Becknell Cemetery – Clarksville, Texas - Atlas Obscura

Becknell Cemetery

Clarksville, Texas

The final resting place of Captain William Becknell, the Old West frontiersman who forged the Santa Fe Trail. 


Captain William Becknell was the quintessential frontiersman and a famous trail-blazer, though he didn’t attract quite as much Hollywood attention as his contemporaries like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.

Becknell is most well known for pioneering the Santa Fe Trail in 1821, a trade route through the mountains and Great Plains from Missouri to Santa Fe that became a vital commercial thoroughfare until the railroad came along. He eventually moved to Red River County in Texas, where he is buried today.

Six miles west of Clarksville on US Highway 82, a small, gated cemetery sits far back from the road in the wide, green expanse of a Texas field. Becknell Cemetery, also known as Robbinsville Cemetery, contains the remains of Captain Becknell, as well as his wife, and several other pioneer families. The cemetery also appears to have number of unmarked graves.

Becknell was a mounted ranger during the War of 1812, and in 1835, he moved to Red River County, where according to the plaque of the Texas Historical Commission, “he commanded a militia unit called the Red River Blues to protect settlers from raiding Native Americans.” He was buried in 1856.

In 2015, the Texas Historical Commission designated cemetery as a Historic Texas Cemetery.

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July 27, 2016

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