PRESERVATION AND BEAUTIFICATION OF
OLD BAYVIEW CEMETERY IS A DUTY OF THE PUBLIC
Editor, The Caller Times Photograph
Since the Old Bay View Cemetery Associate became active, its improvement is manifest. This long-neglected spot has been rescued from desecration and has been transformed, as if by a magic wand, to a place of beauty, a place that if plans materialize, will make it the pride of Corpus Christi.
A visitor will find the grass green and clipped; beds of blue bonnets dotting here and there, shrubs growing and mesquite in springtime splendor, inviting the birds to come and make their sanctuary away from the din and dangers of the growing city. A holy calm pervades the atmosphere and the spirits of the long departed seem to whisper their approval, “It is well. It is well.” And let this transition be credited to the co-operation of the city through its park commissioner, Mr. Thomas McGee.
Tragedy, romance, and history are mingled in the selection of this particular location for a cemetery. The first to be there interred were seven young officers from Gen. Zachary Taylor’s army, which was camped at North Beach in 1845. While cruising in an antiquated ship near Rockport, they were hurled to death by the explosion of the boiler. The bodies were brought to Corpus Christi for burial. Darkness was descending on the scene; peals of thunder rent the skies; lightning illuminated the bay, and a cold wet northern was approaching. Hurriedly they laid them away, taps were sounded and sadly they thought of the morrow when at bugle call they would march to Mexico without their seven gallant comrades.
Years rolled on and no fence was built around the cemetery. Finally, Mrs. Mary Fullerton, a public-spirited lady, collected funds and built the fence, the remains of which still stand.
In 1867 yellow fever was brought to Corpus Christi and there was not a family in the small city that did not pay toll to that stern, relentless visitor, and most of the victims were interred in Bayview. As time went on its space was limited; its gates were closed to all save those whose dead were there. Wander there and the names carved on stone tell the story of Corpus Christi—the story of brave, adventurous, cultured people who in coming envisioned the Corpus Christi of today. To preserve this hallowed spot is the responsibility of those who have there, their dead, those who have their friends of other days, and those who regard its preservation as a matter of civic pride. In these we place our trust for success. They will not fail us.
Kate Dougherty Bluntzer
Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times, Easter Sunday, April 15, 1942
Research and Transcription by: Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission
Note: Kate Bluntzer was the secretary of the Old Bayview Cemetery Association and grandmother of the researcher and transcriber.