The Medford Cemetery in the Salem area, is an African American Cemetery, of freed slaves.

The " slave owner ", established this cemetery for his " slaves ". When this gentleman died, he wanted to be buried in this cemetery. At that time it was not a proper thing, for a " white man ", to be buried with his " Negroes ". This gentleman when he passed was buried, just outside this cemetery. At a later date, the cemeteries' boundary was moved to include this gentleman. This is what he had originally requested. The gentleman that relayed this story to me, is very honest. An honorable man. My name is Albert Joseph Rawls...Native Texan.! I have loved Texas' History, ever since I was a child. I am very interested and fascinated by the Moses' and Stephen F. Austin Land grants, that led up to the Texas Revolution, and its' Independence. I have researched the Texas Revolution pretty extensively. I can even pretty well tell you, what was the first flag, that flew over Goliad was. I know, another story, at another time I moved back to Rusk, Texas on March3rd, 2009. One day my brother, Don, mentioned Medford Cemetery again to me. He told me it was very, very old, from what he saw, having experience dealing with old cemeteries, and the one he is the " Caretaker ", of. One day I asked him if he would show this cemetery to me. We drove out to Medford Cemetery, and my first impression was...What cemetery..? The only thing I saw was a sign, that said: MEDFORDCEMETERY We made our way through the brush, and he showed me a, native stone, hand carved Marker. It read MEDFORD. Nothing more.! I have seen some Old Headstones before but nothing like this one. The next feeling that I had, cannot be explained, but I immediately fell in " Love ", with this cemetery. I asked Don, why was this cemetery was was. He had no answers for me. Knowing that he had done some reclamation/restoration, on his cemetery and was caretaker of it, I asked him if I " could have ",Medford Cemetery. I want-ed to become it's caretaker. My brother asked me if I was really sure, I wanted to take this on. Knowing that Medford Cemetery was old, very old, I didn't hesitate e. I said:" I wanted Her ".At this time I had no idea what I was headed for, and where it would lead, me. All I knew was that Medford Cemetery was Texas History. This cemetery had to be reclaimed/restored. To me this was and is, " A Sacred Place ". I have never attempted anything, even lose to this before. I have always loved programs, on archeology. I decided to proceed and work with Medford Cemetery, as a Historical Site. You see I had no idea, what would be discovered there. The work would have to be very slow. I knew I had to proceed with the reclamation/restoration, with the least impact on Medford Cemetery as possible. To use chainsaws and/or axes, immediately ruled those out. The cemetery was to overgrown, and we had no idea where the next Headstone/Footstone, would be located. If a headstone/Footstone, was hit by a chainsaw/axe, it would before ever damaged. The only thing I knew I could use, at this time, was a machete. I could do this on my knees. That way I could closely watch where I was cutting, and cut more carefully. I decided that I would clear around the first Medford Headstone, to begin with. Then, I would try and locate a Footstone. This would be a starting point, to work from. When I told my brother I

was going tostart this endeavor, in a couple of days, he said to be careful. He told me he would be coming out there, off and on. Also I told him I would keep him informed, of all the progress, and what I may find.

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