College Memorial Park Cemetery
College Memorial Park Cemetery, a five-acre site located at 3525 West Dallas, was founded in 1896 and served as the burial site for Houstonís freed slaves who lived in the historic Fourth Ward. Over the years, different entities maintained the Cemetery, but during the 1970ís, the Cemetery was all but abandoned, and the became over grown with weeds and trees, tombstones were stolen and/or vandalized, and the homeless made camp.
About ten years ago, a group of volunteers comprised of neighborhood residents, members from Historic Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, employees from the City of Houston, and other concerned citizens began restoring the Cemetery. To date, hundreds of volunteers have mowed, trimmed weeds, cut down trees and cleaned up
trash. The grounds are taking shape. Simultaneously, key volunteers organized the College Park Cemetery Association (CPCA), a 501c3 organization whose
purpose is to facilitate the restoration, preservation and long-term maintenance of the Cemetery.
Notable burials at College Park include Rev. Jack Yates d.1897 a preacher, educator and civic leader, John Sessums, Jr d.1928 the first African American member of the Houston Light Guard, Nathan Haller d.1917 a Texas State Representative 1893-95, Annie Hagan d.1927 organized the first nurses training for African Americans in Houston. The total number of burials is estimated at over 4000.
Money has been raised to improve the infrastructure of the Cemetery. A perimeter fence and lighting will insure safety of the gravesites. A resurfaced road will give visitors easy and safe access to the gravesites and historical markers. And a drainage and irrigation system will help maintain the grounds.
Donations for the long term maintenance of the Cemetery are now being solicited. A fund has been established at The Greater Houston Community Foundation for the perpetual care of this piece of Houston's history.
Donations can be sent to:
CollegePark Cemetery Association
P.O.Box 130037Houston,TX 77219
For additional information, please contact Randy Riepe at firstname.lastname@example.org or