Humble Negro Cemetery

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The Humble Negro Cemetery is located in Harris County, Texas, just north of the City of Humble. It is located about 200 yards north of the FM 1960 by-pass which runs along the north side of Humble and east of the railroad tracks and U.S. Highway 59.

History[edit]

Humble was incorporated as a city in 1933. At that time, by vote of the City Council, racial segregation was invoked to make the town "lily white". The black population was forced to relocate their families as well as the graves of their dead to another location, outside the city limits. Starting in 1933, blacks began to move out of Humble and by 1935, almost all had.[1]

There used to be a sawmill north of Humble that was owned by Mr. Bender, one of the founders of Humble. Blacks migrated from Gladysville, Cleveland, Splendora and Fastoria to work there.[2] He was kind to the African-American people and gave them some property to live on and a place to bury their loved ones. The entire area is now referred informally to as Bordersville because the African-Americans were made to live outside the "border" of incorporated Humble.

Time took its toll on the cemetery over the years and it became overgrown. In 2005, the members of Grace Church, a multicultural church located in Humble, sought permission from the owners of the land to clean and restore it, something they had hoped and tried to do for a long time. After receiving clearance from the City of Humble and the Texas Department of Transportation, Grace Church spent many thousands of dollars putting in a road, clearing hundreds of trees, and working with local historians to restore the cemetery. To honor the war veterans who are buried there, the church also installed a flag pole and U.S. flag station. Currently,[when?] the church is trying to have a historical marker placed at the site. While hoping to return the cemetery to the loved ones of the deceased, the church continues to cover all maintenance and upkeep.

In 2008, there was an incident that involved disturbing one of the graves and desecrating one of the bodies interred there.[3] This incident brought the cemetery back into the public eye. The pastors of Grace Church oversaw the re-interment of the body.

Currently[edit]

Gravestone of a boy named Willie Simm who died September 11, 1921, at the age of 11, and was buried in the Humble Negro Cemetery, otherwise known as the "Pipe Yard Cemetery"

The gravesites are not arranged in rows or plots and only a few stones remain. They are randomly placed. Many of the graves are unmarked, or the stones have been removed.[4] Very few if any records were kept and several people have since desecrated the graveyard by reducing the graves themselves to a pile of rubble.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°0′23″N 95°15′43″W / 30.00639°N 95.26194°W / 30.00639; -95.26194