Old City (Masonic) Cemetery, Dallas, Texas
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(Updated June 12, 2004)



     The Herald has only been trying for four years to get the city council to have a fence put around the graveyard.  By A. D. 1900, there seems to be a prospect of having this done, and the present shame and disgrace of a graveyard at the mercy of hogs and cattle remedied.

- July 14, 1876, Dallas Daily Herald, p. 4, col. 1.
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     An Ordinance on Cemetery and City Sexton. Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Dallas:
     Section 1. The place beyond the corporate limits given to the city of Dallas as a site for the cemetery, or such other places as the city council may select, shall be the place of burial for the city of Dallas, and shall be designated as the "city cemetery."
     Sec. 2. The said cemetery or cemeteries, shall be suitably laid off into streets, paths and lots, the corners of lots to be indicated by stakes of durable wood. The size of a full lot shall be eighteen by twenty feet.
     Sec. 3. The city engineer shall survey said grounds and shall make a map thereof of a size not exceeding twenty feet to the inch on durable paper, and neatly and artistically drawn, designating in some appropriate part, some portion as burying ground for paupers, buried by the city or county, and another for strangers, and numbering the lots from the northwest corner, in consecutive order; and the half lots shall be designated east and west half, which, when completed, shall be framed and suspended in the office of the city secretary, and a copy thereof filed in the office of the city sexton.
     Sec. 4. It shall not be lawful for any person to disinter or remove any dead body deposited therein, from any grave or vault, except it be upon the application or with the consent of the friends or family of the deceased, and then only under the written permission and superintendance of the city sexton; and if any person shall offend against the provisions of this section, or shall receive any body, knowing it to have been disinterred and removed in violation of the provisions of this section, he shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, and if the fine be not paid, shall be imprisoned not exceeding fifteen days.
     Sec. 5. If any person shall cut, break, or otherwise injure, mutilate or deface any tombstone, fence, head of foot-board, vault, monument or inclosure, tree, shrub, or ornament, or shall remove or disturb any stake indicating the boundary of any lot, half-lot, street or path, of said cemetery, or of any graveyard of the city, he shall be fined in any sum not less than five or more than one hundred dollars.
     Sec. 6. It shall be unlawful for any one to bury or be concerned in burying any dead person within the limits of the city of Dallas, and upon conviction any one so offending shall be fined any sum not less than ten or more than one hundred dollars, and each day the body so remains shall constitute a separate offense; provided that those associations and individuals having cemeteries in the city shall not be effected by this provision before April 1, 1880.
     Sec. 7. The removal of all dead is forbidden except between the 1st of November and the 1st of April, provided that where the bodies have been interred for two years or more they may be removed at other times. Any one violating this section shall be fined not exceeding fifty dollars.
     Sec. 8. That this ordinance take effect from passage of publication.
             Approved December 22, 1880.
            J. B. H
EREFORD, City Secretary
            John J. G
OOD, Mayor

- January 1, 1881, Dallas Daily Herald, p. 3, col. 5.
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The Old Cemetery.

     Why have not some measures been taken to remove the old Dallas cemetery beyond the limits of the city?  Property has been purchased and money invested under the idea that it would be taken away, and yet it remains in our mid-city retarding and almost checking the growth of Dallas in that direction.

-October 13, 1881, Dallas Weekly Herald, p. 8, col. 1
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Complaint Made Against an Im-
proper Regard for the Sleeping
Dead Who Lie in the Akard Street
Cemetery--How the City Disposed
of Its Interest in Land Intended
as a Burying Place Forever.

