Near Blessing, Texas



Fenced in late 2008

This cemetery is located on private property near Hawley Cemetery in the Blessing area and has been adopted by the Hawley Cemetery Association. The cemetery is about 30' X 60' with small trees growing in it. Tombstone and family information was provided by Lester Wallace and appeared in the Matagorda County Genealogical Society publication, Oak Leaves, May 1994.


1. Footstone for John Partain

2. John Partain

3. Robert A. Partain

4. Top portion of stone for Nancy S., Jenett, Nancy M. & Jennett Partain

5. Base of stone #4

6. Footstone for Nancy Smalley Partain

John Partain, Born Tres Palacios, Tex 1833 - Died Oct. 24, 1857 , At Rest, Footstone with initials J. P. (John Partain)

Robert A. Partain, Aug 1, 1836 - Feb. 22, 1897

Nancy S. Partain, Born March 18, 1803 , Died Aug. 12, 1888, Mother We'll Meet Again, Footstone with initials N. S. P. (Nancy Smalley Partain)

Jenett Partain, Born March 25, 1843 , Died Apr. 28, 1889 , She was the sunshine of our home

Nancy M. Partain, Born Feb. 13, 1860 , Died May 22, 1863 , Another little angel before the heavenly throne

Jennett Partain, June 21, 1882 , Aged 9 Days, In heaven

Hartsell Harvey Gray, Jr., August 2, 1928 - May 12, 2008



John R. Partain was the third child, second son, of John C. Partain and Nancy Smalley Partain.

Robert Abner Partain was the fourth child, third son, of John C. Partain and Nancy Smalley Partain. He was the first preacher of the First Baptist Church in Bay City. He was a Private, Company D., Bushel's Cavalry Regiment, Texas, CSA.

Nancy Smalley was the wife of John C. Partain and mother of John R. Partain & Robert Abner Partain.

Jenett Parham O'Neal was the wife of Robert Abner Partain and mother of Nancy M. Partain & Jennett Partain.

Nancy Margaret Partain was the first child of Rev. Robert Abner Partain and Jenett Parham O'Neal Partain.

Jennett Partain was the eighth child of Rev. Robert Abner Partain and Jenett Parham O'Neal Partain.

Hartsell Harvey Gray, Jr. was the son of Mazie Jeannette Partain Gray & Hartsell Harvey Gray, Sr.; Mazie was the daughter of Charlie Partain and the granddaughter of Robert A. Partain.



Jennett Partain - 1882

John Partain

Nancy Smalley Partain (footstone)

Nancy M. Partain

(one of the four sides of the base)

Jenett Partain - 1843-1889

Nancy S. Partain

Footstone for John Partain

Uncle Robert Partain Dead

The community was shocked on Tuesday morning on the receipt of the sad and unexpected intelligence of the death of Rev. R. A. Partain, Deming's Bridge, generally known as Uncle Robt. Partain.

He died very suddenly of heart failure at his home near Deming's Bridge on Monday morning, February 22nd, 1897 about 10 o'clock, aged 61 years.

Uncle Robert had just returned from Ganado, where he filling an appointment as pastor, staying all night Sunday night with some friends on the Caranchua, he drove home Monday morning and in passing through one of the gates his team tried to get away from him and in his efforts to recapture them it is supposed that he ran for quite a distance and became much excited and overheated, bringing on the heart trouble. He arrived home however, complained of feeling badly and a physician was sent for at once, but he only lived about 10 minutes after arriving home. At least above are the particulars given to us by a messenger who came across with the news to notify the local members of the Masonic lodge, of which Uncle Robert was a member, who went across at once to help bury him. So did Rev. McKee, the new Baptist pastor.

Deceased was, we believe, a native of Matagorda county, at least he had lived here most of his life, if not all. He was one of the oldest and most respected citizens of the county. A plain man, but a kind-hearted, generous and noble character. Everybody respected and loved him, and he took such a fatherly interest in everyone that he was reverently called Uncle Robert by almost everyone, because they loved him.

For a number of years he was a regularly ordained Baptist preacher and he was such a faithful worker in the Master's vineyard; his heart and life was so full of Christian love that his life and his work was a power for good in the cause.  Well do we remember the last time he preached in Bay City, only a few months ago, he made a touching appeal to the unconverted and said that perhaps it would be his last appeal, little did we then think of how soon his words would come true. His life was true, so pure, so unselfish, that everybody had unlimited confidence in his every profession and both saint and sinner believed that he loved them from the depth of a genuine Christian heart and life. Indeed his was a beautiful life to contemplate and his influence for good will live on and on, like a pebble on the mighty deep, long after his body has mouldered back to dust.

He had raised a large and respected family in the county and leaves a wife and good large family of children to mourn his loss. He was a noble and kind husband and father. He has several grown children who reside in other parts of the state.

His remains were laid to rest on Wednesday in the family burying ground [Partain Cemetery] at Deming's Bridge, the funeral services being conducted by the Masons.

