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William Foreman

William Forman

Born: April 8, 1792
Died: Sept. 20, 1856

Ben Matthews

Early 1800's

In the early 1800’s, this land now known as Collin County, Texas, was part of Mexico.  In 1836 Texas won its independence from Mexico, becoming a sovereign nation.  The broad borders of this new Republic of Texas encompassed several future U.S. states.  Hoping to promote settlement, the Congress of the Republic of Texas offered parcels of free land, known locally as Peters Colony.  Many of the families responding to heavy advertising came from Kentucky and Tennessee.  This land was comprised of fertile plain.  Thus, this rich land was attractive to both the farmers and the stockman.  Such a vast land was sparsely populated.

Plano Mutual Cemetery had its beginnings in the Forman Family Cemetery.  The first person buried here in what is now an unmarked grave was a Dr. Lillie who died in 1852.  Dr. Lillie, the nephew of William Forman, Sr., died within a few days of his arrival.  Upon his death the owners of four sections of land that cornered together decided to locate a graveyard where each of the four could contribute an equal portion of land for the cemetery.  For reasons unknown most of the earlier graves were all dug on Forman land.  The second oldest grave is that of Eleanor C. Hawkins, age 16, said to have come from Kentucky to teach school.  Lionel Simpson, Benjamin Mathews, and his wife Mary Ann, who were Peters Colonists from Kentucky, are also buried in Plano Mutual Cemetery.

The additional portions of the cemetery resulted as a combination of several organizations, which purchased land for cemetery use by and for their members.  Each organization handled its respective part as to who could be interred, how this right to interment was acquired, and provided for maintenance.

As early as 1891 the ladies of the Plano community gathered together to keep the cemetery in good condition.  A wooden pavilion is remembered to have straddled the center road and was large enough to let cars pass beneath.  Metal benches were on either side with a pump nearby.  The ladies received contributions, sold burial spaces and prepared meals for sale to the men who came each month to trade horses and mules in downtown Plano.

Evolution of the Cemetery

Original owners of the “four corners” who gave up pieces of land for the cemetery: Forman, Bowman, Rice, and unknown.

1852:  First Burial – Dr. Lillie
1853: Oldest Marked – Miss Eleanor Hawkins
July 20, 1873:  Masonic Lodge # 235 purchased 2.25 acres from DeWitt Forman.
July 30, 1873:  International Order of Odd Fellows bought 2.25 acres from DeWitt Forman.
1891:  Mutual Cemetery Association formed by Ladies of the Cemetery who had maintained grounds.
1893:  Ladies of the Cemetery included Mrs. Lizzie Smoot, Mrs. Lentia Barnett, and Mrs. Mary Mathews.
1907:  Woodman of the World Camp # 743 bought 2 acres for $150 from the Bowman family.
1907:  Knights of Pythias Lodge 39 bought 2.79 acres for $209.20 from Bowman family.  This same parcel was sold to Forman family in 1918 who sold it to Plano Mutual Cemetery Association in 1928.
1928:  Plano Mutual Cemetery Association was chartered.
January 8, 1929:  Plano Mutual Cemetery Association was incorporated with State of Texas.

William Forman