Concrete Cemetery Gate
TE photo, April 2001
Community of Concrete no longer exists. It had originally been
called Bethesda, but for some reason, they decided to rename
their town after an 1858 Concrete building that served a variety
of community functions such as church, Masonic lodge and school. Still,
it's a rather unusual naming - even for Texas.
Perhaps the word concrete was the final word in permanence in the
The Concrete Cemetery was established in 1856 when Joel
Newton, the brother of rancher James Henry Newton died and James designated
a part of his property as a graveyard.
There had been an earlier burial the previous year, which may have
influenced Mr. Newton's decision. The very first interment was a Maria
Madden Dial.* [See Corrections.]
The cemetery continues to serve both the communities of New
Berlin and LaVernia
today. It is extremely well kept with not a sign of vandalism. There's
a sign-in book is just inside the gate - placed in an ingeniously
designed "desk" welded of heavy steel. It provides a stable writing
surface and the design makes it weatherproof as well as bulletproof.
Unfortunately our camera's battery failed when we were about to photograph
it. The design would serve any cemetery well and we'll try to return
on our next visit to Guadalupe
I am Historian for the Concrete Cemetery in Guadalupe County, Texas.
Joel Newton was the first person buried in Concrete Cemetery, January
16, 1856. Maria Madden Dial (1815 - 1855) has the oldest burial
date in the cemetery but she was disinterred from a cemetery in
Louisiana after the death of her husband, James L. Dial, 8/4/1869
and reinterred in Concrete Cemetery adjacent to him. Many thanks,
Shirley Grammer, September 01, 2003
Marker: 2 miles N of La
Vernia on Fm 775
acres of land, Concrete Cemetery includes within its borders burials
for both Anglo and Hispanic citizens of the La
Vernia and New
Berlin communities. The area surrounding the cemetery was called
Concrete (formerly Bethesda). Local farmer and rancher James Henry
Newton, who brought his family here from Mississippi about 1851-52,
designated a portion of his property as a burial ground when his brother
Joel died in 1856. The oldest recorded burial, that of Maria Madden
Dial in 1855, indicates previous use as a graveyard.
The community and cemetery were named for an 1858 concrete building
used as a school, church and Masonic Hall. James Newton officially
deeded a two-acre tract of land here in 1875 for use as a community
cemetery. The first documented burial in the adjacent Hispanic section
is that of Paulita Salazar in 1913. Additional donations of land were
made by the descendants of J. G. and Jennie Scull.
The graveyard contains a diverse collection of gravestones reflecting
the historic communities it serves. Among the more than 800 burials
here are pioneer settlers, infants and children, veterans and members
of fraternal organizations. The site continues to serve the area.
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Cemeteries » ]
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