- CONTACT US
Official Texas Historical Marker #18068, dated 2012
(Replacement for Official Texas Historical Marker #10801, dated 1980)
The Deutsche Gesellschaft von Houston, founded in 1875, established the German Society Cemetery in February 1887 by purchasing this property, then located outside the city limits, from the heirs of John Lawrence and Thomas Hart. Twelve-space family lots were sold to Society members for $10 and to the public for $25. It was renamed Washington Cemetery in July 1918 due to anti-German sentiment during World War I.
Though headstones of reinterred persons show birth dates as early as 1800 and death dates as early as 1855, the earliest known burial is that of three-year-old Pauline Ottilie Zeitler, on March 31, 1887. As least 15 citizens of the Republic of Texas and immigrants from more than 20 nations lie at rest here. Eighteen lots are owned by fraternal, labor, or veteran groups. More than 7600 persons are interred here, with more added each year.
Also buried here are more than 300 veterans of nine wars, from the Black Hawk War of 1832 to Vietnam, including more than 135 Confederate and Union veterans. Sarah Emma Evelyn (Edmonds) Seelye, aka Franklin Thompson, is noted for writing a book about her service as a man in the Federal Army, 1861-63.
After the last charter expired in 1947, the Superintendent's widow and her housekeeper tried to maintain the cemetery, but they did not have the resources needed. By the 1970s, it was badly overgrown. Concerned Citizens for Washington Cemetery Care (CCWCC) was founded in 1977, cleared away the jungle-like growth, and cared for the cemetery over the next 22 years. In 1997, CCWCC became the first group in Texas legally granted the authority to "restore, operate, and maintain a historic cemetery" under a 1995 Texas law; that authority was transferred to adjacent Glenwood Cemetery in 1999.
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2012