I have a friend here in Austin, Texas who has family members buried in the Karnes City Cemetery. She is very concerned about the lack of upkeep of the cemetery and would like to be in touch with anyone with whom she can share her concerns or who perhaps shares her interest in the welfare of the cemetery. If you will contact me I can put you in touch with her. She writes the following (edited):
"For years, I have been trying to get someone in Karnes City to take care of the Karnes City Cemetery. My parents and so many of my relatives are buried there, as I will be, when the time comes....
That cemetery has a 2 foot old fence, lots of dead trees, lots of stumps around 2 feet high, lots of grass burrs and always, always large red ants all over the place; and, piles of trash, over 6 feet deep and piles of dirt, about 5 feet deep. Also, that cemetery never has had a sign to show the name of the cemetery there at that place. One lady from another state came to Texas a few years ago to visit her relatives buried there - she took her grandchildren to show them, but she was shocked, so upset and so embarrassed at how the cemetery looked; she wrote a letter to the newspapers of Karnes City about it, but nothing has changed since then.
I did some research and discovered something recently. I was checking to see who was the first person buried there. As far as I could tell, it was Mrs. Eliza B. Skiles who was born in 1803 and died in 1875. I checked the Find A Grave site and it shows the picture of the headstone with three names, Eliza B. Skiles, James R. Skiles and Charles Henry Skiles. Charles is the son, 1832-1882 (could be the second to be buried there). I did more checking and realized that her husband, James R. Skiles, who was born November 1, 1800 in Greenbrier Co., Virginia and died in May 13, 1886. His full name was James Rumsey Skiles and Eliza's full name was Elizabeth Ann Bell. James was born in Greenbrier Co., Virginia, attended Cumberland College in Nashville and read law with a Nashville attorney; he also served as a representative from Warren County in the Kentucky legislature from 1825-28, and was a Colonel in the Civil War, then ran for governor of Texas (but lost).
Since he was very well-known many years ago, couldn’t the state do something about that cemetery, to protect it? It needs a new fence, and needs to be cleaned up. Who is in charge of it? Nobody seems to know."