Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas)

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Glenwood Cemetery
Main entrance
Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas) is located in Texas
Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas)
Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas) is located in the US
Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas)
Established 1871[1]
Location Houston, Texas
Country United States
Coordinates 29°45′55″N 95°23′9″W / 29.76528°N 95.38583°W / 29.76528; -95.38583Coordinates: 29°45′55″N 95°23′9″W / 29.76528°N 95.38583°W / 29.76528; -95.38583
Type Private[1]
Size 84 acres (34 ha)[2]
Website Official website
Find a Grave Glenwood Cemetery
Footnotes [3]

Glenwood Cemetery is located in Houston, Texas, United States. Developed in 1871, the first professionally designed cemetery in the city accepted its first burial in 1872. Its location at Washington Avenue overlooking Buffalo Bayou served as an entertainment attraction in the 1880s. Many influential people lay to rest at Glenwood, making it the "River Oaks of the dead."


Sample of the monument architecture in Glenwood--this statue is commonly known as the Angel of Grief

Glenwood Cemetery developed on two tracts of land on the north side of Buffalo Bayou, and west of Downtown Houston. Part of this land conveyed from the country estate of Archibald Wynns, a Houston lawyer and Congressman for the Republic of Texas. This tract was later the location of a brickyard, then the property of William Harrison King, who served as mayor of Houston. Glenwood Cemetery purchased the property and some adjacent land in the Hollingsworth Survey in 1870. Alfred Whitaker gained a charter to incorporate the Houston Cemetery Company. He owned his own landscaping company and used his expertise to clear out lots, lay out and grade right of ways, and otherwise beautify the landscape. Glenwood hosted its first burial on June 19, 1872. Many remains were reinterred at Glenwood after the condemnations of St. Vincent's and the Episcopal cemeteries.[4]

By 1874, Glenwood was a recreational destination. A mule-drawn street railway operated on Washington Road, conveying people to Glenwood for weekend and holiday visits. Upgrades and expansions to the street railways were both a response to demand for travel to the cemetery and a cause of it. Glenwood remained popular for about twenty years. A group led by W. D. Cleveland criticized the conditions of lots and roads in 1896 and asked for a receivership to manage Glenwood. Two court decisions resulted in a transfer of management to William Christian. Glenwood underwent reorganization in 1904, and more recently was reorganized as the non-profit Glenwood Cemetery, Incorporated in 1969. A separate organization, the Glenwood Cemetery Historic Preservation Foundation, started overseeing historic preservation of the property in 1999. The same year Glenwood acquired the adjacent Washington Cemetery, expanding its land area by 118 acres.[5]

Keith Rosen, a Houston area history professor quoted in the San Antonio Express-News, said that the cemetery is the "River Oaks of the dead."[6](subscription required) In 2003 the Houston Press ranked it as the "Best Cemetery".[7]

Notable burials[edit]

Gravesite and historical marker for Anson Jones, last president of the Texas Republic
Gravesite of Howard Hughes and his parents at Glenwood Cemetery

This historic cemetery is the final resting place of a number of individuals who were citizens of the short-lived Republic of Texas. The grave sites of those individuals have been designated with metal markers and are frequently decorated with the flag of the Republic and State of Texas.[citation needed] Charlotte Baldwin Allen, wife of Augustus Chapman Allen, founder City of Houston, has her grave marked by a large monument.[8][9] Her daughter, Eliza Allen Converse, was touted as "the first child born in Houston."[10] Another early arrival to Houston was William Robinson Baker, who worked for the Houston Town Company starting in 1837. He was later a Houston mayor.[11] He is buried next to his wife, Hestor Eleanor Runnels.[10] Another citizen of the Texas Republic, was Hiram Runnels, a former Governor of Mississippi (1833–1835).[12] Another citizen of the Texas Republic, James Wilson Henderson served as Governor of Texas in 1853.[13] Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, committed suicide at the Capitol Hotel and is buried here.[14]

Two reconstruction mayors are interred at Glenwood: Joseph Robert Morris[15] and Thomas Howe Scanlan.[16] John T. Browne was mayor of Houston from 1897 to 1899 and member of Texas House of Representatives.[17] Another mayor buried at Glenwood is Joseph Chappell Hutcheson, Jr., who also served as a federal judge. His father, Joseph Chappell Hutcheson, was a member of the Texas House of Representatives and United States House of Representatives from Texas' 1st congressional district.[18] Houston lawyer and politician Thad Hutcheson represents a third generation of his family at Glenwood. Roy Hofheinz, Harris County Judge, Mayor of Houston, and developer of the Astrodome,[19] is interred at Glenwood.[20]

Buried in the cemetery is William P. Hobby, after whom Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, is named. In 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, known at the time as Houston Municipal Airport, was renamed "Howard Hughes Airport," but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person.[citation needed]

