Historical Marker Text:
In the 1840's the Republic of Texas government granted colonization contracts to people who would advertise and bring new settlers to Texas. The Peters Colony, led by W. S. Peters, was located in North Texas and included the area later known as Denton County. In 1844 families began arriving in this area, including those of John and James Holford of Missouri. The place where the Holford families settled, on the prairie west of Big Spring Creek (Big Elm), became known as Holford Prairie. By 1855 a two-story building was constructed for use as a community meeting place. Referred to as Holford Prairie Hall, it housed a Masonic Lodge on the second floor, and the first floor was used for school and church purposes. This cemetery, situated next to the lodge building, became known as Old Hall Cemetery. The earliest graves date to the 1850s and include many infants and children. According to local oral tradition, the first burial may have been that of a man who died as his family was traveling through the area. The cemetery contains over one hundred twenty-five burials from the nineteenth century.