Historical Marker

Ropesville Cemetery

Historical marker location:
Ropesville, Texas
( 1 mi. W of Ropesville, NW corner of intersection of FM 41 & FM 168. Marker size: 27" x 42". )

In 1917, local rancher I.L. Ellwood negotiated a deal with the Santa Fe railroad to build tracks through his Spade Ranch in order to connect the towns of Lubbock and Seagraves. Ellwood offered the company 85 acres in exchange for the construction of a depot with stock pens and an agent’s house. Ranchers from as far away as New Mexico began driving cattle to the site, where rope corrals contained the animals until shipment. When the depot was officially named, the name “ropes” was chosen. In 1920, a post office was established under the name “Ropesville.” During the community’s early years, loved ones who wished to bury the dead in a cemetery were forced to either transport the deceased back to their old home towns, or to the nearest established cemetery at meadow in neighboring Terry County.

In 1933, farmer and rancher Lee Cowan was severely injured, but before he died, he requested that he be buried on the knoll just west of town. Upon Cowan’s death, Ellwood, who owned the land, honored Cowan’s request by donating one acre for the establishment of a burial ground, creating Ropesville Cemetery. After residents began conducting regular interments at the site, the need for an organization to oversee it became apparent, and the Ropes Cemetery association was organized ca. 1935. The cemetery grew in size when one half acre was purchased from the Farm Security Administration in 1943, and another 2.5 acres were purchased in 1992 to add to the site. Today, Ropesville Cemetery continues to serve the people of Ropesville as well as area rural residents.

Marker year: 2008

As one of the most visible programs of the Texas Historical Commission (THC), historical markers commemorate diverse topics in Texas history, including: the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations, and military sites; events that changed the course of local and state history; and individuals who have made lasting contributions to our state, community organizations, and businesses.