The History of Greenleaf Cemetery

Greenleaf Cemetery began in 1868, when pioneer, Greenleaf Fisk gave the first five acres
to begin a city public burial ground for the town of Brownwood. The area at that time was
called Round Mountain and it was known to already be a place for burials. Greenleaf Fisk
soon gave more land for the I.O.O.F., the Masonic Lodge, a paupers area and an area
designated for African Americans.
The first known burial was of Emma B. Adams, born June 24, 1866 and died
November 16, 1873. Records were not kept well until the State of Texas mandated
records in 1903.
In the beginning, the cemetery was maintained by the citizens and families of those
buried at Greenleaf. Decoration Day, cemetery parties and other functions made sure the
cemetery was maintained. A Cemetery Committee was formed by the City Council and was
given charge of the cemetery in 1897.
Later than same year, the first Cemetery Sexton, H. G. Seames, was hired. Notes from
the City Council indicate that a building and a “privie” were begun in May of 1897. Several
other sextons have had long association working at the cemetery, particularly the Edward
Thomas family.
The Cemetery Committee, first made up only of men, soon added a Ladies’ Committee.
This group became the assistant committee for planning for more land, planting trees and shrubs
on the grounds and helping to coordinate the new surveys and plotting of the lots.
The City of Brownwood wrote the cemetery into its Charter in 1916, and thus continued
a century of support from the citizens of Brownwood. The gate to the cemetery, in the early
days, was given by another founding family of Brownwood, the Coggins. Large sculptured
columns held an iron archway and the iron gate provided the entrance to the cemetery from
Center Avenue, the city’s main street. This entrance was closed several decades ago.
. In 1915, early pioneer, Mattie Coggin, gave $5000 to begin a perpetual care fund. Greenleaf
Cemetery was issued a fifty-year charter in 1923 and became a perpetual cemetery through the state
of Texas in 1938. A perpetual life charter was issued in July 1979 and the Association was incorporated
on June 26, 1979, as Greenleaf Cemetery Association. The Association has a seven member Board of
Trustees, elected by members of the Cemetery Association.

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Welcome to Greenleaf Cemetery

The Mission of Greenleaf Cemetery

The Greenleaf Cemetery Association is a provider of internment services to all races and religions. It is committed to preserving the cemetery as an historic burial ground that creates a welcoming environment to bereaved families and provides education data in its historic setting.

In pursuing this vision, Greenleaf Cemetery Association preserves and honors the heritage of past generations, serves and respects the needs of the present generation, and provides a legacy for future generations.

The Board of Greenleaf Cemetery is committed to uphold and improve both the physical grounds and fiscal foundation of Greenleaf Cemetery.

Adorned with beautiful statues, dramatic markers and lovely grounds, Brownwood’s Greenleaf Cemetery is an outdoor museum recording Texas history from signing of the Declaration of Texas Independence to today.

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