Uncle Robert Partain lived a noble life, he died a Christian death and has gone home to a Christian's reward. His life is worthy of emulation, because he was so grand and good. The Breeze joins the whole community in extending to the bereaved our sincerest sympathies.

The Bay City Breeze, February, 1897

[A handwritten note was added to this obituary which said Mr. Partain was born August 1, 1836 in New Orleans. His family was involved in the Runaway Scrape.]


Hartsell Harvey Gray Jr.

HARTSELL HARVEY GRAY, JR. 8/2/28 ~ 5/12/08 Born in Houston, the son of late Hartsell H. Sr. and Mazie Jeanette (Partain) Gray. Hartsell graduated from North Texas State University and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. After ordination, he served at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin and at St. James, St. Martins and St. Columba Episcopal churches in Houston. He was a member of the Texas Democratic party and the Pipefitters Union Local 211 and served as Harris County Treasurer during the 1970s. He is survived by his former wife and their three children. The family thanks Mr. and Mrs. Carr Dishroon of Houston for all their help and care; thanks also to Father Russell Matthews, and the staffs of the Luling Care Center and the San Marcos Hospice. The family asks that any memorial donations be sent to the San Marcos Hospice, San Marcos, Texas.

Published in the Houston Chronicle on 5/18/2008.



The Last Will and Testament

of Mrs. Nancy Partain


Number 92, pages 254-55


I, Nancy Partain of the County of Matagorda and State of Texas, do make and publish this my last will and testament this the 13th thirteenth day of April A.D. 1886.


Item First, I give and bequeath unto my Grandson Thomas Edwin Partain three hundred and thirty seven acres of Land out of and a part of the J. C. Partain league and is that portion of Land which I now own lying North of that portion of land which was partitioned and sett apart to him as heir of John Partain, and said Land is bounded on the North by Lands owned by John B. Smith and Lands owned by A. H. and J. E. Pierce and is a portion of the Land which I inherited from my dec’d son Alfred Partain.


Item Second, I give and bequeath unto my son Robert A. Partain all of the balance of the Land which I own in the John C. Partain League which is one thousand and eleven acres more or less.


Item Third, -- I give and bequeath unto my Grandson Thomas Edwin Partain one seventh of that stock of cattle ranging in Matagorda County marked and branded thus                                        .


Item Fourth.—I give and bequeath unto my son Robert A. Partain six sevenths of all that certain stock of cattle ranging in the County of Matagorda and State of Texas marked and branded thus



I appoint as my executor my son Robert A. Partain.

Signed in the presence of        x                                                          by

the undersigned each of           x                                              Nancy   X     Partain

whom is also witness to the     x                                                          mark

signature of the other.              x

Witness  J. E. Pierce               x

Witness  Pertillar Lee              x


Filed  October 9th A.D. 1988

Recorded Decbr. 4th A. D. 1988

                                                            Geo’ Austin, Clerk Co. let. M. les.



In the Matter of the Estate of Nancy Partain, dec.

Proof of Will

This day personally appeared in open court Jonathan E. Pierce (signed will J. E. Pierce) a citizen of Matagorda County Texas, and one of the subscribing wtnesses to the last will and testament of Nancy Partain dec’ who after being duly sworn deposeth as follows to wit- that the instrument now produced in open Court and shown to him and purporting to be the last will and testament of Nancy Partain dec’ consisting of two pages,-- and marked exhibit “A” for identification was signed by the said Nancy Partain by making her cross X for her signature on the 13th day of April A.D. 1886 in Matagorda County Texas. in the presence of him the said Jonathan E. Pierce and Pertillar Lee, and that she the said Nancy Partain dec. the testatrix then and there declared to them (Said witnesses Jonathan E. Pierce and said Pertillar Lee) that said written instrument was her last will and testament and she then and there requested said Jonathan E. Pierce and said Pertillar Lee to witness said will and to sign their names thereto as subscribing witnesses and deponent further says that in compliance with said request he said Jonathan E. Pierce (who signed J. E. Pierce) and Pertillar Lee, did then and there each sign their names to said will on the left hand side thereof as subscribing witnesses thereto in the presence of said Nancy Partain and in the presence of each other, and depnent further says that said Jonathan E. Pierce and said Pertillar Lee are citizens of said Matagorda County Texas and each over the age of 14 years and that they have no interest in the estate of said Nancy Partain deceased by said will.  and deponent further says that said Nancy Partain at the time of executing the said will was a citizen of said Matagorda County and over the age of 21 years that she was of sound mind and disposing memory and that she died in said of Matagorda on the 14th day of August A.D. 1888.  So help me God.

Sworn to & subscribed                       x

before me this the 4th day                  x                      J. E. Pierce

of Decr. 1888                                      x

                        E. S. Rugeley Sr.

                                    County Judge


Filed Decbr’ 4th 1888

Recorded Decbr’ 4th 1888


                        Geo’ Austin, Clerk Co. let. M. les.


Will courtesy of Partain descendent, Bill Fisher.



Copyright 2004 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 2, 2004
Aug. 8, 2008