Oakwood Cemetery – Grand

Grand Avenue, curving gracefully past its impressive bluff-top houses, leads to Oak- wood Cemetery, which is set on axis with Circle Park Boulevard. A semi-rural oasis in the urbanized North Side, the cemetery is situated on a broad, sloping expanse punctuated with mature oaks, stretching down to the banks of the West Fork of the Trinity River. John Peter Smith, a civic leader and later, mayor of Fort Worth, donated twenty acres in 1879 for the formation of a cemetery. This early City Cemetery contained special grounds for blacks and, by 1880, for Catholics. Later in the nineteenth-century other grants of land, made by the City toward the east and west, eventually increased the grounds to over 100 acres, called as a whole Oakwood Cemetery. A group of Fort Worth women raised funds in 1911-12 for the construction of Oakwood Cemetery Chapel. Architects Marion L. Waller and E. Stanley Field were responsible for the design, a diminutive yellow brick, Gothic Revival structure of cruciform plan with stained glass windows. J. W. McPherson was the builder and Joe Cauker was the brick contractor The cemetery contains a number of specialized sites, including Soldiers’ Row, established in 1903 for the burial of Confederate veterans, as well as plots used by a bricklayers’ union, bartenders, a black lodge, and separate sections for white and black paupers. Several important mausolea and monuments denote the graves of Fort Worth notables such as Samuel Burk Burnett, John B. Slaughter, W. T. Waggoner, Major K. M. Van Zandt, Luke Short and Jim Courtright the graves of Euday Bowman, Governor Charles A. Culberson, William M. McDonald, John Peter Smith and General Thomas N. Waul, C.S.A., have been awarded Texas Historical Markers. The site was awarded a Texas Historical Marker in 1966, and should be eligible for the National Register.

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