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    Texas Cemetery
    Glenwood Cemetery – A Gated Community
    Houston, Texas

    or
    Necropolis of the Metropolis

    by John Troesser

    Washington Avenue, West of downtown and East of Studewood

    Book Hotel Here > Houston Hotels

    Glenwood Cemetery Houston Texas
    The Glenwood Cemetery Office and Elgin Plot
    TE Photo
    While working on this issue’s Elgin article, we decided to visit the gravesite of the town’s namesake, Robert Morris Elgin. The Elgin Family Plot is located in Houston’s Glenwood Cemetery, 2525 Washington Avenue. At one time this was Washington Road and connected Houston proper with Camp Logan, a WW I Army training facility that is now Memorial Park.

    Upon entering the Cemetery, Houstonians will immediately recognize many familiar names. Allen, Binz, Cummings, Foley, and Settegast to name a few. Like the Elgin name, most have streets named after them in varying degrees of magnitude and asphalt.

    Besides being a final resting-place for Houston’s former VIPs, Glenwood also contains the earthly remains of Dr. Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas. Glenwood is also a showplace for late 19th and early 20th century funerary monuments.
    Lilian Elgin tombston

    We went to the office (a charming Victorian cottage formally used as the caretaker’s residence) to see if they had a directory, and they did. The Elgin plot seemed close, but the map wasn’t to scale. After a few minutes of wading through squirrels, we were back just a headstone’s throw from the door of the office. Although the surrounding grass was thin, inside the Elgin space it grew as if fertilized. You might say, "the plot thickened", then again, you might not want to say that.

    Ol’ Bob was a molding or a moldering, or whatever John Brown’s body was doing in that old song. And he was doing it right next to his daughter!  She died in Saltillo, Mexico, and I suspect there is an interesting story there. The Elgin Courier’s account of that would be in storage, so it will take a more persistent or curious detective than yours truly to write that saga.
    Weeping angel face glenwood cemetery Houston Texas
     
    Detail of the Angel in the Hill Family plot.
    TE Photo, May 2003
    The Old and the Restful

    S
    hrouded obelisks (symbols of lives cut short), weeping Angels and willows are nearly as abundant as squirrels, but executed several degrees finer than you’ll find in most cemeteries. An art deco Diana and an elaborate Egyptian motif plot add variety as the road winds and dips through this unintended arboretum. The southern boundary surprises you with the sudden appearance of Memorial Parkway, and off to the left at a distance is the abandoned Jefferson Davis hospital. Once known as ‘the baby factory" because it was the County’s primary maternity hospital, there is an irony that it would overlook the city’s pantheon. Eat your vegetables, pick up your toys, make friends, marry well, vote, pay your taxes, provide for your heirs and we’ll bury you across the street.
    Weeping Angel statue Glenwood Cemetery Houston Texas
    The Weeping Angel in Glenwood Cemetery
    showing vandalism to the left arm.
    TE photo, May 2003
     
    Dead Folks – Live Oaks

    Houston has many beautiful examples of Live Oak Trees, but one of the most beautiful specimens is near the SE corner of Glenwood. The spread of the tree comes close to that of the Goose Island Oak in Rockport, the Champion Live Oak in Texas. The branching pattern is "text book", growing conditions are ideal and if your compost is as rich, then the police might want to talk to you. Recently the tree has been cabled, which detracts from it’s natural elegance, but it’s a precaution that is usually thought of too late.
    A Doctor with a Heart of Stone

    The famed heart surgeon and humanitarian, Dr. Denton Cooley was once photographed in the Houston Medical Center standing beside a beautiful stylized heart sculpted from exotic wood. A larger replica of this heart, carved from marble graces the Cooley Family plot.

    Prior to the current care-taking provided by Glenwood Cemetery Inc. Glenwood was plagued by vandals. A particularly destructive rampage left shattered an exquisite angel that had stood over the grave of florist Leonard Tharp. Perhaps this was the incident that caused the awareness of vulnerability and prompted the current protective measures. The cemetery is open seven days, dawn to dusk.

    Notable Gravesites in Glenwood:

  • Anson Jones
  • Eugene Heiner, Architect
  • Mystery Tombstone
  • Howard R. Hughes Family

    © John Troesser


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