Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Rest Lawn Cemetery
Rest Lawn Cemetery is one of the oldest graveyards in the historically African-American community of Acre(s) Homes, located about twelve miles northwest of downtown Houston. The community was developed by businessman Alfred A. Wright, beginning in 1910. By the 1950s the area was considered the "largest unincorporated Negro community in the southern United States," before being annexed to Houston, 1967-1974.
The cemetery was founded by Mrs. Robert E. Doty (1894-1974), who purchased 9.88 acres in the Phillip Thompson survey on February 26, 1932. On March 12, 1932, she dedicated Rest Lawn Cemetery as a two-acre subdivision of that parcel, the cemetery's northwest corner being at Wheatley Street and Ferguson Way. Seven family lots and four single spaces were sold over the next ten years, but it is uncertain whether there were any burials during this period.
Elmer Hay and Luther M. Inkley purchased Rest Lawn together with the adjacent 7.88 acres on June 18, 1942. During the 1950s the land north and south of the cemetery was sold as residential lots. In 1970, Rest Lawn was sold to MJM Cemeteries, Inc., which later purchased
Rest Lawn's earliest known burial was in 1943. Notable burials include several veterans of World War I, World War II, and Korea, well as Austin County, Texas native Weldon Bonner (March 22, 1932 - June 29, 1978), aka "Juke Boy Bonner," an African-American blues singer and musician. Several volunteer groups have cleaned Rest Lawn for years. Nonprofits Second Chance Outreach, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi's Iota Iota Iota Chapter began maintaining the cemetery in 2012 and continue to preserve and commemorate the cultural heritage and history of the cemetery.
Erected 2017 by Harris County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Cemeteries & Burial Sites. A significant historical date for this entry is February 26, 1932.
Location. 29° 52.651′ N, 95° 25.776′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Wheatley Street and Ferguson Way, on the right when traveling north on Wheatley Street. The marker is located in the smaller Rest Lawn Cemetery which is north east of the larger Cemetery Beautiful. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77088, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow Acres Homes Community (approx. one mile away); George Washington Carver High School (approx. one mile away); Greater Ward A.M.E. Church (approx. one mile away); Galilee Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 1.2 miles away); St. John United Church (approx. 3˝ miles away); Booker T. Washington High School (approx. 4.3 miles away); Independence Heights (approx. 4˝ miles away); Saint Paul A.M.E. Church (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 12, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.