Temple is Home to 5 State-Recognized Historical Cemeteries
I'm a big believer in the theory, "You can judge a community on how they respect their dead".
I'll go and check out the local cemeteries whenever I have to spend some time in any town. When I first got here in Temple I found a couple of graveyards by accident. Bonus, it was after midnight, and I was driving alone.
Little did I know, that the two that I stumbled into like a zombie, have since been listed as "Historical" in the state of Texas. And they're not alone.
- 7 Star Cemetery
I was coming back from a remote at Little River Academy Speedway. It was the first time I was out that way, and I got a little turned around. I missed my exit on Loop 363 so I took the one on E Young Ave. Then I got on East Shell Ave. I followed that around till I hit some railroad tracks. And what do my headlights hit after I land? Tombstones. Turns out I was looking at a resting place for African American and Railroad workers back in the 1800's. Even though there are 100 markers, it's believed to be the resting place for over 500 early residents of Temple. They got their Historical Marker in 2005.
- Hillcrest Cemetery
This is the other one I discovered that same night. I thought they were the same, but I found out later they were separated. Turns out by more than just a street. Hillcrest is the biggest in Temple, but the oldest graves can be found closer to 14th Street. The main entrance is on North 1st Street. It also holds two Historical graves. Claudia Potter, the first woman doctor at Scott & White and a pioneering physician in the medial specialty of anesthesiology. The other being Raleigh Richardson White, Sr. Ex Colonel in the Confederate Army. Joined the Baptist church. His son, along with his partner, opened what would end up being Scott & White Hospital. They got their Historical Marker in 2009.
- Greathouse Cemetery
The Marker text says that The Rev. Early Greathouse (1810-1885) moved to Alabama in 1852, where he served in the state legislature and the Constitutional Conventions of 1865 and 1867. In 1870 Greathouse and his family arrived in Texas and bought land south of the present site of Temple. He built the first cotton gin in the area, and soon organized both the Knob Creek and Mt. Vernon Baptist Churches. He also set aside a tract of land to be used for a cemetery, probably in 1871. The Greathouse Cemetery got it's historical marker in 1986.
- Little Flock Cemetery
The Historical Marker says that the land was donated by J.W. and Mary Moore who owned the pioneer gristmill and cotton gin. The first person buried there was a stranger who died on a wagon trip from West Texas to Arkansas. They received their Historic Marker in 1969.
- Lancaster Cemetery
Their Historical Marker arrived in 1987 and said that Thomas Lancaster (1813-1867), was a farmer and rancher who came to Bell County in 1851. He set aside a plot of land on the west side of Little Elm Creek for a community burial ground. Even though some burials took place before Lancaster's death in 1867, his is the oldest marked grave.