OF THE CITY
Old Memories to
the Pioneer Residents.
A CLASS DISTINCTION
It Does Not Always
Cease at the Grave.
Some of the Workers in
of Dallas are subjects upon which the average person is very
gladly ignorant, unless perhaps they happen to have occasion
to pay visits to them to pay tribute to the memory of some departed
relative or friend. Cemeteries are, as a rule, rather uncanny
and grewsome places to contemplate, and yet, there is much in
them that is interesting if one will only take the trouble to
find it. To any old resident of Dallas, a walk through any of
the cemeteries will serve to awaken memories that have long been
dormant, and which, will spring into existence once more at the
sight of the headstones and epitaphs graven upon them.
- October 2, 1904,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 18, col. 1-2.
A cemetery is a city of the dead,
and although the familiar assertion that death is the great leveler,
and that when once the eyes have been curtained in death's pall,
that all caste and distinction ceases, and the dead are all equal,
is just another instance of very erroneous assertions that have
become popular for no other reason than that they are euphonious
and sound well.
There is just as much distinction
and evidence of caste in a dead city as in any of the very live
ones, and if any one doubts this statement, it is only necessary
to pay a visit to any of the cemeteries of Dallas, or any other
city, for that matter, to prove the correctness of this statement.
There are aristocratic sections and squalid sections and a little
investigation will tend to show that the residents of the respective
sections occupied very much the same positions in life that they
do in death. A reference to the headstones in the well kept portions
of the cemeteries will serve to recall names that are familiar
to residents of a city, and which were, in their lifetime, prominently
identified with the growth and welfare of the community.
After an inspection in the aristocratic
section, continue your walk to the squalid section and note the
difference. There you will find unkempt mounds, with perhaps
a few withered flowers at their heads in broken bottles and glasses
and a few stems of grass struggling for an existence over the
clods of hard earth. The graves in this section are as squalid
and unkempt as were the other homes of their occupants in life
and are eloquent of poverty.
The paupers' row is a place seldom
visited by anyone, but the undertakers in all cemeteries, and
this is not to be wondered at inasmuch as poverty is not a very
tempting factor with which to lure friends. The occupants of
the graves in these sections had few friends in life and are
absolutely alone with the friend of all mankind in their windowless
palaces of rest. They, at least, have this consolation--they
no longer suffer.
The newest cemetery in Dallas is
Oakland, its creating having been made necessary by the very
crowded condition of Greenwood, formerly known as Trinity. The
remains of many of the most prominent persons in North Texas
are buried at Greenwood, and a walk through its well kept lawns
will disclose the names of persons of state and even international
reputation on some of its handsome headstones. The Confederate
monument in this cemetery, which is the central stone in the
burial lot for the wearers of the gray, is reputed to be the
handsomest of its kind in the state. There are a number of fraternal
burying plots at Greenwood as well as at Oakland, among them
being the Elks' Rest, which is one of the prettiest and best
kept in the whole cemetery. The Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights
of Pythias, Woodmen and other orders, all have their lots, and
they are kept in splendid condition.
The oldest cemetery in Dallas was
the old burying ground in the vicinity of the Dallas brewery,
which was plowed up when the railroad secured a right-of-way
through the property. Next to this one, the oldest is the Odd
Fellow's burying ground on South Akard street, which is still
in existence. No interments are made there now, however, except
in few instances where persons own lots there.
Greenwood cemetery was among the
first public cemeteries to be established in Dallas, and is said
to be about 32 years old. Oakland cemetery is about 12 years
old, and although comparatively a new one, it is filling with
new graves so rapidly that more space will be required in a few
more years. Geo. W. Loudermilk is the superintendent of both
Greenwood and Oakland cemeteries. John Smith, the sexton of Greenwood,
is the oldest sexton in Dallas, and has held his present position
for the last seven years, prior to which time, he was nine years
sexton of the Jewish cemetery. He has been in Texas twenty-eight
years and is a native of Shelbyville, Tenn.
R. A. Aldrich, the sexton at Oakland,
is another old timer. He is an expert landscape gardener, and
the evidences of his taste and skill in this art are very manifest
around the cemetery. Fred Tolbert is the man in charge of the
Catholic cemetery, which adjoins Greenwood on the east.
