The history of Morton Cemetery: Richmond burial grounds home to legendary Texas figures

Morton Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Greater Houston area, and its collection of monuments mark the final resting places of some of Texas' earliest settlers.


Located at 401 N. Second St. in Richmond, the cemetery was founded in 1825 by William Morton when he buried a visitor who died while staying at his home. Morton was one of five men, members of Stephen F. Austin’s original 300 Texas colonists, who settled in present-day Richmond in 1821, said Claire Rogers, executive director of the Fort Bend County Museum Association.


Morton ensured his visitor's grave included a monument with Masonic Society symbols engraved to indicate the man's membership to the group. The cemetery now holds more than 2,800 graves and still has about 1,100 spaces available for purchase.


“We often take school kids out to the cemetery as [a field trip] because so many school children are never exposed to cemeteries, so they don’t know anything about the information you can glean from them,” Rogers said.


Morton Cemetery is unique in that it allows for individuals to place monuments on gravesites instead of uniform plaques or tombstones, she said.


On these monuments, visitors can read accounts of the deceased, from what wars they fought to stories about their lives. Most of the historical sites can be found to the left of the cemetery’s main road while recent burial sites are located on the right side.


Rogers said after Morton buried his visitor, he donated additional land to ensure the space would continue as a cemetery. It was the only cemetery in the area until at least 1831, and it now spans about 15 acres.


Many notable Texans are buried there. They include Jane Long, known as the “Mother of Texas” and Mirabeau B. Lamar, who was the first vice president and second president of the Republic of Texas. Walter Burton, a freed slave and former Texas senator, is also buried there.


Ownership of the cemetery has changed over the years, and it is currently operated by the Morton Cemetery Association. Volunteer opportunities are available in landscaping and giving guided tours.



MOST RECENT

The proposed project spans 12.4 miles of FM 1488 through Magnolia, Conroe and The Woodlands and includes adding left-turn lanes at major intersections, a raised median through the length of the project and upgrading or installing several traffic signals. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
TxDOT gathering public comments on proposed FM 1488 traffic signals, raised median

The proposed project spans 12.4 miles through Magnolia, Conroe and The Woodlands and includes adding left-turn lanes at major intersections, a raised median through the length of the project and upgrading or installing several traffic signals.

There are branches all throughout Texas as well as in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and New Mexico. (Courtesy Pexels)
BBVA USA converts to PNC Bank

BBVA USA officially completed its conversion to PNC Bank on June 1.

Two restaurants will be coming to Blossom Hotel Houston in early 2022. (Courtesy Blossom Hotel)
Blossom Hotel Houston announces 2 new restaurant concepts

Check out which restaurants will soon come to Blossom Hotel Houston.

Zully's Latin American Kitchen is coming soon to Willis. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Zully's Latin American Kitchen opening Dec. 6 in Willis

The family-owned restaurant is an extension of the family's Huntsville eatery Carbonero Rotisserie Charbroiled Chicken and Steak.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Julia De Leon, a Harris County Precinct 3 resident and essential worker, spoke Nov. 30 at commissioners court in favor of establishing the Harris County Essential Workers Board. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County creates board for essential workers during ongoing pandemic

Local essential workers will now be given a voice to improve working conditions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after the Harris County Essential Workers Board was established during the Harris County Commissioners Court session Nov. 30.

Bellaire takes regional approach to future-proofing stormwater system

Over the next several months, Bellaire will look to leverage regional partners as it advances on a master drainage concept plan designed to reduce the flooding potential within the city and the surrounding areas.

Lone Star College-Kingwood offers a number of free and low-cost continuing education courses, including clinical medical assisting, medical billing and coding, dental assisting, bookkeeping, and phlebotomy. (Courtesy of Lone Star College-Kingwood)
Lone Star College-Kingwood set to offer free English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED certificate courses in January

The classes, which are being offered through the college’s continuing education program, will be held in person and online in both English and Spanish, officials said in a Dec. 1 news release.

Reveille Barbecue Co. opened its storefront in Pinehurst Nov. 27 (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Reveille Barbecue Co. opens brick-and-mortar location in Pinehurst

The barbecue restaurant is open Saturdays and Sundays.

Portions of the Tomball Tollway between Boudreaux Road and Grand Parkway will be closed nightly throughout December. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
Portions of Tomball Tollway between Boudreaux Road, Grand Parkway to be closed nightly throughout December

Closures will take place from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. between Dec. 1-22 and Dec. 27-30.

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here is what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could mean for Houston

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications.