Dallas Pauper Cemetery

The Dallas Pauper’s Cemetery as it is commonly referred to lays on the edge of complete ruin. Its formal name is Dallas City Cemetery and is often confused with previous incarnations that were co-located with larger cemeteries previous to its consecration in 1932. It was in use until 1978 when Dallas County, Texas took over the official responsibility of burying the underprivileged.

The City of Dallas then sold off the unused portions of the cemetery to developers resulting in its current football field shape. It is completely surrounded by warehouses, landscape and construction companies with only a narrow one lane path available to reach it from the street. Sort of like a center garden area in the French Quarter of New Orleans without the charm.

Invisible and forgotten, this time piece of Dallas’ history tells stories of how deadly Tuberculosis was in the 1930s and 40s, problems with infant mortality, segregation issues, dismemberment and murder! It also tells the story of decades of neglect by City Leadership. Fortunately the current City Leadership is not of that mindset and is anxious to correct the mistakes of the past.

Roughly half of the graves are currently unmarked due to an inadequate marker system that was used throughout the life of the cemetery. Lawn mowers regularly come in contact with the markers and rip the plate from its mooring. About 500 of these plates have been recovered through our efforts and we are working to place new markers on every grave in the cemetery.

We are collecting funds to assist with this effort and are also working with the city to help augment the funds to complete the job in a timely manner. Before work can begin several drainage issues are being corrected to keep water from pooling over the infants graves.

Only a small 1′ sign at the street calls its existence out. Most pass by it regularly without any idea of the 2053 people buried inside.

Your help is most appreciated and will help to give voice to the voiceless. 100% of your donation will be used towards this effort and your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The Babb Family Association is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit registered with the IRS.

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