Randle Cemetery was also known as the Hoods Point Cemetery; so named for the Hoods Point Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and School, and Isam (or Isom) Hood. The current church, its predecessor having previously been destroyed in a hellacious storm sometime in the 1930s, rises less than a half a mile from where its cemetery's hallowed ground inters distant Hardaway relatives. The earliest available scholastic record reports Hoods Point Colored School existed as early as 1876, with Richmond Waul/Wall, Mitchell Matthews and Gilbert Cubit as trustees.
A late daughter of John Wesley and Fannie Morris (nee Lindsey) called Octavine (nee Morris) Harris (1900-2004) filed an account housed at the Gonzales County Clerk's Office pertaining to the development of the Hoods Point Community.
Octavine Harris was first married to Jeffrey Freeman Jr. on 29 August 1922 and secondly to Sammie Harris on 03 April 1936, both times in Gonzales County.
The record given by Octavine explains that Hoods Chapel Methodist Church, so named for founding member Isom Hood, was organized 08 March 1885 on the property of Braid[sic] Berry under a mesquite tree.
As per the 1867 Voters Registration List, Isom Hood entered Gonzales County, the State of Texas and Precinct 1 in 1854 at the age of 18 and is assumed born around 1825 (some source claim 1835).
Octavine indicates the following individuals as founding members in addition to Isom Hood: Solomon Simmons, Jack Harris (who married to, William "Billy" Oneal, Eli Porter, Francis Harris, Nellie Simmons and Nancy Oneal who originally built a brush arbor until winter came and the members built a log hut, running holes through the walls for seats. Octavine says the log hut had a dirt floor, no windows and utilized kerosene torches for light.
An extraordinary, tornado-producing storm occurred on May 8, 1930 near Ottine, Texas may have been the weather system which blew the roof off and walls down on Hoods Point, and if not certainly points to weather systems of this type being an occurrence in the area during this time. Octavine also indicates a substantial storm blowing Hoods Chapel away in 1930 but that under the direction of Rev. L. H. Richardson the building previously used by the Monthalia Methodist Episcopal Church across the river was moved to Hoods Point and remodeled.
Octavine states that in 1894, August Ebert gave land to construct a permanent chapel and school and sates that the Ackman brothers were the constractors. At this time she names Willis Smith, Miles Barksdale and Eli Porter as trustees. She names Rev. Isaac Crawford as the church's first reverend and lists others who served as: Wiley Soda, C. H. Franklin, J. W. Stone Jr., Albert Johnson, J. W. Green, Walter Duhart and C. M. Mangum; U. V. Green was a deacon and C. H. Anderson an elder. Fannie Morris (her sister) served as a delegate for 42 years.
Pursuant to the Hardaway story is that William Oneal was brother to Nancy Oneal who had a wealth of children who touched many of the well known black families of the county, including the Hardaway family by her partnership with Mr. William Hillory Hardaway. Their children together were George Washington Hardaway, Melvin Clark Hardaway and Minnie 'Minta' Hardaway. It is also found to be that Hillory's mother, Pleasant (nee Morgan) Hardaway lived in the Hoods Point Community as early as 1876 and had children who attended there, namely: Louis, Anninias and Sidney Hardaway. Montgomery Hardaway, Pleasant's eldest son, sponsored his stepchildren at the school.
Angeline (Woodson) Oneal (Photo courtesy of the Oneal Family Reunion Committee & Stephanie Franklin)
William & Angeline (Woodson) Oneal
Hoods Point CME Founders & Trustees Cornerstone Block.
This photo of Nancy Oneal comes from the collection belonging to Homa Jean (Hardaway) Gordon. Nancy Oneal was the sister of William Oneal who helped to establish the Hoods Point Church. The obverse of the photograph carries a poem written by Nancy's granddaughter, Callie Beatrice Hardaway.
This image was provided by Homa Jean Hardaway. On the obverse of this photo was written 'Nancy Oneal'. The photo may be of William Oneal and Angeline (Woodson) Oneal in their later years. Nancy's granddaughter, Homa Jean, believes that the appearance of the name 'Nancy Oneal' simply indicates that it was a photo meant for Nancy Oneal.
Hoods Point CME front.
Octavine Harris (nee Morris, formerly Freeman) stands to her first husband Jeffrey Freeman Jr.'s right. Jeffrey Freeman Jr. sits center in chair. The other three children are their daughters together (per the recollection of Homa Jean Hardaway Gordon).
The destroyed piano; donated by the late Mrs. Dorothy (Hardaway) Hopkins; 2010
Hoods Point CME Parsonage; 2010
Hoods Point Parsonage dining/kitchen area; 2010
Hoods Point CME Sanctuary; 2010
Hoods Point Church Porch (front door open); 2010
Ms. Matilda (Gammage) Anderson @ Hoods Point Church (circa. 1940s).
Ms. Joyce Josephine Henderson (unknown year).
The Randle Cemetery page is dedicated to: Mrs. Homa Jean (Hardaway) Gordon for her love, generosity, friendship, and collaboration to preserve and document our history.