Who owns it? Who controls it? Who takes care of it? We believe Col. H. L. Kinney gave it for a public burial ground. It is within the city limits. Therefore the City council, so far as the Kinney title is concerned, has the control. We presume the contestant Col. Jones, would never litigate or contest for the Cemetery. All human beings are disposed to leave unmolested the bones of their race.
Then it is the City’s business to take care of the cemetery, but have they ever done so, or will they?
What’s every body’s business is no bodies and equally true what’s everybody’s property is nobody’s. The care of our cemetery has been no body’s business, or everybody’s, which amounts to the same thing.
All that has ever been done, has been at private expense. Sporadic efforts on the part of a few deserving and public – spirited ladies have sometimes, now and then, placed our cemetery in a condition to relieve somewhat the stigma of disgraceful neglect and quiet the reproachful censure of the passing stranger, but there being no continuous care on the part of anybody, what has been done, is suffered to go to decay. Who has any special interest in our cemetery? Or who can have in its present situation?
Does any individual who has a member of his family, or a friend interred there, control the space or lot, or have any right to say anything about it?
Does he, who has fixed up a lot (and some have done so at considerable expense) have any right or title to it? Or any security that at some coming time the resting place of his dead will not be disturbed or obliterated?
These are very important questions to those who have friends buried in the cemetery. Would it not be well now, and before our city grows, and conflicting interests become stronger, to fix upon some plan by which our “City of the Dead” shall be taken care of and become credible, instead of disgraceful to ourselves.
It has been suggested that we adopt the plan usual in nearly all places.
Let us form an association the sole object of which shall be to take care of and beautify the cemetery, it being understood that no officer, or member shall receive or desire any pay or emolument.
Let the City deed the cemetery, out and out to the association, binding it by such conditions and restrictions, as they shall decide to be proper.
Let them give the association power to sell lots, either occupied or unoccupied with a a clear title as in other real estate transactions, limiting the price if they chose.
Let the association have power to lay off all the unoccupied ground into lots, and, after pubic notice for a specified time, to remove the remains of all unknown, forgotten or uncared for graves into a Potter’s field. Let all those unwilling to buy and own lots bury in this Potter’s field.
This plan will keep up a constant fund, not only to keep the cemetery in order, but to beautify and decorate it, and is that adopted at Greenwood, Laurel Hill, Mount Auburn, and all those handsome cemeteries that are the pride of their localities.
Source: Nueces Valley, April 25, 1874, Page 2, col. 6
Rearch: Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription: Geraldine D. McGloin