Historic African American cemetery falls into disrepair

Historic African American cemetery falls into disrepair

Florine Henry took on the responsibility, with the help of her board, to maintain Ross Cemetery in McKinney. The once segregated cemetery where roughly 95% of people buried there are black has fallen prey to a number of factors over the years.

"I'm trying to make our cemetery beautiful. I can't do it alone," she said.

Over the years vandals have destroyed head stones and people had dumped trash on the roughly 5 acre lot once called the Colored People Cemetery.

The cemetery sits right beside where a large highway is currently being constructed. It is where signs of progress are met with a sign of the times.

"It hits me hard, that's why I'm here," said Baine Brooks, a local restaurateur.

Baine Brooks says preserving the history at Ross Cemetery starts with a fence. Now at the cemetery there is a bending, disconnecting, chain-link fence that serves no purpose. Their hope is for wrought iron fence that would keep vandals even some wildlife out.

Right now the graves sit exposed. Henry says there are two Buffalo soldiers buried on the grounds. Also many slaves, and service men and women are laid to rest there.

Brooks is hopeful that people can come together and help provide for a fence around Ross Cemetery. He says before any of that happens a surveyor needs to come by and survey the land so they can get the permit to put the fence in.

"I think people's hearts are right. I think we're gonna get a fence..we're gonna get a fence," he said.

The following is a link to a donation page for the cemetery. Organizers are also hopeful someone can provide surveying services to start the process.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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