     A few days ago, an elderly lady entered the city secretary's office and, exhibiting a deed to a cemetery lot, which she bought from the city while it had control of the old city cemetery, on Akard street; she said the fence that once enclosed the sacred spot of ground was in a dilapidated condition and full of gaps, and what was the most horrible to her mind, parties [were] actually building houses over the graves. She said her loved ones were sleeping beneath the sod in that burying ground and she was seeking whatever redress that might be at her command against such desecration. She was referred to Mayor Connor.
     As this was once the common burying place for the residents of this then, small city, and the bones of many of the old settlers, whose names and acts are connected with the early history of Dallas, were laid to rest there, the matter is fraught with more than minor interest.
     A T
IMES-HERALD reporter visited the old city cemetery, which is on the hill between the Central and Missouri Pacific railways, and adjoins the Odd Fellows' and Masons' cemeteries. The latter are enclosed with neat iron fences, and the graves bear evidence of good keeping, but just across, in the public burying ground, there is every evidence of unpardonable neglect. The plank fence that once served to protect the graves against the intrusion of stock, is fast rotting away, and a number of gaps form openings for pedestrians to enter, while their course is marked by several byways, which wind about in different directions among the neglected mounds. The growth of vegetation is wild and rank. The evergreens, which are emblematic, have long since lost their beauty.
     Paralleling Akard street, a board fence divides a section of the cemetery. It is set back about eighty feet and takes a crooked course, evidently out of mock respect for the graves, which it crowds. This section is divided into two small lots; on one, a residence has just been completed, and a business house is being built on the other. If this enclosure contains a grave, time has rubbed out the mark and the world is none the wiser. But, the ground that the city sold, as appears below, is dotted with mounds, some of which, are marked by grave stones.
     Those whose dead are buried there will doubtless be surprised to learn that Akard street cemetery is no longer under the control of the city, although there seems to be some question involving the right to convey it, from the fact that the city met the expense of grading and building a sidewalk in front of the property. However, the T
IMES-HERALD has searched the public records, with the result shown below:


Know all men, by these presents that I,
Nancy Tuberville (the widow of Wm. Tuberville, deceased), of the county of Dallas in the state of Texas, for, and in consideration of, the sum of $503.12 currency dollars, to me in hand paid, by Henry Ervay, mayor of the city of Dallas, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, have this day sold, and by these presents do hereby sell, transfer and convey and confirm unto the said Henry Ervay, as mayor of said city of Dallas, in Dallas county, Texas, the following described lot, tract or parcel of land, lying within the corporation of said city, adjoining the Odd Fellows and Masonic cemetery on the east, and out of the original John Grigsby league survey and bounded as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of Mrs. Akard's tract on the east line of the Masonic cemetery; thence s. 45 w. to my original s. w. line; thence n. 45 w. to my corner on the last [east?] line of the Odd Fellows cemetery; thence north 68 yards to the beginning, containing 3 acres of land, reserving for myself one eighth of an acre as a family burying ground, to include the grave of my late husband, Wm. Tuberville, deceased, and such other of our family as I may wish, to be layed off as I may desire. To have and to hold said above described premises unto the said Henry Ervay, as mayor of said city of Dallas, and to his successors in said office forever (save and except the reservation hereinbefore made), to be used by the authorities of said city of Dallas as a public burying place or city cemetery forever.
     And I do by these presents bind myself, my heirs and legal representatives to warrant and forever defend the title to said premises unto the said mayor and his successors as such against the claims of all persons whomsoever.
Given under my hand this 13th day December, 1871.


Whereas, at a meeting of the city council,
of the city of Dallas, in Dallas county, Texas, held on the ------ day of ------, 187----, it was mutually agreed between myself and the said council, that the said city of Dallas, would make to W. H. Gaston and W. H. Thomas, a deed to all their right, interest and claims in and to the old cemetery, known as the city cemetery, lying east of the Masonic and Odd Fellows' cemetery in said city, for and in consideration that the president of Trinity cemetery would deed to the city of Dallas, five acres off the southwest side of said Trinity cemetery, to be used for the burial place of paupers and indigent poor only. Now, therefore, in compliance with said agreement, and in consideration that the city council of Dallas, through their mayor, W. L. Cabell, has made the deed as agreed upon, I, W. H. Gaston, president of said Trinity Cemetery have sold and by these presents, does hereby convey to the city of Dallas, five acres of land off the southwest side of the Trinity Cemetery, to be used only for the purpose of interring the dead bodies of paupers and indigent poor people, and bounded as follows: Beginning at the south corner of said cemetery, thence north 45 1-4 east, 285 feet, thence north 44 3-4 west, 764 feet, thence south 45 1-4 west 285 feet, thence south 44 3-4 east, 764 feet to the beginning. To have and to hold said premises unto the said city of Dallas, for the use and purpose named forever. Given under my hand and seal this 29th day of August, 1878.
W. H. G
ASTON, President.


