Thurber is considered Texas’ ‘Premier Ghost Town’ by TexasEscapes.com and recently fell victim to vandalism in the destruction of the cemetery’s two unmarked graves monuments, which contained more than 700 names.
Now because of the Southern Monument Builders Association’s (SMBA) Good Deeds Committee, the monuments will be good as new.
“The Southern Monument Builders Association has a Good Deeds Committee, which is used to do just that: Good deeds,” Ryan Worthington, owner of Erath Gardens of Memory cemetery and member of the committee, said. “We have a member who was involved in the original installation of the unknown graves monument. He is a member of the Good Deeds Committee, and when we were discussing ideas for this year’s project, he mentioned this one.”
Many local monument companies are members of the SMBA and will be using their annual dues to help fund the project.
An unveiling ceremony with a blessing and refreshments will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in the Thurber Cemetery.
“It will be a dedication service and unveiling of the monument. We will do a brief history of the city of Thurber and the cemetery,” Worthington said. “It’s absolutely open to the public, the more the merrier.”
For more information on SMBA, visit southernmonumentbuilders.com.
Speaking of the history, here’s a touch of what the city of Thurber was back in the late 1800s, early 1900s.
Thurber was once the largest city between Fort Worth and El Paso and was the first city in Texas to have full electricity, refrigeration and running water.
The mining operation owned by The Texas and Pacific Coal Company kept the town running providing fuel for coal-burning trains for many railroads including the Santa Fe, the Southern Pacific, the Texas & Pacific and the ‘Katy.’
On top of the mining, Thurber was home to a brick factory which was used to pave the Fort Worth Stockyards, Congress Avenue in Austin, Camp Bowie Boulevard and Seawall Boulevard in Galveston.