Officials announced last week that Dotson Family Cemetery received historic designation. The distinction means the cemetery has been legally recorded through the Texas Historical Commission’s Cemetery Preservation Program, an important step in ensuring its preservation.
This designation is reserved for cemeteries that are at least 50 years old and documented through the Historic Texas Cemetery designation process to record their historic association and significance.
“This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of these important cultural resources," said Mark Wolfe, executive director of THC. "Knowledge and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of a historic cemetery.”
Allison Dotson Sr. purchased 2.5 acres on Sept. 13, 1957, and established the L.M. Dotson Cemetery Association to bury his wife, Lela Mae Burditt Dotson, who died Sept. 13, 1957. His purpose for securing this property was to provide a decent resting place on the east side of Sealy for his wife and other family members, especially Veterans. Lela Mae was the first burial. Burials have grown to over 102. Since the passing of Allison Dotson Sr. on Sept. 21, 1957, his heirs oversee the L.M. Dotson Cemetery. A number of veterans from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War are buried in the cemetery, per Dotson’s wishes.
Cemeteries hold valuable historic reminders and they are often the last reminders of early settlements' historical events, religious beliefs, lifestyles and genealogy. While the Historic Texas Cemetery designation encourages cemetery preservation, it cannot guarantee that a historic cemetery will avoid destruction. Threats to historic cemeteries include urban expansion and development, vandalism, grazing animals and long-term deterioration from weather and uncontrolled vegetation.
The Texas Historical Commission developed the Historic Texas Cemetery designation to address the destruction of historic cemeteries and the illegal removal of cemetery fixtures. Any individual or organization is eligible to submit an application for this designation. To find out more about historic cemetery preservation visit the THC’s web site at http://www.thc.state.tx.us./