Texas State Cemeteryby
Texas State Cemetery
TE Photo, October 2001
cemetery can be entered through several gates, but we suggest the main entrance
on Navasota Street. Dedications and information have been artistically sandblasted
into the natural sandstone walls. |
A small museum at the entrance houses
artifacts (mostly personal items of former governors) and gives information on
other notable early cemeteries around Texas. A detailed printed guide is available
as you begin your walking tour. A detailed living guide is available for groups
with prior arrangement.
The Texas State Cemetery is a mandatory stop
for anyone with the slightest interest in Texas history. This pantheon of Texas
heroes, near-heroes and dubious heroes is a sort of living history book - except
that there are no pages and only the caretakers and squirrels are living.
TE Photo, October 2001
resemblance to Arlington National Cemetery is immediately apparent due to the
uneven terrain and row upon row of plain white tombstones (recently cleaned and
reinstalled). The stones lack the rigid uniformity of Arlington, but Texas has
always avoided rigid uniformity. |
While many of the dignitaries had their
remains exhumed and reburied here; it wasn't necessary to move the graves of the
rank and file soldiers since Austin had been the host city for the State Confederate
The cemetery would not be the exceptional historical
garden that it is today if it were not for the tireless efforts of Louis Kemp.
Kemp was a state employee who worked for the Texas Department of Transportation
and it was his idea to gather the bodies of men and women who had contributed
to Texas' history. Kemp, too, is buried on the grounds in appreciation of his
Some noteworthy residents of the cemetery and their monuments
Hotels > Book Here
headstone for William Alexander Anderson Wallace sits very near the base of the
Stephen F. Austin Statue. Wallace, for some reason doesn't have his Christian
names inscribed on his tombstone. Length may have had something to do with it.
Wallace's Texas adventures were exaggerated, inflated and twisted into outrageous
legend - and that was just when he would introduce himself.|
in Texas to avenge a brother and cousin who were killed in the massacre of Fannin
and his men at Goliad. He joined the Somervell/ Mier expeditions and participated
in the black bean death lottery where he drew a white bean - and was spared. He
and the other "winners" were then taken on a well-escorted tour of Mexican prisons.
After his release he carried the mail from San Antonio to El Paso and
eventually retired to the banks of the Medina River where his neighbors renamed
the town of Bigfoot,
Texas in his honor.
Texas Personality: Bigfoot Wallace)
unusual pose for|
Stephen Fuller Austin
F. Austin The
statue of Stephen F. Austin that commands the hill in the southwest corner is
by the Italian born Pompeo Coppini. Coppini had a studio in San Antonio for many
years and his contributions to Texas sculpture are spread across Texas. The somewhat
unusual pose of Austin's statue is due to it's original planned location. It was
originally to be placed at Congress Avenue and the river. His outstretched arm
is not meant as a salute, but to show off the main street of the city that bears
by Mike Cox
Joanna Troutman Statue|
is also a Coppini work
This statue of the woman who has been called the Betsy Ross of Texas was also
the work of Coppini. Ms. Troutman had died in her native Georgia (without ever
visiting Texas) and her remains were moved here in 1913.
pair of ex-governors|
& Miriam Fergusons
Fergusons: The only husband-wife team of governors Texas has ever had. Their beautiful
stone is situated not far from the more minimalist gravesite of their nemesis
Dan Moody (and wife). Moody defeated Miriam "Ma" Ferguson in the 1926 election.
Moody, a World War I veteran, served as Texas Attorney General and investigated
the Ferguson's questionable awarding of highway contracts.
Jackson Davis, the Reconstruction Governor has his grave marked by the tallest
marker in the cemetery (erected by his brother). Probably the most reviled man
ever to be in the Governor's mansion - Davis would tell you if he could - that
the feeling (at least toward Confederates) was mutual. The obelisk's position
and size is meant to irritate the Confederate dead. His reluctance to leave the
Governor's Mansion after his term was up is another embarrassingly true Texas
Albert Sidney Johnston's Tomb|
Albert Sidney Johnston|
unusual recumbent statue of Albert Sidney Johnston (inside the tomb above) was
carved by the "Madwoman of Austin" Elizabet
Ney. Her model for the sarcophagus is on display in her former studio/ home
in Austin's Hyde Park district.
Johnston was killed at Shiloh after
being shot in the femoral artery. He bled to death while still mounted and giving
orders. Johnston was a special hero to Texans since he had served as Texas Secretary
of War under Lamar.
His glass-enclosed grave shed (with a modern Plexiglas
cover) is the most elaborate structure/shrine in the cemetery.
Wharton in Bronze|
bust of John Wharton is not far from that of General Johnson, however Wharton
didn't die on the battlefield. He was killed in a Houston tavern by a soldier
who thought Wharton had wronged him. The bust is by noted sculptor Enrico
Cerracchio - the artist of Sam
Houston's Equestrian statue in Houston's Hermann Park.
A marker in appreciation of
Viola Gay Barnes
After entering the main gate of the cemetery the
memorial is about 150 yards directly in front of you across the pool.
TE Photo, 9-04
few of the other markers of Texas Governors, statesmen and characters|
concludes our visit to the Texas State Cemetery. We have covered only a portion
of the grounds and encourage those visiting Austin
to include time for the State Cemetery. |
Texas' shortest highway - SH
165 runs through the State Cemetery.
Burial by Bob
Bowman (from "All Things Historical")
Texas Historical Commission
archeologists discovered the sailor's skeletal remains during the 1996 excavation
of French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's ship, the Belle,
which sank in Matagorda Bay in 1686. His remains are now the oldest ever buried
in the State Cemetery.
by Bob Bowman (from "All Things Historical")
Among the towering
monuments in the Texas State Cemetery -- the final resting place for Stephen F.
Austin and other state titans -- lies the grave of John Alexander Greer
of San Augustine, a Republic of Texas senator, a lieutenant governor, and a one-time
candidate for governor. But in East Texas, where Greer spent his life, there is
the lingering question if his bones really lie beneath his Austin tombstone. Stephen
Patriots by Mike Cox)
The final Revolutionary War veteran who fought for Texas
was buried here.Remembering
Austin by Mike
|Book Hotel Here