Dickinson City Cemetery
4617 State Highway 3, Dickinson, Texas
Construction & History
*Chronological from established to current
Date: Prior to 1882
Property Owner: W. P. Ballinger
On August 4, 1882, the land where the cemetery is now situated, was owned by W. P. Ballinger, who in that year signed a quit-claim to W. S. Deats et al, for the purpose of building a Methodist Church. Passed by the progress of the world around it, the old Dickinson Cemetery lies peacefully out of the way on the banks of the Dickinson Bayou where once the community picnic grounds stood. It is on that site that the first Protestant church in Dickinson was built and how a cemetery is “born”.
Date: 1882 – to date
Property Owner: ??? – W. S. Deats et all – The Methodist Church
The “Dickinson Cemetery” is sort of a misnomer, as the land does not really belong to the city nor the county. Although the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church now stands near the Dickinson Cemetery, the cemetery does not belong to that church. Research of the cemetery’s background found that the Galveston County records still show this property belonging to the Methodist Church, however the new Methodist Church is not sure it belongs to them.
Evidently a wood Methodist church was built on the site according to the provisions of the quit-claim, however the 1900 storm destroyed the building. Several members of the congregation had died before the church was destroyed and were buried on the grounds and now more than 400 grave sites are located there, many belonging to Dickinson’s original settlers. Some of the original records were destroyed in 1961 by Hurricane Carla.
For nearly 60 years, resident Wilson Deats was the caretaker of the records. He worked with local funeral homes in the location of the lots and with families seeking information on the lots. Records show burials as long ago as 1882.
On Monday, December 5, 2004, the Tejas Bluebonnet Trails Chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames 17th Century dedicated a historical marker to the cemetery. One of the objectives of the Colonial Dames is to help preserve the records and historical sites of America.
After Hurricane Alicia, there was a city-wide clean-up of the cemetery, with professional lawn service. Now it is maintained mostly from donations given by the families of relatives buried there and thru the efforts of resident Ernie Deats who makes sure the lawn is cut and edged.