I received the following in an email from a fellow genealogist who is rather thorough in his research and history. This is just a tibit for people searching in SE and E Texas:
I ran cross the following while searching Hardin, Texas.
It is from the Silsbee Bee newspaper. www.bigthicketdirectory.com/bee/bee2.html
Many of the early settlers came into Southeast Texas by steamboat from
New Orleans through Lake charles and Sabine Pass and up the Neches
River and Village Creek to the Hardin County area. Some of them crossed
Village Creek about eight miles north of Kountze and settled in the
Providence community about 1830. This was probably the first settlement
in what was to become Hardin County. Some of these people were James
McKinney, Hugh McNeely, the Hollands, Jordans and others. Some of their
descendants still live in the Providence area. James McKinney operated
a ferry on Village Creek at Providence before the famous McNeely Bridge
was built. The McKinney Cemetery is named for the McKinney Family.
About the only truth to the above is the remark about the ferry and the cemetery. McNeelys didn't arrive until the late 1840s early 1850s, along with the Hollands. McKinneys in the 1850s, others probably later. I think the oldest settled area in Hardin County is probably around Sour Lake. It is a shame the county tore down the old McNeely bridge when they built a new concrete one across the creek. It is "famous" because of a artistic rendition by a well known local artist back several years ago. I don't believe it is possible to travel by steamboat from New Orleans to Lake Charles (there is no outlet to the Gulf from L.C.). When Hood's Brigade was formed at the start of the Civil War, units travelled across land to what is now Morgan City and thence to N.O.
So many inaccuracies about Hardin county history and the families. Tall tales.
It is true the McKinney Cem (also known as the McNeely Cem) is named for the McKinney family.