Memorial Park and Cemetery
Protected State Archeological Landmark
N. Central Expressway and Lemmon Ave.
This area of Dallas
County was settled by former African American slaves shortly after
the conclusion of the American Civil War. Freedman's Cemetery, a graveyard
for African Americans, was established in 1869 on one acre of land
purchased by trustee Sam Eakins. Another 3 acres was acquired for
cemetery purposes in 1879 by trustees A. Wilhite, Frank Read, A. Boyd,
T. Watson, George English, Silas Pitman, and the Rev. A. R. Griggs,
a former slave who later became a prominent local church leader and
champion of early public education for the African American community.
The community of churches, commercial enterprises, and residences
that had developed in this area by the turn of the 20th century was
by 1912 a part of the City of Dallas.
Construction of the Central Expressway through here in the 1930s virtually
eliminated all physical above-ground reminders of the cemetery.
Descendants of persons buried here and the City of Dallas
agreed in 1965 to establish the Freedman's Memorial Park and Cemetery
at this site. Beginning in 1989 representatives of the community worked
with the City of Dallas
and the Texas Department of Transportation to preserve the historic
Freedman's Cemetery site prior to highway expansion.
Freedman's Cemetery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy David
Cole, May 2013
"There are several poems on plaques around the monument for those
who might wish to visit. Cemetery buffs in Dallas can cover a lot
of ground there. Greenwood
Cemetery is right there as well." - David
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered
and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local
history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please