Another Texas governor at Glenwood, Ross S. Sterling (1931–1933), was co-founder of Humble Oil Company[21], along with William Stamps Farish II[22] and Harry C. Wiess. A Texaco founder Joseph S. Cullinan[23] resides there, as with independent oil producer and philanthropist, George H. Hermann, Houston business leader[6], and "King of the Wildcatters," Glenn McCarthy.[6]

Another associate of Humble Oil, Florence M. Sterling, is buried at Glenwood. She was also an advocate for women's rights.[24] Annette Finnigan was a suffragette, philanthropist, and arts patron.[25]

Edgar Odell Lovett was the founding of president Rice University (1912–1946) and is at rest at Glenwood.[26] William Ward Watkin was the project manager for the construction of the original buildings on the Rice Campus.[1] Captain James A. Baker was the personal attorney of William Marsh Rice. He protected the interests of the Rice Endowment and was a trustee of the university for fifty years.[27] He was also a trustee of Glenwood Cemetery.[28]

Adele Briscoe Looscan was a president of the Texas State Historical Association and the grand daughter of the namesake of Harris County, Texas.[29]

This is also the location of pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley's family gravesite.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "History". Glenwood Cemetery. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Glenwood Cemetery". Glenwood Cemetery. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Glenwood Cemetery
  4. ^ Aulbach, Louis F. (2012). Buffalo Bayou: An echo of Houston's wilderness beginnings. Houston: Louis F. Aulbach. pp. 193–195. ISBN 978-1468101997.
  5. ^ Aulbach (2012), pp. 196–198.
  6. ^ a b c d e Davis, Rod. "Houston's really good idea Bus tour celebrates communities that forged a city." San Antonio Express-News. Sunday August 3, 2003. Travel 1M. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  7. ^ "Best of Houston® /// People & Places /// 2003 Glenwood Cemetery Best Cemetery". Houston Press. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  8. ^ Joe Holley (October 30, 2015). "Mother of Houston misses out on naming rights". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  9. ^ Jones, Nancy Baker (August 24, 2016). "ALLEN, CHARLOTTE MARIE BALDWIN". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Turner and Seale (2010), p. 151.
  11. ^ Kleiner, Diana J. (September 7, 2016). "BAKER, WILLIAM ROBINSON". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "RUNNELS, HIRAM GEORGE". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. June 15, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Turner and Seale (2010), p. 172.
  14. ^ Gambrell, Arthur (July 21, 2016). "JONES, ANSON". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  15. ^ Kleiner, Diana J. (May 31, 2017). "Joseph Robert Morris". Handbook of Texas Online.
  16. ^ Myers Benham, Priscilla (November 20, 2017). "Thomas Howe Scanlan". Handbook of Texas Online.
  17. ^ Lutz, M. E. Libby (November 22, 2016). "BROWNE, JOHN THOMAS". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  18. ^ Cutrer, Thomas W. (April 6, 2017). "HUTCHESON, JOSEPH CHAPPELL". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Seeber, Jill S. (March 9, 2017). "HOFHEINZ, ROY MARK". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "Search our burial records". Glenwood Cemetery. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "STERLING, ROSS SHAW". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Turner and Seale Wilson (2010), p. 236.
  23. ^ Turner and Seale Wilson (2010), p. 234.
  24. ^ McArthur, Judith N. (July 7, 2017). "Florence M. Sterling". Handbook of Texas Online.
  25. ^ Brandenstein, Sherilyn (July 19, 2017). "Annette Finnigan". Handbook of Texas Online.
  26. ^ Bailey, Clay (April 19, 2017). "LOVETT, EDGAR ODELL". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  27. ^ Kirkland, Kate Sayen (2012). Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857–1941. College Station: Texas A & M University Press. p. 196. ISBN 9781603448000.
  28. ^ a b Turner, Suzanne and Joanne Seale Wilson (2010). Houston's Silent Garden: Glenwood Cemetery, 1871–2009. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-1603441636.
  29. ^ Hazlewood, Claudia (16 May 2017). "LOOSCAN, ADELE LUBBOCK BRISCOE". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Feldman, Claudia. "Drug allegations rock grieving West U families." Houston Chronicle. August 30, 2009. Retrieved on February 17, 2013.
  31. ^ Turner and Seale Wilson (2010), p. 197.
  32. ^ Hobby, William P., Jr. (December 12, 2017). "HOBBY, OVETA CULP". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  33. ^ Neu, Charles E. (February 22, 2017). "HOUSE, EDWARD MANDELL". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  34. ^ Page 7. Houston Firefighter Memorial. Retrieved on September 27, 2018.
  35. ^ Turner and Seale Wilson (2010), pp. 234–235.

External links[edit]