Greenleaf Cemetery

The Greenleaf Cemetery was established in 1868.  Greenleaf Fisk gave five acres to the town for a burial place, and two and one half acres each the Pecan Valley IOOF Lodge No. 236, October 26, 1883, and to the Brownwood Masonic Lodge No. 141 AF and AM, December 3, 1883, making a total of ten acres for burial purposes.  There has been four additions to the cemetery since then and now has over 18,000 burials.  A section was set aside in 1958 for members of the Catholic denomination.  The cemetery was named Round Mountain and later renamed Greenleaf.  The Brownwood Garden Club built the present entrance.  During 1918 they averaged about four burials a day due to the flu epidemic.  At this time they had four crews digging day and night.

The Greenleaf Cemetery Association was incorporated April 10, 1923  The Greenleaf Cemetery is a non-profit perpetual care cemetery.  Its governing body consists of five board members, elected by members of the Greenleaf Cemetery Association.  The cemetery is located off Highway 377 South (Brady Highway) across the railroad tracks within the city limits of Brownwood.

There are many famous families buried within the cemetery including Greenleaf himself.  Here are a few of those buried there and their tombstones.

Robert E. Howard, Author and Poet - Famous author in the early 1930's.  Creator of Conan the Barbarian and other writings.


C. M. Grady - A Texas Ranger, stationed at Old Camp Colorado, about 4 or 5 miles southwest of Santa Anna Mountain.


Henry Ford - In 1886, Ford borrowed $10,000,000 from a bank in Fort Worth to loan to farmers during a drought.  The farmers made good and he was repaid all but $2.50

Noah T. Byars - A Baptist minister, aiding in the organizing several Baptist churches in Brown County.  He came to Texas in 1835 and opened a blacksmith and gunsmith shop at Washington-on-the Brazos. The governor of Texas asked permission to hold a special meeting in Byar's shop which was the largest building in the area. It was in his crude blacksmith shop on March 2, 1836, that the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed.

He was Armorer of Sam Houston's in 1836 for two months.  He became a Baptist missionary in 1842.  He founded the First Baptist Church in Brownwood in 1876 and lived there until his death in 1888. and was the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate of the Republic of  Texas from 1837 to 1841.  He is buried in the Masonic section which he donated.


The local chapter of the United Confederate Veterans placed these sandstone markers at most of the Confederate soldiers that were buried in Greenleaf Cemetery.  The ex-confederates from this area formed the Stonewall Jackson Camp of Confederate Veterans.  To their regular meetings, the members wore the old gray uniforms of the Confederacy.

The "Firsts" of Greenleaf Cemetery

Emma Adams - The first recorded grave in the cemetery.  Died in 1873
Dr. Mollie Armstrong - The first woman optometrist in Texas.
Charles Bell - Charles Bell was Brown County Sheriff from 1882 until 1898.  He was killed while making as arrest in Brownwood.
Coggin Brothers - Samuel R. and Mody J., partners with Henry Ford in Coggin, Ford & Company Bank, owned the largest cattle operation in this area.
Walter V. Early - The city of Early was named in his honor.
Greenleaf Fisk - The father of Brownwood.  Donated the land for Greenleaf Cemetery, and a large portion of downtown Brownwood.  Two streets named in his honor - Greenleaf and Fisk.
Henry Ford - In 1886 Mr. Ford borrowed $10,000 from a bank in Fort Worth for the farmers to have money to plant crops during a drought.  It came at the right time, and the farmers made good.  It is said that Mr. Ford received back all but $2.50 of the $10,000 that he loaned.
George I. Goodwin - He served in the 12th and 14th sessions of the Texas legislature, and during that time he authored the bill, creating Texas A & M.
Rufus F. Hardin - Born a slave and became one of the first teachers to the black community.  Hardin School was named in his honor.
Dave Harris - The grandfather of Wig Harris and the first black man to come to Brown county.
Emily Ann Harris - One of the first black women to settle in Brown County.  She was the mother of the first black man Wig Harris to be born in the county.
William H. Martin - Published the first newspaper in Brown County.
Will E. Mayes - Lt. Governor of Texas, 1913-1914.  Founder and dean of the School of Journalism of the University of Texas for twelve years.
Martin Meichinger - Dug the first known oil well in Brown County, located where the old Brownwood Hotel stands today on the corner of Baker and Fisk.
Brainart T. McClelland - First president of Daniel Baker College, a Presbyterian school, opening its doors in 1889.
Gregoria Perez - He and his family were one of the first Mexican American families to settle in Brownwood.
John Power - The rector of the St. John's Episcopal Church in the 1930's and was the first Scoutmaster in Brownwood.
Willie Pullain - The oldest grave of a black man in Greenleaf.
Brooke Smith - Banker, store owner, instigator of the railroad, oil and gas productions.  The angel that stands on his lot is the exact size of his daughter, buried at the angel's feet.
Betty Louis Tabor - All day sewing parties were held in her home.  She had the only sewing machine in the community.
Sol Tanner - The first mayor of Brownwood in 1877.
Edward Thomas - The first caretaker of Greenleaf Cemetery.
Joe C. Weakley - First tinsmith in Brown County.  He enlisted in the Union army and after his discharge went back to Indiana and made thousands of time canteens for use of the federal army.
C. M. Webb - A Texas Ranger killed by the outlaw, John Wesley Hardin.
Thomas Caldwell Yantis - The first to earn the highest degree in Brownwood Masonic Lodge.

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