A grave discovery during site clearance

March 29, 2013 by  

The grave of a Texas Ranger, believed to be one of the first, was recently discovered while an old cemetery was being cleared.

The Summerlee Foundation, which is the legacy of Dallas woman Annie Lee Roberts, recently purchased over 300 acres of land in Falls County, where the Sarahville de Viesca site was the Robertson colony’s original capital and abandoned in 1836. During clearance, a grave was discovered, thought to be the burial place of James Coryell, who was believed to have been killed by Indians in 1837. According to the deputy executive director of the Texas Historical Commission Terry Colley, the purchase of the land by the foundation will help to preserve Texan history.

Roberts had shared a passion for Texas history with her late husband, until he passed away in 1970. Also an animal lover, she set up the Summerlee Foundation to help both animals and historical organizations. Launched in 1988, she gave $2m each year to the foundation until she died in 1990. All assets of Roberts were left to the foundation and grants are given to worthy causes on an annual basis. The foundation possibly helps out local stationery printers who will supply the organization with good quality equipment.

A commitment made to the Texas State Historical Association for $2m for five years is the largest grant made by the foundation, which also provides funding to help animal welfare organizations launch programs to spay and neuter pets, along with supporting studies for preserving wildlife.