Friday, October 20, 2006

Respect for the dead

It only lasted a few years, but the Houston Republic, a weekly publication, frequently pressed for better care of the “City Grave Yard.”

“The opinions expressed to us by many strangers and numerous inhabitants of Houston renders it absolutely necessary that we should, through the columns of our journal, call public attention to this grave subject….” (Emphasis NOT mine!)

The column, published Jan. 16, 1858, doesn’t say which graveyard needed fixing. Presumably, it could be Founders’ Cemetery off West Dallas outside downtown. “At Rest: A Historical Directory of Harris County, Texas, Cemeteries” by Trevia Wooster Beverly notes that early newspaper editorials brought attention to the condition of the cemetery but little was done about it.

“We have railroads centering here – we have others projecting, which will, in time, make us the recipients of the trade of various portions of the state – we have a stream open to navigation at all seasons – the price of our great staple is looking up, and ere long the effects of our temporary depression in trade will…have passed away, and now let us spare from our abundance a little to effect the object named….

“Let the new Board of Aldermen vote a portion of the city revenue – let the County Court make an appropriation, and then we think by the aid of our ladies who, no doubt, will lend a helping hand to so philanthropic an object, the grave yard will be enclosed,” the column concluded.

Last time I checked, the fence was still standing.



At 7:23 AM, Blogger laanba said...

Hey, I was just there a few weeks ago, and the fence is still standing.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Perry Dorrell, aka PDiddie said...

That cemetery is one of the most remarkable places in Houston history. We went to it after dark a few years ago on a ghost tour. One of the Allen brothers is buried there, a Civil War veteran or two.

The old brick fence along the east side was still intact.


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