Warren Angus Ferris Family Cemetery

LOCATION: St. Francis Ave. and San Leandro St. There are no stones remaining. There is a Texas Historic Commission Marker. Information from Old Cemeteries of Dallas County, compiled by Willie Flowers Carlisle in 1948. The land was donated as a community cemetery in 1852 ( View on Google Maps ).

MAPSCO: 37Z

GPS: 32.4848216N 96.4239648W (Texas Historical Commission)

 

Texas Historic Commission Marker

New York native Warren ‘Angus Ferris (1810 – 1873) spent six years as a trapper and chronicler of the American West before moving to the Republic of Texas in late 1836. As official surveyor for Nacogdoches County he surveyed the Three Forks of the Trinity area and helped set the boundaries for Dallas and other nearby counties. He wrote many articles for early Dallas newspapers. In 1847, upon the death of his son Warren Ferris, Jr., this cemetery was established on the family farm. Five Ferris children are buried in this family plot, as well as Warren Angus and his second wife, Frances Moore (d.1869). Other early Dallas County settlers interred in this cemetery are Benjamin Dye (d. 1852) and his wife Sarah (d. 1879); Wesley Chenault (d. 1886) and two of his wives, Elizabeth (d. 1858) and Lucy Sage (d. 1863). Many other members of the Sage family as well as the Atwood, Bell, Boyette, Chendull, Grace, Herndon, Kirby, Pemberton, Ryan, Tabor, and Tucker families are also buried here. One of the last interments was that of the Rev. R. T. Taylor in 1906. Due to vandalism, his gravestone was the only remaining marker by 1970. It is estimated that the cemetery contains over one hundred graves.

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From Historical Happenings: Mapping East Dallas’ past‘, by Emily Charrier. Published in the June 23, 2017  issue of Advocate  – Lakewood/East Dallas. Reprinted with the generous permission of Emily Charrier.

Warren Angus Ferris Cemetery, St. Francis and San Leandro

Some people in Forest Hills seemingly live on an old burial ground. Warren Angus Ferris was a prolific American surveyor who charted Yellowstone before coming to Dallas in 1840, where his records note the arrival of city founder John Neely Bryan one year later. He made his home on 80-plus acres along White Rock Creek. He established the cemetery in 1847 after the death of his son, where numerous members of the Ferris family, including Warren Angus himself, also were laid to rest. Over the years, it fell into disrepair and was targeted by vandals. By 1970, only a handful of grave markers remained intact, so the city declared it a public nuisance and made plans to sell the land. One of those tombstones belonged to Rev. Taylor, a black minister who lived nearby and was the last person buried at the cemetery in 1906. Strangely, his marble headstone showed up on the front lawn of Sandra Stevenson at 8614 San Benito in June 1982, seemingly a prank. Around that same time, plans were made to build five houses over the graves. Descendants of those buried in the now-unmarked cemetery implored officials to move the graves, but the city said it was not obligated. The burial sites remained and several houses were built in 1985-86. In 1988, the cemetery earned a marker from the Texas Historical Commission, the only visible remnant of what lies beneath. (Source: The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Central Appraisal District)

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Also see “Pioneer’s gravesite just ‘land for sale’.” Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1976, 33A.