W. L. Cabell, mayor,
W. H. Gaston & W. H. Thomas.
}  Deed.
Whereas, at a meeting of the city council
of the city of Dallas held on the ---- day of ----, 1871, it was mutually agreed by the city council on the one part and W. H. Thomas, president of the Trinity cemetery, on the other part, that if the said Gaston would make to the city a deed to 5 acres of land off the southwest side of the Trinity cemetery to be used solely as a burying place for paupers and indigent persons, then, and in that event, the city authorities of the city of Dallas would, in consideration, therefore deed to said W. H. Gaston and W. H. Thomas, all the right, title and interest owned by the city, and to the old city cemetery of Dallas, Texas, which is described as follows, to-wit: Beginning at Mrs. Akard's corner on the east line of the Masonic cemetery, thence n. 81 e, 136 yards, thence s. 17 3. 56 yards, thence s. 45 [w] 136 yards to league line, thence n. 42 [w] 83 yards to the east line of Odd Fellows' cemetery, then north 68 yards to the beginning, containing 3 acres (excepting all sale of lots heretofore made by the city and whereas, the said Gaston has performed his part of said contract by making the deed as aforesaid to me as mayor of said city, properly authenticated now, therefore, in consideration of the premises as aforesaid and by virtue of the authority in me vested as mayor of said city, and in consideration of the deed to said five acres of land, I, W. L. Cabell, mayor of Dallas, Texas, have sold, and by these presents, do hereby sell, transfer and convey to W. H. Gaston and W. H. Thomas, their heirs and assigns, all the right, title and interest which the said city of Dallas has in [deed] to the above described premises, to have and to hold unto the said W. H. Gaston and W. H. Thomas, their heirs or assigns forever.
Witness my hand this 29th day of August, 1878.
W. L. C
Mayor City of Dallas.
J. B. H
ERFORD, City Secretary [L. S.]

- February 15, 1890, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1-2.
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Local Notes.

     Vandals entered the Masonic cemetery recently and smashed thirty-five head-stones. The penitentiary for life would be the proper punishment for the scoundrels.

- March 23, 1891, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 4.
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The Late Ex-Speaker's Father is
Buried in Dallas.


He Lived Here in 1873, but His
Grave Cannot be Found.

     Undertaker Ed C. Smith, referring to the special from Waco, which says that the mother of the late ex-Speaker Charles F. Crisp is buried in that city, said:
     "The father of the late speaker died in Dallas in 1873, and was buried in the old city cemetery. Several years ago, Mr. Crisp wished to erect a monument over his father, but the grave had been so long neglected, that it could not be found, and it has not, to this day, been located.
     "The elder Crisp's initials were W. H. He and his wife ran the Crisp Dramatic Company, and Charles F., who was then young, a youth, was an actor in the company. They played heavy pieces; "Macbeth" was one of them, I remember.
     "While they were playing here, Mr. Crisp was taken sick. The company were stopping at the Crutchfield house, and Mr. Crisp occupied a room across the street over Connor & Walker's drug store, and it was in this room he died."

- October 26, 1896, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 2.
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Opening of a Street Unearths a Coffin and Ne-
cessitates Another Burial Ground--Excava-
tions which Expose Skeletons.

     A sad procession was noted passing through the streets of Dallas yesterday afternoon. It spoke of the long ago and brought burning tears from loving ones who had many years since wept over the grave and listened to the last sad rites as the wife and mother was laid away for all time, as was then thought to be the case. The burial took place in the old cemetery lying east of what is, at present, known as the Santa Fe yards. A well known citizen of Dallas ascertained a few days ago that teams were engaged in opening up and reducing the grade of Masonic street and, as his wife was buried in that vicinity, he repaired to the scene. He located her grave, but not by the familiar headstone or fence which he had provided, as these had been removed by unknown parties and scrapers were gathering dirt within a few feet of the coffin when he commenced his investigation. It was not long before all of the earth had been carted elsewhere and the remains, which had rested in peace these many years, were exposed to the elements. Another burial ground was secured, and with his own hands, the husband gathered the remains of his deceased wife and had them deposited elsewhere.
     For some time past, a firm of contractors has been excavating a lot on Marilla street adjoining the old cemetery in that vicinity, and using the sand on the streets of Dallas. About three months ago, they approached too near the cemetery line, causing the bank to cave away and expose to view a walnut coffin, out of the end of which, projected the skull of a woman. The grave was left open until last Wednesday, when it was boarded in. No records can be obtained as to whose grave it is, as it lies outside of the cemetery proper.
     The land that is being excavated besides the adjoining property on Akard street and the cemetery, was deeded to the city a number of years ago by a Mrs. Tabberville [Tuberville], with the understanding that it should be used as a burying ground. The city has sold a good portion of the land for residence and store plots.
     The heirs of Mrs. Tabberville recently brought suit against the city to recover the property, but for some reason, the case was withdrawn from court.

