|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Old City Cemetery was established in 1840. The Allen Brothers sold the 5 acre property to the City of Houston for $750. It was located near the banks of Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas. It served as the city's primary cemetery from 1840 to 1879. The cemetery was divided into four sections, paupers (potters field), negroes, criminals, and family plots. There was also a section for Masons and Odd Fellows. Many veterans of the Texas Revolution (War for Independence from Mexico) as well as Civil War soldiers (both Union and Confederate) were buried here. In 1867 Houston was hit with a Yellow Fever epidemic and many bodies were buried in mass graves here. It is estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 persons were buried here. The cemetery was closed to burials in 1879 but some family plots were still being used up until about 1904. The burial records were "lost" during the Civil War and have never been found. The cemetery eventually became overgrown and neglected over the years.
In 1924 the City of Houston built a City-County hospital for indigent care on the site of the old city cemetery. Since there was no removal of the graves prior to construction the hospital was built above ground to avoid disturbing any graves. The hospital was named the Jefferson Davis Hospital after the President of the Confederacy, in honor of the Confederate soldiers buried there. It is estimated that 3,000 graves lie beneath the old hospital building. The building stood vacant for many years before being renovated into loft style apartments in 2005. The building is now called the Elder Street Artist Lofts.
In 1968 the Houston Fire Department built a Maintenance Facility on the remaining half of the cemetery, next door to the hospital.