Gloss Williams, a stalwart negro,
has been engaged in the occupation of grave digging so long that
he has forgotten the time when he ever did anything else. He
has become a specialist in that work and has the contract to
dig all the pauper graves. He and the sexton are about the only
persons who ever visit that section of the cemetery.
The new Elks' Rest is at Oakland
cemetery, and it promises to be one of the handsomest burial
plots in the state. The Confederate lot in Greenwood is almost
filled and the veterans are now negotiating for the purchase
of a lot in Oakland.
The colored cemetery is also filled,
and the burial association among the members of that race have
purchased a big piece of ground south of Oakland, where all of
their burials are made now.
The Jewish cemetery is almost filled,
and it will be necessary for them to secure more ground shortly.
The Russian Jews have a cemetery out in East Dallas beyond the
Lots in any of the cemeteries are
held at high prices, and while the prices vary according to the
location, the average cost of a grave is $5, while a one-grave
lot is worth $10. The city sexton receives $2 for the burial
of a pauper.
The undertakers here assert that
Dallas has not only the best kept cemeteries, but the handsomest
monuments in the entire state.
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ARE WORKING HERE
of the report that grave robbers are operating in Dallas and
disposing of bodies, is being made by the police department.
- June 21, 1919, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 3.
The finding of portions of human
bodies at the city dumping ground has led to the belief that
grave robbers are at work. Within the past month, several gruesome
finds have been made by men working at the city dumping ground.
The latest discovery, that of a leg, which apparently belonged
to a child of about twelve years of age. Several days ago, the
limb of a man was found wrapped in paper.
These portions of human bodies
are believed to have been picked up by the city trash wagons
on their daily rounds.
Chief of Police John Ryan stated
Friday morning that reports had been made to him to the effect
that the finding of parts of human bodies were becoming increasingly
C. O. Frakes, street superintendent,
states that the finding of human arms and legs and other parts
of the body is not an uncommon thing, and that upon several occasions,
the bodies of infants had been found.
Mr. Frakes also stated that his
men working on the dumps were continually reporting to him that
dogs had been seen carrying from the dumps, human hands and arms.
- o o o -
spects Burial Places
public interest in cemeteries, to the end that their beautification
will add to the park grounds of a community, was discussed as
one of the problems before the cemetery business when members
of the Texas Cemetery Association met in a State-wide session
Friday at the Baker Hotel.
- October 20, 1928,
Dallas Morning News, p. 11, col. 3.
Throughout the morning session
and a session early in the afternoon preceding an inspection
tour of cemetery property in Dallas and its environs, cemetery
problems and their solution through co-operative effort, were
discussed. Uniform regulations and systems are being sought throughout
the State by the association, which also accepted plans for increasing
The biggest problem before the
association, it was pointed out, was to create that interest
and reverence in cemeteries among the public that they would
not shun them, but would, rather, seek to make of them parks
of quiet and beauty, to be sought by people while alive.
Discussion brought out that the
idea of cremation moved slowly among people, and that there was
too much land in Texas to cause worry over that problem. The
Southwest, it was said, had only one crematory.
Representatives were present from
Houston, Port Arthur, San Antonio, Waco, San Angelo, Dallas and
Fort Worth, with vice presidents, W. J. Bailey of Fort Worth
and George J. Jalonick of Dallas, and Secretary E. E. Widner
of Dallas present.
Selection of a president to succeed
the late W. H. Chambers of Waco will take place at the regular
annual meeting in March. Members of the association visited the
State Fair of Texas at night.
- o o o -
July 2, 2004:
ANNUAL MASONIC CEREMONY
AT FRANKFORT CEMETERY
Masonic Lodge of Addison, held its annual memorial service Sunday
at Frankfort Cemetery, near Addison. Formerly Noell Junction,
the Dallas County town was named for a pioneer family, and its
Masonic lodge is one of the oldest in the county. Field Noell
was chairman for the day, and the annual report of Secretary
Charles McKamey was presented. A number of impromptu talks were
made. Among prominent Masons who attended was Hiram F. Lively
of Dallas, a past grand master of Texas.
- May 24, 1937, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 8, col. 7.
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