Henderson City Cemetery

Corner of W Fordall and N Van Buren Streets, across from Rusk County Courthouse

Marker Text
The old city cemetery, believed to be the oldest established in Henderson in the mid-1840s, is situated on land that originates from the 1845 W.F. Johnson Survey. The original deed records are not available due to a fire in the courthouse in 1878. The first identifiable marked grave is that of William H. Still who died on July 1, 1851, although burials from much earlier dates are likely. Over half of the cemetery served the African American community of Henderson. Buried here are merchant Mack Biggers (1879-1947), businessman Mose Reedy (1855-1950), veterinarian Dr. George W. Ross (1865-1943) and many other descendants of the black community. The wrought iron fence that separated the black and white sections of the cemetery has been removed. Other noted burials include two Texas A&M University presidents, Thomas S. Gathright and Robert Teague Milner, and former judges and legislators. Timothy Pilsbury (1789-1859), a soldier, sea captain, legislator and jurist, is also buried here. A founder of Bealls Department Store, Archie A. Beall (1884-1940), is also among the burials. Buried in an unmarked grave is Frank Bowden, a noted orator and Alabama congressman from the 1840s. The landscape of this historic cemetery is reminiscent of the Old South with magnolia trees and crepe myrtles scattered throughout the grounds. The Henderson City Cemetery contains the remains of soldiers who fought in all U.S. Wars from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War. Cemetery associations have come and gone over the years with one in existence in 1895. The current cemetery board was appointed in 2002 and continues to care for the cemetery.