CEMENT MOUNTAIN. Cement Mountain, eight miles east of Graham in southeastern Young County (at 33°07' N, 98°27' W), rises to a height of 1,350 feet, 200 feet above the surrounding prairies. It derives its name from boulders of conglomerate sandstone and gravel that surround it. The mountain was traversed by the Fort Worth-Fort Belknap road, built in 1851. Supply trains bound for Fort Belknap and, later, more distant frontier forts shared the road with stagecoaches and mail vehicles such as those of the Fort Worth-El Paso Mail until 1876 and other local lines carrying passengers and mail until the late 1880s, when advancing railroads hastened the end of coach-delivered mail. Alfred Lane, pioneer Palo Pinto County cattleman, Texas Ranger, and brother-in-law of Charles Goodnight, was attacked and killed by Indians on Cement Mountain in July 1864. After dreaming the previous night that his parents had been massacred by Indians, Lane, despite Goodnight's warnings of the hazardous trip back, attempted to return to his home in the Keechi valley after helping Goodnight herd cattle to nearby Elm Creek, near Fort Murray on the Young-Throckmorton county line. Lane was temporarily buried on the mountain, then later reinterred at a cemetery two miles west of Black Springs (now Oran) in Palo Pinto County. In 1877, when widespread cattle rustling prompted the formation of cattlemen's protective associations, Cement Mountain served as an original boundary landmark for District No. 1 of the Northwest Texas Cattle Raiser's Association (later part of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Associationqv). The mountain is dotted with the remains of the homesteads and graves of early-day settlers. Bennett School was established in 1893 at a place on the mountain called Toe Hole Gap. The Center Ridge community waxed, then waned, on the west end of the mountain, where only its cemetery remains.
Graham Leader, April 20, 1972. J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949). J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).