Wynne Community Honored as Home to Early Settler


Descendants of Edmund Wynne — from Texas and other states — surround a Texas Historical Marker honoring the early East Texan at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Tom Tyler

Everyone in these parts and far beyond knows of Canton, but fewer know of the historic Hillcrest Cemetery located near the First Monday grounds. Fewer still know of Edmund (also spelled “Edmond”) Wynne, who is buried there, or of the Wynne Community itself. A Texas Historical Marker honors Wynne and his post-Civil War efforts to improve the lives of other former slaves.  

Wynne was born June 18, 1850, to a family of slaves living in Cherokee County. They moved to Van Zandt County in 1866. As an adult, Wynne moved to Canton in 1882 to work as a farmer, and he was instrumental in aiding other former slaves and building a church and a school. Ann Moore, a member of the Hillcrest Cemetery Restoration Committee, says Wynne helped establish the Wynne Community, now considered one of the oldest still-intact African-American communities in the state. After a lifetime of community involvement, he died on April 1, 1931. Some members of the Wynne family still live there today.

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