LA GRANGE: (Fayette County) Print

 

City Cemetery: Highway 71 East, 1896, City of LA Grange, Jewish burials in non-Jewish cemetery

 

Jewish Cemetery: at end of South Vail St, private residential property. The La Grange Hebrew Benevolent Society purchased four acres on the high bank of the Colorado River about one mile from downtown La Grange on January 1, 1868. Burials date from 1867 to 1934, when local Jews began using a section of the La Grange City Cemetery. 32 graves now exist in the old 100 ft. X 150 ft. cemetery. Source: The Jewish Heritage Report, 132 Clark St., Syracuse, NY 13210.

UPDATE: At the south end of Vail Street, the Texas Historical Commission site was officially established in 1868 when the La Grange Hebrew Benevolent Society purchased four acres of land on the high bank of the Colorado River about one mile from downtown. The site actually covers 5.467 acres. Three graves already existed on the site when purchased. Alice Lewis (1858 -1862) was the first person to be buried at the cemetery. Burials continued at the site until 1934 when local Jews began using the city cemetery. Several of the monuments are beautifully carved with vines and calla lilies and inscribed in Hebrew text. The name of the society was later changed to the Ladies Hebrew Cemetery Association. The last surviving member of the association, Essie Alexander, sold the property in February 1957. The deed stipulated that the new owners would provide for upkeep of the cemetery as well as "provide ingress and egress across adjoining lands." There is no evidence that any of this was done. The property was sold again in December 1981 to a private citizen. The new owners built a home not far away from the cemetery and tried to maintain the area but the cemetery was already so overgrown. The abandoned cemetery has vines and weeds growing over and on the markers. The fence on the west and north sides was wrecked many years ago with only pieces of it remaining. However, part of the fence on the south and east sides were still standing. In 1997 the cemetery was completely and thoroughly cleaned and some stones repaired under the direction of David Vogel and Temple youth groups from both Houston and Austin. Currently Mr. Vogel and the property owners keep the area mowed and trimmed. A total of 32 marked graves exist in the cemetery but it is believed that there may be as many as eight unmarked graves. The cemetery has been recorded and documented by representatives of the Texas Jewish Historical Society. Kelly Scott surveyed the cemetery in May 1992 and recorded inscriptions, including verses and created a map of burials. His findings are filed in the Fayette County Archives. Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txfayett/footprints3.htm [August 2005]

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2009 22:12