By: Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle set an example of celebrating MLK Day by spending the day volunteering at a Chicago or Washington, D.C. nonprofit. Many across America continue this tradition and spend their time off from school and work volunteering to help others.
This year as a part of St. Mark’s School of Texas’ MLK Day of Service, about 15 students, and several adults spent time in Irving helping to clean up the historic cemetery Shelton Bear Creek.
“I say thanks to God for allowing all of these wonderful young men and everyone else who came to give back like this today,” organizer Anthony Bond shared. “I am eternally grateful to each and everyone who came today.”
Shelton Bear Creek Cemetery is a burial place that predates the end of the Civil War according to deeds researched by Anthony Bond. It was awarded a historical marker by the Texas Historical Commission, a state agency for historic preservation.
According to the marker designated by the Texas Historical Commission, Minnie Sheldon (Shelton), purchased 80 acres of land in 1879 for $130, then the Shelton family donated the property for a cemetery. During the mid-1800s, African Americans were brought to the area as slaves, after the end of the Civil War, many remained to begin their lives as Freedmen.
Last fall, the Irving Redeemer Montessori staff volunteered before the holidays to clean-up the cemetery. In recent years, a number of organizations and individuals have donated their time and labor to help clear the area of debris and foliage.