History

Famous Graves in Houston’s Historic Hollywood Cemetery

By  | 

We hate spam too, we'll never share your email address

 

 

Houston’s Historic Hollywood Cemetery was founded in 1895. Two brothers (William James Moore and Samuel B. Moore), who were Confederate veterans, made a number of land deals totaling roughly 55 acres on which it sits. The cemetery gets its name from the Hollywood family, admired by one of the brothers. Members of the Hollywood family were later buried in this same final resting place bearing their name.

The original main entrance to Hollywood Cemetery was near the Trimble and Cottage Streets intersection and crossed over a single-lane bridge at Little White Oak Bayou. Here, you’ll find the Strangers Rest section, so named for those buried anonymously (often poor and destitute), as well as the Baby’s Rest section, in which can be read the names of those who passed during the high infant mortality rates prior to 1900. The original brick road through the cemetery still remains.

Famous Graves in Houston’s Historic Hollywood Cemetery

Photo: envato elements

Originally, the Hollywood Cemetery was a nondenominational cemetery for Caucasian inhabitants of the Houston Heights neighborhood. Following I-45 North construction in the 1970s, the main entrance was changed to 3506 North Main, and since that time, following neighborhood demographic changes, much of the burials have been Hispanic. Following a number of years of poor management, the property was purchased in 2009 via foreclosure. It was then renamed Historic Hollywood Cemetery and was given a Texas Historical Marker via the Texas Historical Commission. By the 2010s, it entailed over 30K interments.

Famous Graves in Houston’s Historic Hollywood Cemetery

Photo: envato elements

Among the most notable burials on the property, Lawrence Shipley, Sr., who was the founder of Shipley Donuts, as well as Hortense Ward, a suffragist attorney who was also the first woman registered to vote in Harris County, are interred at Historic Hollywood Cemetery. Sarah Jane Gillis is also buried onsite, who was a witness to General Santa Anna’s burning of Harrisburg (including her childhood home) during the Texas Revolution. She lived to be 111 years old and recounted her stories of the past prior to her passing. Having no money for a headstone, her plot remains an unmarked grave between the Archer and Avey plots. One of the more unique grave markers which can be found there is a hammer and miniature tongs over top of a chromed anvil. This serves its space over Fritz Hahn’s plot, who was a blacksmith and the cofounder of Hahn and Clay, the industrial equipment supplier.