1875 and guardian of the 5 children.

Henraetta Wheatley

Henraetta Wheatley was the third daughter of Pierce Henry Wheatley and his first wife, Sarah. She is buried in the Boren cemetery. She was born in Henderson County, Tennessee 14 April 1863. In 1878 she came to Ellis County, Texas with her father and his second wife and their seven other children. She died 21 July 1895.

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Legend of the "Monster"

East of the Boren's farm and near the cemetery lies the "Monster's" home. It was full of trees, scrubs, and weeds down by Waxahachie Creek. Uncle Frank Boren disappeared one day when the kids were playing "hide and seek". They couldn't find him, so they told their parents and finally the whole community was searching for him. They decided "The Monster" had gotten him. When they went to milk the cows, there he was, fast asleep. The legend of the "Monster" spread and all the surrounding communities believed in the legend. It was told that a big hairy creature that issued forth blood-curdling cries lived in the creek area. Every evening parents would rush their children into the house and bar the windows and doors, for fear of the "Monster". Many claimed to have seen the creature. It was reported that his eyes were red and that he could breathe fire. These tales went on for years. You can still talk to people in the area and they know of the "Monster".

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Other Interesting Boren Material

Borens, Past & Present by Helen Meeks

This book is 499 pages of Boren history. All profits go to the Boren Reagor Springs Historical Society for the preservation of the cemetery.

If interested in purchasing a copy just contact: Denise Maddox

Lee Peacock Feud

Lee-Peacock Feud

Several Borens and Maddoxes were involved in this feud in the Four Corners area of Fannin, Grayson, Collin, and Hunt counties.

Borens in the Civil War

 Johnson's Texas Spy Company

First Muster Roll of Captain Alfred Johnson's Texas Spy Company of Cavalry Unattached Texas Volunteers, reorganized for the unexpired term of three years or the War from the first of September, 1862, commanded by the Commander in Chief of the Texas Military District, called into the service of the Confederate States, in the Provisional Army, under the provisions of the Act of Congress passed February, 1862 (date of this muster), for the unexpired term of three years or the War, unless sooner discharged.

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Civil War History

John W. Bell and the 43rd TN Infantry

43rd TN Infantry and John W. Bell

The 43rd was organized at Knoxville, Tenn. during the winter of 1861, mustering into service on December 14, 1861. Company G was comprised of men from Jefferson County. Learn more about the 43rd by reading an account of John W. Bell's service to this division by Stacy Cooke.

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Contributors to this page:

Helen Meeks, Nana Lou Dudley, Denise Maddox
Stacy Cooke, Sylvia Smith, & Pam Tekell

Webmaster Denise Maddox
Revised 08/20/99

© 1997 Denise Maddox

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