A dedication service and unveiling of the unknown graves monument took place May 14 at the Thurber Cemetery.
Hosted by the Southern Monument Builders Association, the ceremony commemorated the new monument recognizing those buried at the cemetery in unmarked graves which replaced one that had been erected in 1993 but was destroyed by vandalism.
Ian Turpin, president of Southern Monument Builders Association, welcomed guests and explained the Good Deeds Committee of the company that selected and worked on the monument for Thurber.
Dr. Leo Bielinski, a descendant of an early Thurber family, gave the history of the cemetery. The unveiling was led by Dennis Peters, chairman of the Good Deeds Committee and other members of the committee.
Over 1,000 people are buried in the cemetery and over 700 names are listed on the memorial. The cemetery served as the final resting place for those living in a thriving Thurber during the height of the coal mining and brick making industries.
When oil was discovered in nearby Ranger in 1917, the town literally became a ghost town as residents began to move away.
Today, the Thurber Historical Society is actively preserving and recognizing the history of this Erath County community.