- January 12, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 5-6.
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Cemetery Map Drawn in 1881
To Help Sulphur Springs Man
Find Sister's Grave in Dallas

     A scrawled note and plan of a graveyard made on the back of a handbill in 1881 will help M. B. Sherwood of Sulphur Springs locate the resting place of his sister, who died before his birth.
     Mr. Sherwood, treasurer for sixteen years of the North Texas Methodist Conference, Thursday showed the map of the Masonic Cemetery on South Akard. It was drawn on the back of a handbill which advertised the impending publication of the Dallas Evening Blade on or about Sept. 1, 1881.
     The map was drawn by T. E. Sherwood, pioneer of Dallas and its third Mayor after incorporation. He was M. B. Sherwood's father, and lived on the present site of the Santa Fe Building. Across the top of the map is a short note of explanation and a postscript reading: "I wonder if my children will read this after my death?"
     The map was found by Mr. Sherwood in his father's effects after his death in 1897. Although he has owned the paper since, Mr. Sherwood has not had an opportunity before to look up the grave. He plans to look for it while here.
     In marking the location of the exact plot in the cemetery, Mr. Sherwood named the graves of those around it. Some of the names are now prominent in Dallas history, such as E. C. Browder, J. P. Goodnight, Ervay and Cole.
     The other side of the map, advertising the newspaper, is nearly as interesting. The handbill, signed by George N. Beach and E. G. Rust, lists the office at Main and Poydras, over L. Myers Connor's drugstore.
     The editorial policy of the paper is set forth on the advertisement, and claims that the paper will be "strictly independent in politics, discussing all questions, local and national, impartially and without reference to the position of any political party."
     As an inducement to subscribers, the publishers offer with the subscription, a free, two-line listing in the business directory of the paper for the duration of the subscription. A substitute offer of one two-line insertion per week in the cheap column is offered.

- October 29, 1937, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. II, p. 1, col. 6-7; cont. on page 6, col. 2.
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Old Cemetery Items


     On March 30, 1846, the Texas State Legislature passed an act creating the County of Dallas from portions of Nacogdoches and Robertson Counties. A year from now, we will have our centennial, and how fitting if we could celebrate by dedicating a memorial cemetery -- the old cemetery below Akard Street, where the majority of the organizers of the county lie buried.
     It is impossible to record the first burials in this cemetery. Records of our early settlers are sometimes hard to find, there were no undertakers and no vital statistics. Many stones have been destroyed, or no stones were erected, but often old newspapers and family records are available.

March, 1857 Deed.
     The deed to the Masonic and Odd Fellow sections says, in part: "To Tannehill Lodge No. 42, Ancient Y. Masons and Dallas Lodge No. 44, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, all the lot, tract or parcel of land, being and situated in Dallas County and State of Texas, near the town of Dallas, commencing....one-half feet of the N. W. corner of the B. W. Stone's cemetery, Thence South 376 feet; Thence W. 376 feet to the place of beginning, containing in all, three acres, more or less. In testimony whereof, we hereunto set our hands & scrawls for seals, this 21st day of March A. D. 1857." Signers of the deed were John W. Smith, James N. Smith, W. L. Murphy, W. P. Martin and Alexander Cockrell.
     The signers of the deed were given choice of lots. Others given choice of lots for contributing to the cemetery included B. Warren Stone, John C. McCoy, G. W. Barnett, James M. Patterson, the Rev. James A. Smith and J. B. McDermett, deceased. Records indicate this burial ground was in existence long before this deed was made.
     Probably the first burial in the county was that of Isaac Young's wife, who died in the late summer of 1842, and was buried "five hundred yards north of John Neely Bryan's cabin" by Bryan, Captain Gilbert and J. B. Martin. In the B. Warren Stone plot of the cemetery, the headstones, without dates, read: "Margaret, wife of B. Warren Stone" and a marker with the initials "B. W. S."
     The donors known to be buried in the cemetery include: James N. Smith, W. P. Martin, James M. Patterson, the Rev. James A. Smith, B. Warren Stone and John C. McCoy. The body of Alexander Cockrell was moved to Greenwood Cemetery and John W. Smith's grave is in the Smith Family Cemetery, near Lemmon Avenue Road.

