of Highway 71 from the cemetery|
TE photos, November 2006
|History in a Pecan
This town was named after James Gay, whose brother Thomas founded
another town named Gay Hill (in neighboring
Washington County). This Gay Hill grew around a Republic of Texas plantation and
stretched along a high ridge overlooking the Colorado River (a few miles south).
The town is indeed a hill - rising 370 feet above the level of the river
but the cluster of houses and church isn't marked by any highway community sign.
In the mid 1980s the community was comprised of 12 families and Gay Hill has no
fewer than three cemeteries - one being an iron fence enclosure and marked as
the Gay Hill Cemetery. It is reported that the cemetery is close to Indian burial
The Gay Hill cemetery is in an Oak mott on the ridge on the southside
of the highway just west of the turn-off to the power plant. Access is difficult.
honoring Christian Wertzner, first permanent German settler in Fayette County.|
See Texas Centennial
Centennial marker stands outside the fence - marking the grave of Christian
Gotthelf Wertner - a German immigrant from Saxony who, as a veteran of the battle
of San Jacinto, was awarded a Fayette County land grant for his service to
the Republic of Texas. Wertner is believed to be the earliest permanent German
settler in the region and this is noted on the marker - as well as his status
as a citizen of the Republic of Texas.|
Herr Wertzner, who had helped to
co-found the Biegel Settlement (now underwater
at the power plant lake), died in a accident while working as part of a surveying
crew at nearby Shaw's Bend (seven miles east of this spot). The graves within
the enclosure are mainly of the Munn and Gay families.
of Private Rufus King Gay, CSA|
family tombstone |
of Mary Guthrey |
Gay Tombstone |