Huntsville in Walker County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2012
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17689.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Law Enforcement. A significant historical year for this entry is 1848.
Location. 30° 42.756′ N, 95° 32.253′ W. Marker is in Huntsville Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Huntsville TX 77340, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Boettcher's Mill (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Presidents Tree (approx. 0.7 miles away); Peabody Library Building (approx. ¾ mile away); Austin College Building (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Main Building (approx. 0.8 miles away); Josey Boy Scout Lodge (approx. 0.9 miles away); Law Office (Sam Houston) (approx. 0.9 miles away); Huntsville "Walls" Unit (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntsville.
Also see . . .
1. Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery.
The cemetery's current name derives from Joe Byrd, an assistant warden at the Huntsville Unit who, in the 1960s, helped restore and clean the cemetery. Byrd was also the state executioner, overseeing electrocutions at Huntsville. He was best known for the dignity and respect given to the inmates that were executed and their families. As of 2011, each burial has the presence of either the Huntsville Unit warden or a deputy of the Huntsville Unit warden. Prisoners serve as pallbearers, chisel names in headstones, and dig graves using shovels and backhoes.(Submitted on August 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
2. Texas State Penitentiary At Huntsville.
Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, also known as the Walls unit of the state prison system, was the state's first enclosed penitentiary for convicted felons. On March 13, 1848, the Texas legislature passed the bill to establish a state prison. The language of the law indicated clearly that the new prison would be a place where inmates would be forced to abide by strict rules of behavior and discipline and would work so as not to be a burden on the state's taxpayers. The law required the governor to appoint a committee of three to select a site for the new institution. The location chosen should be no larger than 100 acres and should cost no more than $5 an acre. The three committee members, John Brown of Henderson County, William Palmer of Walker County, and William Menefee of Fayette County, ultimately selected Huntsville as the home for the new state facility. Source: The Handbook of Texas(Submitted on August 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 468 times since then and 230 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.