Old Headstone Inscriptions.
     The oldest legible headstones found were: Masonic Section, "J. B. McDermett, Born Somersett Co. Pa. Year 1790, Died July 15, 1854"; Odd Fellow Section, "A. P. Grover, 1830-1855:; City Section, "William W. Barton, Born March 7, 1814, Died July 26, 1876" and in the Jewish Cemetery, "Baby Daughter of H. Lauman, Died Aug. 1870." The Jewish Cemetery is, and has always been, well kept.
     Every man buried in this cemetery has an interesting history of accomplishment, either in the professions, military records or in business, helping to lay the foundation for the City and County of Dallas. And, who can say that pioneer women did not do the greater part in hardships endured? Among the women buried in this cemetery are several who will always live in the history of our county and state.

- May 6, 1945, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. IV, p. 7, col. 2-3.
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Added June 12, 2004:
Old Cemetery Items

By Mrs. George F. Carlisle.

     A noted physician, writer and lecturer once wrote, that when he went to a town to lecture, he always looked at the cemeteries of that town, and from their condition, he knew the type of people he would address. Go to the old cemetery below Akard street any day, late in the afternoon, and you will find, in the city section, cows grazing over the graves of our first settlers, sometimes within fenced plots where descendants have tried to protect the graves. In all sections of this cemetery, you will see rabbits jumping over the tall grass, and perhaps boys and dogs chasing the rabbits. Many appeals have been made to the city since 1870, asking that these graves be given protection. Let us hope the Master Plan, which includes this old cemetery, will soon operate to the extent of saving the pieces of stones remaining, so the graves of many of our pioneers may be located.

Graves of Churchmen.
     Not all early settlers came here for land grants or to establish a business. Some came as missionaries to bring the Word of God, and to organize and build our first churches. In the Masonic section, a lot belonging to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, when the name meant parish, not cathedral, are buried two men who established that church. One, the Rev. George Rottenstein, an Episcopalian priest, came as a missionary in 1856. It is recorded that first services were held in a vacant store building on Main Street, between Houston and Broadway, and four celebrants attended. Marriages performed by the Rev. Mr. Rottenstein in 1856 and 1857 were, in most instances, members of the French Colony, and were signed, "Geo. Rottenstein, Presbyter (Priest) of Episc. Cr. St. Matthew's Parish, Dallas." No stone marks the grave of Rector Rottenstein, but it is said he died in 1868, and since no minister of his faith was available, services were conducted by the Masonic order, of which he was a member.
     Following the death of the Rev. Mr. Rottenstein, Rector Silas Davenport was sent by the Diocese of Texas to the Dallas parish. A stately monument at his grave in this lot bears this inscription: Rev. Silas Davenport, Born July 21, 1830, Died Jan. 1, 1877 Born in Elizabeth City, N. C., the Rev. Mr. Davenport had been educated for the ministry at Raleigh. Soon after he was ordained, he came by ship to Texas, serving as a traveling missionary until the Civil War, when he became an officer in the Confederate Army. Coming to Dallas in August, 1868, as rector of St. Matthew's, when services were being held on Main Street, a new location was soon established at Elm and Lamar.
     In 1874, the Rev. Mr. Davenport became the first dean of St. Matthew's Cathedral when the church was located on Commerce Street. He was also in charge of missionary work, which included eight counties, and much of his time was spent traveling on horseback, or by buckboard, to the parishes in the North Texas diocese. His death was caused by exposure to severe winter weather in performance of his pastoral duties.

