|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
This is an African-American cemetery.
Glenwood Cemetery, Saint Joseph Cemetery, and Saint Rose Cemetery, Beeville, Bee County, Texas
These three cemeteries are separate in name, but a single contiguous cemetery.
Searchers for burials in any one are well advised to search Find A Grave records for memorials in all three.
There are no fences separating these three cemeteries, and any physical search for burials at this location, it is quickly evident that whatever separations and distinctions were originally intended between these three separate cemeteries are no longer in evidence today. Boundaries that may have once existed for separation of burials seem to have blended into one cemetery over time, and though separate signs exist on various entrances, these signs are not a reliable indicator of where burials will actually be located in a walking search of the grounds.
The fact that there are three cemeteries in one at this location can lead to a startling surprise at how big this property is. With two people briskly walking the cemetery for five hours, a total of 10 man hours, less than half the markers were inspected.
The one remaining physical indication of separateness in the three cemeteries are entrance markers and roads within the cemeteries. Roads inside each of the three cemetery are not interconnected. To move a vehicle from one area to another, you must return to public streets and reenter through one of the other cemetery gated entrances.
This account is based on a visit to the cemetery over the weekend of December 31, 2012 - January 1, 2013.
The general condition of the cemetery was good in some places, but poor in others.
There appears to be a work in progress, perhaps underfunded or abandoned, to install an ambitious water delivery system, with above ground faucets on a regular grid. This is primarily evident in the western portion of the burial ground, in the Glenwood Cemetery area. Over New Years Day weekend 2013, this grid of water faucets and plumbing trenches was largely open and uncovered, which may present a hazard to the elderly or persons unstable on their feet. Unlike any other cemetery this writer has ever observed, the design intention of the water system being installed here seems to be to provide water for private sprinklers, should family members wish to maintain their own plots. Signs indicate that water will be available only on given days of the week at certain hours, and there are rules about sprinkler use and removal from the property. This is an unusual arrangement, and varies from other landscaping plans which would typically be designed for maintenance staff to water turf on the entirety of a cemetery rather than provision for discretionary watering on a plot-by-plot basis.
Saint Joseph, the Catholic portion of this cemetery, does appear to be distinct, at least in the core or original burials. This area is densely populated, and no doubt Catholic burials have spread and intermingled with the other cemeteries at this location.
Some areas of the cemeteries are in poor condition, and appeared to have gone unmowed for a season or more. Grass is knee high or more, and thorns and grass burrs are prevalent. There is no evidence these areas are associated with either the Catholic or African American sections of the cemetery; in fact, the burials I located there were recorded on Find A Grave to the Glenwood Cemetery, and the surnames were Anglo. My time in Beeville was limited to two evenings, with a trip to Corpus Christi between. Both days I was there, we worked late afternoon into well after dark, so my observations are limited to 5 hours total late afternoon on two short Winter days. During this time, I was able to discern the Catholic area of the burial ground, but was never able to distinguish any portion as being specifically African American.
Although not widespread, there is evidence of careless grounds keeping in several monuments showing significant mechanical damage, perhaps experiments to bush hog areas of the cemetery with low monuments. The problem with this is, if undertaken with high grass as is present elsewhere on the property, markers may be hidden in the grass. Few markers in this cemetery are flush to the ground. Damage observed is too great to have been inflicted by a standard lawn mower.
Google Earth and Google maps shows two markers for cemeteries at this location, but in fact there are three.
A high percentage of the random photographs I made in Beeville were unrecorded on Find A Grave, indicating there is much work to be done in these cemeteries, and that efforts by Find A Grave contributors will be well rewarded here, though care needs to be exercised to record burials in the proper cemetery, and to avoid duplication since it may be difficult to determine into which cemetery graves should be entered. Perhaps someone local can assist using funeral home assistance and records.
January 11, 2013
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