In 1979, urgent calls were made to family members of people buried in Bear Creek Cemetery. They were asked to attend a meeting for the purpose of cleaning up the cemetery and seeing what could be done to preserve it. At the time, the cemetery was in a state of disarray. Many markers were broken and the cemetery was overgrown with tall weeds and thick brush. Most pressing was concern over the development of a golf course which threatened the cemetery. Also, access to the cemetery was restricted when the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Authority surrounded it with a chain link fence.
May 28 , 1979
The meeting was held on Memorial Day in 1979. Following the clean up, Mary Lou Herndon called for a business session. The following officers were elected:
President , Lee Borah Jr.
Vice President, Morris Taylor
Secretary-Treasurer, Lovene Thurman.
Virgie Taylor and Jim Wallis were asked to be members of the Board. A decision was made for the board to see a lawyer and proceed in establishing a cemetery association. Meetings were to be held twice a year on Memorial Day and Labor Day.
June 11, 1979
Morris Taylor, Lee Borah and Mary Lou Herndon met with Attorney Calvin E. Tackett concerning the formation of an association and obtaining a deed to the cemetery property. Mr Tackett was engaged and asked to proceed with the process.
The Bear Creek Cemetery was surveyed by W.R. Harvey, Inc., Registered Public Surveyor.
July 30, 1979
Petition No. 48-56389-79 submitted to District Court Tarrant County, Texas. 48th Judicial District. Lee Borah, ET AL vs. Mark White Attorney General, State of Texas, ET AL
PETITION TO DECLARE A CHARITABLE TRUST AND APPOINT TRUSTEES FOR SUCH CHARITABLE TRUST, FOR A DECLARATORY JUDGMENT THAT BEAR CREEK CEMETERY ASSOCIATION IS THE OWNER AND OPERATOR OF BEAR CREEK CEMETERY IN THE I. CROWLEY SURVEY OF TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS WITH POWER AND AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE FOR CONTINUING OPERATION AND APPOINTMENT OF SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES AND MANAGEMENT OF BEAR CREEK CEMETERY, FOR A LIMITED APPLICATION OF THE CY PRES DOCTRINE BY ELIMINATION CHURCH PURPOSES AS A CHARITABLE PURPOSE AND RESTRICTING FUTURE CHARITABLE PURPOSES TO THAT OF A CEMETERY.
It should be noted that this property has not been used for church purpose since 1887.
August 9, 1979
In a letter of the above date from Rev. Joe Eaton of the Western Heights Missionary Baptist Church to Attorney Calvin E. Tackett; the Church voted unanimously to release all claims as long as the property is used for cemetery purposes.
September 3, 1979 [Labor Day]
Mr. Tackett, Attorney, explained to the Bear Creek Cemetery group the following steps to be taken for this group to form an association:
1. A petition for a Charitable Trust should be made to Mark White , Attorney General of the State of Texas. (Application made July 30, 1979)
2. A release must be obtained from the once Bear Creek Baptist Church , now called the Western Height Missionary Baptist Church . ( Obtained August 9, 1979)
3. A new survey of the Cemetery must be made. (Completed in July, 1979 by W.R. Harvey, Inc. Public Surveyor)
4. Three trustees and three alternate trustees to represent the association should be appointed.
The group appointed Lee Borah, Morris Taylor and Mary Lou Herndon as trustees and alternate trustees (1) Kaye Moore (2) George Wayne Saunders and (3) Robert Shanklin.
Mary Lou Herndon was appointed Secretary and Virgie Taylor was appointed Treasurer, because of the resignation of Lovene Thurnman.
September 5, 1979
Lee Borah, ET AL VS. Mark White, Attorney General, State of Texas, ET AL
AGREED FINAL JUDGMENT
CAME ON THIS DATE to be presented to the Court this Agreed Final Judgment, wherein Attorneys for all parties agreed that, by the approving of this Judgment as to form and substance, service of process had been had upon all parties defendant, and that all Plaintiffs and Defendants had agree on the terms and conditions in this Judgment.
Thus September 5, 1979, marks the official existence of the Bear Creek Cemetery Association.
May 26, 1980 [Memorial Day]
This date then is the first meeting of the Bear Creek Cemetery Association as a legal entity.
The business of this meeting included reading a letter from the Texas State Historical Society indicating that the request for the marker had been approved. The letter stated that the marker delivery date would be 145 days from the date of their letter May 16, 1980.
A deposit of $325.00, necessary for obtaining the Historical Marker, was approved by the membership.
Note: The idea for this marker originated from a conversation between Lee Borah, Morris Taylor and Mary Lou Herndon. (source Mary Lou Herndon, July 1998)
Lee Borah called Tarrant County Junior College history Professor Duane Gage, member of the Tarrant County Historical Society, about the possibility of obtaining a Texas Historical Marker for the cemetery. Professor Gage outlined the steps necessary and assigned the historical marker research to Cher Reetz, a TCJC history student.
November 23, 1980
The Texas Historical Marker for Bear Creek Cemetery was dedicated. The following is a transcription of the program:
TEXAS HISTORICAL MARKER
BEAR CREEK CEMETERY
|WELCOME||Lee Borah Jr|
|INVOCATION||H. H. Dickey
Former Pastor Bear Creek Church
|MUSIC||A Cappella Choir
L.D. Bell High School
|HISTORY OF THE CEMETERY||Mrs. Bryan Snyder, III
Tarrant County Historical Commission
|BENEDICTION||A Cappella Choir
L. D. Bell High School
"Bless this marker to all who pause in this place. Remind them of the nobility of life well lived. Quicken their response into an acknowledgment of the ever continuing call to unselfish service, and make effective the voice of this memorial."
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