Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation
A Texas Charitable Non-Profit Corporation organized to restore and preserve the historic cemeteries of Arlington, Texas.
Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds - Dedication Ceremony - May 12, 2023 11:00 AM
Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds is located on the 600 block of West Arkansas Lane, Arlington, Texas. The grounds are what were originally three separate cemeteries, The Middleton Tate Johnson family cemetery (est. 1850), The Mill Branch Cemetery (est. 1850) and The Colored Cemetery (est. 1900). The last burials in the cemeteries occurred during the 1950’s.
It is impossible to understand the success of Arlington in its entirety without understanding from whence it came. These historical burial grounds are the location of the grave of Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson who is known as the Father of Tarrant County and was further distinguished as one of the most prominent Texans of his time. He was originally interred in the State Cemetery in Austin, but later was moved to this location in Arlington on the grounds of his former homestead, among family members. An official State of Texas commemorative headstone marks his final resting place. Other pioneers who worked the land, harvested wheat, corn and cotton, and launched trade in building the local economy were laid to their final rest here as well. Finally, these grounds were, at the time, the only available location for burial of Arlington’s black citizens. These cemeteries had been loved from afar, but neglected for decades. A significant portion of the history of Arlington can be traced to this long-forgotten corner of town which could rightly be considered the birthplace of our city.
For decades, the cemeteries intermittently garnered attention, but there was no consistent maintenance. Finally, in August 2017, prompted by Arlington’s leading historian, Geraldine Mills, Director of Arlington Historical Society, community leaders including current and former office holders and community volunteers came together to form the Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds committee. The committee lead the charge in upgrading the cemetery to a condition appropriate for its historical significance as the first resting place of the pioneers who settled our community. The committee, after a year of work recognized that a legal entity must be formed in order to raise the required funds for appropriate improvements to the cemetery. A nonprofit corporation, Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation, was formed in October of 2018. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in February of 2019 and work began in earnest. Funds were raised and much work was completed, bringing the cemetery into a condition that honors the lives of those buried there.
The Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds committee worked with and supported the board of directors of Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation to hold fundraising events, complete extensive research, locate unmarked graves and much more. Installation of grave markers, walkways, flag poles, signage, and parking is complete. Ongoing maintenance will allow visitors to experience, firsthand, the living history of the site. A significant addition to the site is the installation of QR codes on pedestals that allow visitors to directly access the compelling historical details of the lives of those buried at the site. This interactive mobile technology will empower and enable educational outreach, self-guided tours, and heritage tourism so knowledge of Arlington’s earliest citizens is never lost again. Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation has forged an agreement with Arlington Independent School District to provide for educational opportunities through in-person, virtual, and on-site visits for teachers and students to experience the meaningful history associated with the cemetery and all who are buried there.
This rich history will now be preserved forever.
“History reminds us of the past and hopefully inspires us to do better in the present so we can prepare for the future.”
These grounds are sacred to the families of those laid to rest, but also to our community. These are the pioneers of Arlington. Their history is the foundation we all stand upon.
We honor these pioneers and their legacy. Through this website, we hope that you will learn their stories.
In February 2021, column structures were completed and the new gates installed. Progress is underway at the Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds.
We Cannot Erase History: Honoring Our Past
Purchase tickets for the 2021 Harry M. Croxton Anniversary Dinner and Fundraiser
May 17 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
El Primo’s in Mansfield
The Harry M. Croxton Anniversary Champagne Happy Hour Fundraiser|
Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation
held the Harry M. Croxton Anniversary Champagne
Happy Hour fundraiser at Mercury Chophouse in
Arlington on October 23, 2019.
Chaplain Rich Stoglin was MC for the event and the speakers included Mayor Jeff Williams. Geraldine Mills who has worked diligently since 2004 on the cemetery project spoke the names of many who are buried there.
Terry Bertrand, Kenny Kowis, and Jim Sparks enlightened guests regarding the design, construction, and budget. Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore, Victoria Farrar-Meyers graced the room with a hearty toast to all who have supported this important project.
Attendees received commemorative champagne flutes filled with the best from Mercury Chophouse, enjoyed an array of hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to dine at a discounted rate.
Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds was the beneficiary of the generosity of those in attendance and of others who could not be there.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds was held on Friday, February 22, 2019.
Watch a video of the landmark occasion below.
Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation, a Texas Charitable Nonprofit Corporation
organized under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), was formed for the
purpose of enabling the restoration and preservation of the historic cemeteries in Arlington, Texas.
The Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds are located in the 600 block of West Arkansas Lane.
Take a drive by and you will note that these historic grounds have declined into disrepair over the
years. This is a significant part of the history of Arlington, Texas that cannot be forgotten.
Much work and an untold number of hours have been dedicated to this project by the Arlington
Historical Society and its many volunteers including representatives from the City of Arlington and
Tarrant County. Specifically, Geraldine Mills was instrumental in bringing the importance
of this project to the forefront. Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation is hoping to assist
in a meaningful way. Visit the Arlington Historical Society website here:
In preparation for restoration and preservation of the Memorial Grounds, extensive research of land
records, burial records and others have resulted in a reliable list of the names of those buried
there. Land work, including surveying, platting, and permitting are underway.
Design elements for the basis of the restoration are complete, including the selection of a fence,
gates, and locations of sidewalks.
These historic cemeteries will be restored to the condition that represents their historical
significance to the City of Arlington, Tarrant County and the descendants of those buried there.
The entire site will be surrounded by an ornamental fence that is eight feet tall. The fence will sit on
a concrete curb that will enhance landscape maintenance and security. Walkways will wind through
the cemeteries, providing visitors a welcoming and convenient path throughout. Benches will be
conveniently located throughout for those who need a moment for meditation
or rest. Existing grave markers will be restored and new markers will be installed where there are
none. The site is intended to reflect its significant history and provide a welcoming place
for descendants, students, citizens of Arlington and all who wish to visit.
600 W Arkansas Ln, Arlington, TX 76010
All information is based upon the research of historical records and interviews with reliable sources.
If you have information that contradicts or augments any of the website information, we urge you to contact us.