Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996 Page: 16
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This hollow iron monument marks the grave of Henry W. Lane who died in 1882. According to local
Weatherford legend, it served as a dropping-off point for bootleggers during Prohibition Days. The story, as
told by Bert Rawlins, goes: "The way he'd do it was, he got these panels loose, and he'd deposit the whiskey
inside this hollow iron monument. Whoever'd want the whiskey would ride by, reach in there, get the
whiskey, and leave the money."
NO ONE KNOWS EXACTLY WHEN THE AREA BEGAN TO BE USED AS A CEMETERY, BUT
SHORTLY AfTER (WEATHERfORD) WAS INCORPORATED IN 1859 THE CITY
COMMISSION AUTHORIZED THE MAYOR TO "SURVEY OUT THE LOTS AND ESTABLISH
CORNERS" Of THE LAND KNOWN THEN AS "THE BURIAL GROUNDS". THE
CEMETERY WAS ALSO ENCLOSED WITH A fIVE-fOOT HIGH FENCE AND BURIAL PLOTS
WERE TO BE SOLD fOR $10 EACH OR 50 CENTS A FOOT.
money in the treasury will pay for Phase
One, which includes construction of 1,500
feet of six-foot high metal fence with Star
of Texas finials on each picket and pineapple
finials on each line post. Phase Two
will be one 16-foot wide gate at the main
entrance and three other 12-foot wide
gates. Warren hopes that additional money
needed for this project will be on hand by
the time the fence is completed.
The history of the old burial ground is
almost as fascinating as some of the pioneers
who rest there, according to Warren.
No one knows exactly when the area
began to be used as a cemetery, but shortly
after the city was incorporated in 1859 the
city commission authorized the mayor to
"survey out the lots and establish corners"
of the land known then as "the burial
grounds". The cemetery was also enclosed
with a five-foot high fence and burial
plots were to be sold for $10 each or 50
cents a foot. However, H. Smythe, Parker
County's earliest historian, notes that by
1877, less than 20 years later, the cemetery
was "a sadly neglected spot".
The cemetery continued to deteriorate
until the early 1920s. Although no
records exist to prove it, the city apparently
deeded the cemetery to a group of
Weatherford's prominent women who
formed the Ladies Civic League and Cemetery
Association to rescue the neglected
area. This group cleaned the land, restored
damaged headstones, and even created
a sunken garden along the west side.
In 1926 they had a second fence constructed,
a portion of which is preserved at
the entrance to city-owned Cartwright
Park. A full-time sexton was secured, who
was paid $10 to hand-dig a grave. To offset
expenses, the Association charged one
dollar a year for maintenance of a plot and
$3 a year if water was provided for it.
For more than 30 years this organization
maintained the cemetery until it
was "sold" to the City of Weatherford for
one dollar in June of 1952, when retired
House Speaker Jim Wright was
Weatherford's youngest mayor. Since that
time, city crews have taken over the
A walk through City Greenwood Cemetery
is like taking a stroll back through
time, according to Warren. "For a town
the size of Weatherford, the more than
2,000 grave sites include a surprising number
of people who have played significant
roles in the history of Texas, the nation,
and the world," he commented.
16 HERITAGE *SPRING 1996
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996, periodical, Spring 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45406/m1/16/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.