The Spirits Walking Among Us

Stephenville Historical House Museum hosts annual Spirit Walk

On Nov. 6, the Stephenville Historical House Museum and the friends of Tarleton State University’s Dick Smith Library hosted their thirteenth annual Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk. 

The Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk was started to recognize and celebrate the colorful history and historical figures of Erath County in the county’s largest city, Stephenville. The event is held every year around the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebration, at the West End Cemetery off of Lillian St.

This cemetery walk included performances by the Sweet Memories Ladies Barbershop Group and the tours of the cemetery.

The spirits featured were George Oliver and Nona Laney Ferguson, Earl and Nell Weathers, Jerry Flemmons, Rufus Higgs, and John Akey.

George Oliver Ferguson attended school at Tarleton in 1907, where he later taught economics and became an Associate Dean. Ferguson Hall was later named after him. He and his wife Nona Laney, who was also a teacher, had three children together.

Jerry Flemmings was born in Stephenville and attended Tarleton in 1954. He went on to become an award winning reporter, editor, playwright, author, and writer of a nationally recognized travel show. 

Rufus Higgs was a newspaper reporter and purchased “The Stephenville Tribune in 1920 with a friend Wes Clements. The two then bought The Stephenville Empire and combined the two newspapers to create The Stephenville Empire-Tribune. One of Higgs’ sons, Bud, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a reporter for the Empire-Tribune until he sold it in 1969.

John Akey was a skilled blacksmith from Erath County. He practiced with his son, Mack. Him and his son completed all the ironwork that went into the West End Cemetery. 

For more information on the Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk, visit www.stephenville