Georgian Buried First.
     The first burial in this plot, according to the broken pieces of stone, was that of Wm. P. Martin, born Aug. 4, 1832, died Jan. 12, 1858. This young man had come to Dallas from Georgia, afflicted with tuberculosis. Being an Episcopalian, and having no relatives here, he was buried in the church plot by members of his faith.
     Also buried in this plot is a grandson of the Rev. Silas Davenport, Louis Armistead Shumate. A small child of Bishop Alexander Garrett was buried there, but later, the body was moved to another cemetery.

- May 27, 1945, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 8, col. 4-5.
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Old Cemetery Items
By Mrs. George F. Carlisle

     While we are welcoming home our soldiers of this, the most destructive of all wars, let us give thought to the soldiers of other wars, many of whom are ancestors of our victorious men of today. In the Odd Fellow and Masonic sections of the old cemetery below Akard street are graves of many men who served in other wars---Indian Wars, War of 1812, Mexican War and the War Between the States. A few of these are:
     Capt. William T. Gillenwater, born April 30, 1795, died June 18, 1865, served as captain of an East Tennessee company of infantry in the War of 1812. Buried in the Masonic section.
     George H. Beeler, born in Virginia March 8, 1796, died July 20, 1861, was a rifleman in a Virginia regiment in the War of 1812. Buried in the Odd Fellow section.
     Capt. Jefferson Peak, born in Scott County, Ky., April 1, 1801, died Oct. 21, 1885, buried in Masonic section, commanded a company in the war with Mexico, 1846-1847.
     Capt. John J. Eakins, born in Henderson County, Ky., Oct. 6, 1822, buried in Masonic section, was a captain in the Mexican War.

Served in Two Wars.
     William Marion Moon, born in Missouri, March 18, 1830, cam to Dallas in 1845, was in Captain Fitzhugh's company in the Mexican War, 1847. He also served in the Confederate Army as a lieutenant in the 3d Texas Cavalry Regiment. He is buried in the Masonic section.
     Lt. Robert M. Cooke, buried near the entrance of the Masonic section -- no stone -- served in a Mississippi volunteers regiment in the Mexican War.
     Capt. W. P. Martin, born in Tennessee, Oct, 23, 1825, fought in the Mexican War, 1846, and was a captain in the Confederate Army. Died while in service April 17, 1864, and was buried in the Masonic section.
     Seven colonels commanded regiments of Dallas County men in the Confederate Army, and of these four, are buried in this old cemetery. One regiment was organized and commanded by Col. B. Warren Stone, a prominent lawyer of Dallas in the 1850s. A small marker in the Masonic section bears the initials, "B. W. S." A larger stone, nearby, bears the inscription, "Margaret, wife of B. Warren Stone."
     In the Odd Fellow section is the grave of Col. John P. Good, who commanded a regiment of artillery in the Confederate Army. He came to Dallas in 1851 and practiced law until his death in 1882. He served as Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District and was Mayor of Dallas in 1880.

House Speaker in 1842.
     Col. Nicholas Henry Darnell came to Texas in 1838 and served several terms in the Texas Legislature and was Speaker of the House in 1842. He was a member of the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1845 and 1875, and commanded a Texas cavalry regiment in the Confederate Army.
     Col. T. C. Hawpe, born in Georgia, Sept. 20, 1820, died Aug. 12, 1863, organized the 31st Texas Regiment, Confederate Army, composed of Dallas County men. He was elected Sheriff of Dallas County in 1850 and was re-elected in 1852. Buried in the Masonic section.
     Major William Wallace Peak, buried in the Masonic section, served in the 18th Cavalry Regiment, organized in Dallas. He was elected County Clerk in 1854 and was City Alderman for three terms.
     Dr. A. D. Rice, born in Kentucky, February, 1818, died Oct. 10, 1869, served as surgeon in the Confederate forces with rank of captain. He was elected Mayor of Dallas in 1858.
     Capt. Alexander Harwood, born in Tennessee, June 4, 1820, came to Dallas in 1845, served in the Confederate Army. He served several terms as County Clerk.
     Many other soldiers are buried in all three sections of this old cemetery. Two prominent colonels who served in the Missouri Confederate forces, Charles H. Nicholas and John M. Stemmons, are buried in the Masonic section.

