Feb 22, 2022 - Things to Do

The history of the Dallas' Pioneer Park Cemetery

Cemetery downtown

Most people miss the pioneer graveyard. Photo: Tasha Tsiaperas/Axios

Most visitors milling outside the convention center with their suitcases never notice the hill in front of the building, covered in graves.

Why it matters: Pioneer Park Cemetery could be an interesting historic stop for out-of-town visitors and Dallasites alike. Many names on the headstones match those of city streets, including Young Street, which passes in front of the burial ground and neighboring City Hall.

Flashback: Pioneer Park Cemetery hasn't been used for burial for 100 years and was once four separate graveyards: the Masonic Cemetery, the Odd Fellow's Cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery, and the City Cemetery.

Who's buried here:

  • James Martin Patterson opened one of the first stores in Dallas and built a flatboat to try to ship cotton down the Trinity River to the Gulf.
  • John McClannahan Crockett served as lieutenant governor of Texas during its first two years in the Confederacy, then served as the mayor of Dallas. He also opened one of the first law offices in the pioneer settlement.
  • Juliette Abbey Peak Fowler assisted elderly women and orphans until her death in 1889. In 1892, her sister, Sarah Peak Harwood, led Juliette Fowler Homes, which continues today as Juliette Fowler Communities.

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