Historical Marker Monday – City of Arlington and Arlington Cemetery

May is Historic Preservation Month! It’s the perfect time to kick off “Historical Marker Monday” — a new series on my blog highlighting historical markers. I plan to highlight 2-3 each week. We’ll see how this goes.

Texas has plenty of these markers, so I shouldn’t run out of material anytime soon.

This week highlights the City of Arlington and Arlington Cemetery. The marker text follows each photo.


City of Arlington

101 W. Abram Street, Arlington (at City Center Plaza)

It’s impossible to sum up a whole city’s history in a single historical marker, although this one gives a decent overview. Notably, since the marker is from 2006, it doesn’t mention the Dallas Cowboys football team who moved here in 2009.

City of Arlington

Below is the text from the historical marker:

“The city of Arlington developed along the juncture of two distinct ecological regions, the Blackland Prairie and the Eastern Cross Timbers. The West Fork of the Trinity River and its area tributaries flow through the city, and one such stream, Village (Caddo) Creek, was the site of a series of Native American communities.

The 1841 Battle of Village Creek and the 1843 Bird’s Fort Treaty between the Republic of Texas and the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Nadako, Ionie, Biloxi, and Cherokee tribes opened the region to pioneer settlement, led by Col. Middleton Tate Johnson and Patrick Watson. In 1876, the Rev. A. S. Hayter helped survey the area for a new townsite and rail stop for the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Named Arlington for the Virginia home of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the town became a regional cotton distribution center. Incorporation occurred in 1884, the year after its first newspaper, The World, was first published. At the turn of the 20th century, the city’s more than 1,000 residents supported several churches and schools, including Arlington College, an institution that became the University of Texas at Arlington in 1967.

Arlington residents adopted a city manager form of government in 1949. The municipality, situated between Fort Worth and Dallas, served as an interurban rail hub and as a stop along the Bankhead Highway. It became a statewide destination for amusements beginning in the 1920s with gambling at Top O’ Hill Terrace and horseracing at W.T. Waggoner’s Arlington Downs. Later attractions included Six Flags Over Texas amusement park, established in 1961, and the Texas Rangers baseball team. Today, Arlington remains a viable part of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. (2006)”


Arlington Cemetery

801 Mary Street, Arlington

For more information about the cemetery, check out the City of Arlington’s website. Details include an overview of the cemetery, information about the historical marker, and how to find a grave.

Arlington Cemetery

Below is the text from the historical marker:

“Encompassing more than ten acres of land, Arlington Cemetery includes within its borders several small historic graveyards, including the original old cemetery of Arlington, the W. W. McNatt Cemetery addition, the Masonic Cemetery, and the Old City Cemetery. William W. McNatt, who brought his family here from Arkansas in 1872, was a retail merchant and large scale farmer in this area. He sold the cemetery property to the Arlington Cemetery Society in 1899. Another group, the Arlington Cemetery Association, was chartered in 1923 and maintained the graveyard for many years until the City of Arlington assumed ownership and maintenance.

The oldest documented burial here is that of one-year-old Mattie Luna Cooper (1874-75), daughter of pioneer Arlington settlers J. D. and Luna A. Cooper. Numerous other early settlers also are buried here, as are veterans of conflicts from the Civil War to World War II. Local officials interred in the graveyard include at least seven former postmasters and the following former mayors: M. J. Brinson, George M. Finger, Emmett E. Rankin, Williams C. Weeks, Thomas B. Collins, T. G. Bailey, W. H. Davis, Preston F. McKee, William H. Rose, Will G. Hiett, and Harold E. Patterson.” (1994)


— Photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 05-03-21

— Historical Marker text from “Texas Historical Sites – Atlas” – https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us

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