Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wichita Falls Prairie Dogs Lead Me To The Historical Mystery Of Zenobia Trimble

A couple weeks ago when I first visited the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town in Kiwanis Park I was perplexed about something I found there.

A cemetery.

Kiwanis Park includes Lakeview Cemetery.

Now, I guess that would not seem all that unusual, except for the fact that directly across the street, on the south side of Southwestern Boulevard is another cemetery. A big one called Rosemont.

So, on my last play date with the Prairie Dogs I decided to check out Lakeview Cemetery. I have long found wandering around an old cemetery to be interesting. I got this trait from my Grandma Jones.

Clever epitaphs and elaborate headstones were popular long ago. The best examples of this I have ever come across is in the Roslyn Cemetery in Roslyn, Washington. This is the town the CBS show Northern Exposure was filmed in. The Roslyn Cemetery is divided into something like 30 different sections, based on race, ethnicity and country of origin.

Among the interesting headstones I found in the Lakeview Cemetery is the one you see above for Mary Washington. She died in 1998 at 107 years old.

As I wandered among the headstones I started to think that Lakeview Cemetery might be an African-American burial ground. It was the names which made me think this. An awful lot of Beulahs.

So, when I was back at my computer I Googled Lakeview Cemetery Wichita Falls and found the following entry about Lakeview Cemetery on the City of Wichita Falls website....

Lakeview Cemetery is an 11.5 acre facility with 2250 burials since it opened in 1927.

In 1927 the City of Wichita Falls purchased 80 acres of land on the south side of town and designated 11.5 acres as Lakeview Cemetery. The remainder has become Kiwanis Park. 

Lakeview is well known for the African American community leaders who are interred there. Some of the most prominent are Zenobia Trimble, who has a Texas historical marker placed on her grave; Otis C. Polk Jr.; and C.E. and Gwendolyn Jackson. One of Wichita Falls’ longest lived citizens, Mary Washington, is buried there. She lived to be 107.

I am assuming Lakeview Cemetery is a relic from the age of segregation. I did not see any recent headstones.

As for Lakeview Cemetery having had 2250 burials since opening, well, most of those burials must have been without grave marking headstones, because I did not see anywhere near that number of grave markers.

Next time I play with the Prairie Dogs I must try and find the Zenobia Trimble gravesite and its Texas historical marker to find out why Zenobia Trimble is of historial interest.

1 comment:

Cat Buddy in Wichita Falls said...

People are still being buried at Lakeview Cemetery on a regular basis. It's not full yet!