After my mother-in-law, Dorothy Liddle McCoy, passed away in June, 1983, my wife condensed many years of genealogical research, records, and letters to a number of notebooks based on different family names. One Sunday in August, 1990, about a year and a half after moving to Texas, I opened one of those notebooks with "Skiles" as the title. After looking at the many family group sheets, one sheet stuck out for a Jacob Clemens Skiles and Sarah Elizabeth Moore. Under burial, they were listed as buried in Spring Creek Burying Ground or Routh Cemetery, Near Plano, Collin, Texas. This couple turned out to be my wife's 3rd ggrandparents, and, unbeknownst to us when we moved to Plano, Texas in 1989, we moved back to be near where her ancestors had settled in 1852.
I had done some previous genealogical "gathering" of information from an aunt and from the LDS Church archives, but never had I lived somewhere close to where actual ancestors had settled. I was immediately hooked. I got my wife, and off we went to find this Spring Creek Burying Ground/Routh Cemetery. At the end of our street was an old cemetery, but it turned out to be the Bethany Cemetery. We turned north on FM2478, and in three miles we were at the Rowlett Creek Cemetery - not Routh. Well, it was a Sunday afternoon in August, and I had no clue how to find this Routh Cemetery.
The next day, my wife began calling the mortuaries in Plano, and she finally found one that gave her some directions to the Routh Cemetery. She greeted me with this news as I arrived home from work and I couldn't wait - off we went to find it. After going around some barricades on a newly graded road near the described area and off to the north about 200 yards, we could see a chain-link fence and the thought: "That must be the cemetery!" Off we went driving across the field and came upon an acre cemetery that was weed-choked, had an eight-foot high chain-link fence with barbed wire at the top, and two locked gates! No easy way to get in. Well, I was not to be stopped, and in work clothes I climbed the north gate and I was in! In a short time, I located the tombstones of J C Skiles, 1802-1880, and Sarah Skiles, 1896, age 86 years! These were my wife's ancestors! I was ecstatic. Later, we found that a 4th ggrandmother, Elizabeth Mashman Routh (1788-1852), was also buried there, a short 11 months after coming to Texas from Tennessee. Elizabeth's orphaned grand-daughter, Rachel Elizabeth Mann, and Jacob and Sarah Skiles' son, Jacob Jr, were married in Collin County in September, 1861, uniting these two great pioneer families.
Since that initial find in August, 1990, I have felt a closeness to those people buried there that I can not explain. I have no blood relatives - just my wife's - buried there, but they might as well be. After helping three Eagle Scout candidates (including my younger son, Ryan) organize Eagle Scout projects to help clean up the cemetery and fix broken tombstones, gathering family data on each of the 115 known burials at the cemetery, gathering history to support a Texas Historical Marker application, and helping to organize The Routh Cemeteries Association, Inc. in 1998 and serving as its president for the last two years, I have tried to do a small part to keep this cemetery intact and preserve its significance as the final resting place for those black-prairie pioneers that helped settle 150 years ago what is now the center of the telecom corridor in Richardson, Texas! May they forever be remembered!
For a listing of the burials, please see the following URL: