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Home News-Telegram News Hope for historical Hargrave Cemetery

Hope for historical Hargrave Cemetery

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Nelta’s Hargrave Cemetery, dating back to 1859, had fallen in disrepair until 18-year-old Zachary Hope of Sulphur Bluff took it on as his Eagle Scout project.

“It was just all but forgotten,” said Zachary’s grandmother, Sarah Stevens. “My mother was a Hargrave, and it just felt worthwhile since there is so much history attached to Hopkins County.”

Four Hargrave brothers came from Indiana to Hopkins County in the 1840s and settled the land north of Sulphur Springs, according to Stevens, who said both she and her grandson share a love of history and genealogy.

A total of nine family members were laid to rest in the old cemetery between Nelta and Tira on County Road 3572 from 1859-1881.

While resetting tombstones and cleanin up the property, Hope, a scout since the sxith grade, unearthed two stub markers that often indicate the burial plots of slaves, according to historians.

In addition to resetting the stones, Zachary also put up a fence and made a path and entry way to the cemetery.

“Zachary had to get commissioners to agree with putting in a culvert for easy access to the entry,” Stevens explained. “He put in gravel, a gate and a barbed wire fence with bois ’d arc post. He wanted to make it as appropriate to the era as possible.”

The Hargrave family expressed their heartfelt thanks to Zachary saying “the place looked great.”

According to Stevens, the project took her grandson six weeks of working on Saturdays, due mostly to his busy schedule as a senior at Sulphur Bluff High School.

“He’s involved in lots and lots of things,” Stevens explained. “He got to go to state in cross country and area track; he is the Beta Club president; and he is getting ready to go to regional UIL in two different categories. He’s just what you call an over-achiever. Anything he does he gives it his all.”

Zachary, also an honor student and president of his class, recruited friends, family and other community members to help with the project.

“He has been so excited about this and we are all so proud of him and the work he’s done,” said Stevens. “Of course every grandparent thinks their grandchild is special, but this one really is extra special. Zachary is an exceptional young man and he’s worked very hard for this.”

To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.

To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.

The fact that a young man has attained Eagle Scout status has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting, but also as he enters into the world of higher education, business and community service. The award is a performance-based achievement with standards well-maintained over the years. Only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earns the Eagle Scout rank.

More than 1.7 million Boy Scouts have earned the rank since 1912.

Zachary Hope is the son of Pam Hope, and the brother of Alexis Hope.




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