- September 9, 1945, Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 16, col. 4-5.
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Plans Made
To Preserve

By Barry Bishop


Chauncey Egbert searches for a grave amid tangled weeds and grass in the proposed Pioneer Memorial Park, a cemetery where many early city builders are buried.

     In less than a year, Dallas County will celebrate its centennial.
     The 100th birthday of the city was passed four years ago.
     And today, master plans for a greater Dallas have all but passed by the last resting place of many who helped lay civic foundations for the skyscraper city of 1945.
     Tangled weeds mass around graves of many pioneers in the Masonic and Odd Fellows cemeteries in the South Akard-Royal Streets vicinity, almost in the shadows of near-by skyscrapers.
     Cows often graze around the headstones, munching grass that flourishes on the hallowed ground.

Fences Carried Off.
     Occasionally, vandals ply their nefarious trades and carry off iron fencing or other markers placed there in times past.
     It often looks like Dallas doesn't care.
     For years, efforts have been made to do something about creating a Pioneer Memorial Park in this area.
     In the next few days, a faithful group will make another effort to get something done. This will be a meeting of the historical spots committee of Bonham Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Plan to Petition City.
     Mrs. George F. Carlisle, chairman of this committee, will have the meeting soon to petition the city to take action.
     City Councilmen agreed to sponsor a Pioneer Memorial Park project for the area several months ago. Acting City Manager V. R. Smitham and Park Board President Ray Hubbard are spearheading the preliminary meetings seeking a solution with owners of the property.
     Master plans have given little mention to the Pioneer Memorial Park, but officials have promised to do something.
     Out of meetings this year, plans have developed for members of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges to deed the two cemeteries to the city.
In return, the city will be expected to erect an ornamental fence, an attractive entrance to the park and establish a permanent maintenance plan.

Masonic Lodge to Help.
     Members of Tannehill Masonic Lodge, the group owning part of the property, have agreed to contribute financially toward the initial program, Chauncey Egbert, a member of the committee, said Saturday.
     Odd Fellows expect to aid in establishing the program.
     The area was occupied by a cemetery before it was acquired by the masons and Odd Fellows on March 21, 1857. This was only nine years after Dallas County was created by legislative authority on March 30, 1846, Mrs. Carlisle recalled.
     The oldest grave Mrs. Carlisle has been able to locate is that of J. B. McDermett, who died July 15, 1854. There are others older than that, she is certain, but headstones and other markers are gone.

Four Mayors Buried There.
     Four Mayors of Dallas rest in the area. These are Dr. A. B. Rice, John M. Crockett, John W. Crowdus and John J. Good.
     Fighting with weeds and grass for recognition are the gravestone of many other pioneers of Dallas. A number of these family names now designate city streets.
     There are found here such names as Akard, Marsalis, Ervay, Young, Latimer, Laws, Stemmons, Armstrong, Martin, Eakins and Stone.
     Stories left by these pioneers are legion. Some of them are most interesting and historically quite important.
     There are men here who fought in Indian wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the War Between the States.
     The grave of one man--Nicholas Henry Darnell--marks the resting place of the man said to have been the only person with the distinction of having been a member of both the Constitutional Convention of 1845 and the Constitutional Convention of 1875 in Texas.
     It is the memory of men and women like these the historical spots committee hopes to commemorate in a lasting Pioneer Memorial Park.

- September 16, 1945, Dallas Morning News, Sec. II, p. 2, col. 1-5.
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     A booklet entitled "History of the Old Cemetery; City -- Masonic -- Odd Fellows," has just been published by the Historic Spots Committee of the James Butler Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
     Its author, Mrs. George F. Carlisle, chairman of the committee, has painstakingly recorded hundreds of names of early Dallas pioneers who lie buried in the cemeteries not far from the downtown business section.
     The cemetery is bounded by Akard, De Soto, Royal and Marilla streets. Many well-known street names were taken from the family names found inscribed on gravestones there, Mrs. Carlisle says.
     But, the Old Cemetery, or City section, is in a sad state of disrepair, according to Mrs. Carlisle. "We want somebody to do something about it before the rest of the stones are destroyed," she declared.

- February 1, 1948, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 18, col. 3.
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