“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Dayton in Liberty County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Ryan Cemetery

Ryan Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, August 7, 2021
1. Ryan Cemetery Marker

Also known as Ryan's Graveyard, this historic burial ground served the rural community of Tarkington since at least the 1860s. Named for early pioneer settler Burton B. Tarkington, the farming and ranching community also known as Tarkington Prairie thrived after the Civil War. Many veterans and pioneers are buried in Ryan Cemetery, with the first marked grave dating from 1863 for 10-year-old William E. West.

The cemetery was named for early settler John Jacob Ryan, who owned land surrounding the cemetery. Ryan arrived in Liberty County from Ireland between 1850 and 1860 and became a prosperous businessman with a store on his property. In August 1873, Ryan was found shot to death on the public road near the cemetery. Although three men were indicted for his murder, they were eventually acquitted. Ryan's burial site is unknown.

In 1908, the property was conveyed to the Rural Shade Baptist Church, who maintained the cemetery until 1989 when the Ryan Cemetery Association assumed management. Many early church members are buried here, along with other pioneer settlers, leaders of the community and veterans dating to the
Ryan Cemetery and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, August 7, 2021
2. Ryan Cemetery and Marker
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Texas Revolution. Notable Civil War veterans include Charles Matthew Rice and Jessie Burton Gillen.

The Tarkington Prairie Masonic Lodge No 798 has also been historically associated with the Ryan cemetery, with many charter members buried here since its founding in 1878. An annual memorial service attracts descendants and citizens to the Ryan Cemetery to celebrate the rich heritage of the community.
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2018
Erected 2018 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 22416.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites.
Location. 30° 13.88′ N, 94° 57.965′ W. Marker is near Dayton, Texas, in Liberty County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of State Highway 321 and County Road 300, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located within Ryan Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dayton TX 77535, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Cherry (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rural Shade Baptist Church (approx. 4.3 miles away); Old Wells' Store (approx. 4.3 miles away); The Schools of Tarkington Prairie (approx. 5½ miles away); Burton B. Tarkington
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(approx. 5.8 miles away); Oak Shade Baptist Church (approx. 9½ miles away); Daniel Donahoe Original Homestead (approx. 9½ miles away); Riggs Cemetery (approx. 10.1 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 9, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 144 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 10, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.

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Mar. 29, 2023