Jefferson Davis Hospital

  by George E. Wolf Jr./2013

Jefferson Davis Hospital

In 1840, Founders Cemetery became full. A new cemetery was created on a 5 acre tract near White Oak Bayou.
There was four sections. Potters field, black, the rich, and all others.
Victims of yellow fellow were burial here.
By the 1870's the cemetery was almost full.
Last burial's around 1904. In the 1920's the City of Houston and Harris County constructed the county hospital named later as JEFFERSON DAVIS HOSPITAL. Theoma Smith,73, stated "They are out there digging up peoples graves and just throwing the bones out!'' Joseph M., 80, remembers when they were building the hospital, there were putting bones in nail kegs or crates.
Were they reburied?, no one knows for sure.
In 1968, bones were discovered when the Fire Department maintenance facilities was built.
These bones were reburied in the MAGNOLIA CEMETERY in Houston.
On Sept. 6,1986 the City of Houston dug a 20 foot tench near Girard St. and uncovered 20 or more graves from the 1840 City Cemetery. Bones were taken from graves by workers.
There are still more graves out there. Why was something not done about this historical cemetery from the beginning. Houston,Texas should be ashamed of itself.

By 1840, Houston first cemetery Founders Memorial Cemetery located at what is now 1217 W. Dallas, was about full. The city council purchased a five acre wooded tract near White Oak Bayou, about a mile north of downtown. The land cost $750.

The new cemetery consisted of four parts: a potters field for criminals and persons of infamous character such as suicides and persons killed in duels, a section for blacks, a section for all others not otherwise provided for and a section of subdivided lots for sale to the highest bidder.

Council also set aside smaller sections of the cemetery for burial of Odd Fellows and Masons.

The City Cemetery received many of the victims of the yellow fever and cholera epidemics that ravaged early Houston. Among these victims were Union soldiers serving in occupying forces after the Civil War and Confederate veterans.

Towards the end of the 1870's, most of the space in the cemetery had been used up but there are records of burials as late as 1904. The cemetery at that time was closed by the city.