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Jolly Cemetery

Cemetery (4.00)1
??-1929
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N/A N/A
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8600 Spicewood Springs Road
Austin Williamson
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The Jollyville area was named after some of the first settlers to make their home here. John Grey Jolly set up a blacksmith shop and a store in the community that he founded in 1866. He also set aside land for a school and for this cemetery, where both he and his wife Isabel are buried.

A wide view of Jolly Cemetery, showing most of the plots.
Jollyville had a school by 1878 and enrolled up to 35 pupils by 1903. Eventually, the town was incorporated into Austin, though the area retains the Jollyville name to this day.

The Highway 183 corridor has become so congested that the Jolly cemetery now sits smack in the middle of a huge collection of apartment buildings. A fence surrounds the cemetery, with a single entrance leading from a gravel trail extending from Spicewood Springs Road. Hanging from a tree at the entrance is a sign that reads "Jolly Cemetary" (sic). An historical marker sits along Spicewood Springs.

Up to half of the grave sites here include either no headstone or an illegible one. The earliest legible stone reads 1872. The last burial to take place here occurred in 1929.

A Texas Historical Marker at this location reads:

This pioneer burial ground is a reminder of the area's earliest settlers. It was formally set aside by John Grey Jolly (1825-99) and his wife, Nancy Isabel (Eskew) (1825-1921) -- both buried here -- for whom Jollyville community was named. The earliest marked grave is that of Margaret Evergreen Robinson, who died in 1872. Others buried here include five citizens of the Republic of Texas -- members of the Thomas V. S. Strode family, who settled in this area of the state in 1841. The last burial in the Jolly Cemetery, that of Texas Confederate veteran Charlie Strode, took place in 1929.

Photos

Jolly Family John Grey and Nancy Isabel Jolly are members of the family that gave the Jollyville area its name. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Four Pots The grave of Jennie Thorpe features a unique iron border with four flower pots. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Fallen Many of the grave stones have fallen or have been knocked over. Margaret Evergreen Robinson's headstone is also the earliest visible. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Gated At the center of the cemetery sits the gated section for the Johns family. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Johns The largest marker in the cemetery belongs to Mary Johns. Despite being in the gated section, it too is in pieces. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Unknown Many of the graves bear no legible marker, instead they are marked by a pile of rocks or depressions in the ground. (Photo by Austin Explorer)

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Legends of abandoned old graveyards and some not so abandoned abound-the crying dog in the cemetary well, the wandering ghost of Long Tom March, who carries a deck of cards and won't rest until he finds a winning poker hand. Next to a graveyard where an arm is buried, the old piano in the fogotten church plays. These and other tales along with some more recent real-life experiences will intrigue you, skeptic or not.
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This humorous book also includes some unusual coffins, tombstones, and epitaphs as well as some early Texas burial traditions.