The Sand Hill Cemetery website includes a description of the two historical markers erected there.  At the road near the entry gate is an Historical Marker about the cemetery and community of Sand Hill. There is another Historical Marker at the grave of Ira Long.  The website also has a listing of people buried in Sand Hill up through 2000, with links to obtain pictures of all the headstones.  Most burials since 2000 will be in the far western section of Sand Hill.  Additional historical information about the beginning of the Sand Hill community and biographical information about the early pioneers buried in the cemetery can be found by reading Pioneer History of Wise County by Cliff D. Cates and pages 62 – 64 in The History of Wise County, A Link with the Past by the Wise County Historical Survey Committee.

The text for both Historical Markers follows:

Sand Hill Community

A center of pioneer culture in North Texas, drawing crowds to meet here at good spring of water issuing from beneath hill that gave community its name. 

First church (Methodist) in territory to become Wise County was organized in home of Jim Brooks in 1854.  Organizers, led by the Rev. W.H.H. ("Buck") Bradford, included Brooks, Charles Browder, Lemuel Cartwright, Thomas Cogdell, Benjamin Monroe, the Rev. John Roe, and Dr. Standifer. Cartwright soon built a new home and gave his original house to the church.  The structure was affectionately called "Old Swayback", because its long ridgepole sagged under weight of the roof.  All faiths held services there.  It probably was site of first school (taught in 1855 by Eli Hoag) within the boundaries of Wise County, which was created in 1856.

County’s first Masonic Lodge was also organized in Home of Jim Brooks.  Its’ first grist mill and other pioneer improvements were situated in the community.  Last church on the site was burned on April 3, 1970.

Sand Hill campground for years was site of social and religious gatherings. 

Cemetery has graves of settlers and of veterans of Civil War and other conflicts. Capt. Ira Long, a celebrated Texas Ranger, is buried here.

Texas Ranger Captain Ira Long
(May 5, 1842 – Mar 8, 1913)
Dedicated and courageous, born in Indiana; reared in Missouri, wounded twice in Confederate service during the Civil War.

On reorganization of Texas Rangers, 1874, was commissioned first lieutenant; promoted 1875 to Captain, Company A, official escort of Major John B. Jones, commander of Ranger Force.  Did outstanding duty against Indians and outlaws, and in quieting such feuds as Mason County War.  Served for six years.

Contact Us

  1. Joyce Horton

    Cemetery Board

    P.O. Box 15
    Decatur, TX 76234



    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 5 p.m.