Glenwood Cemetery Houston | Who’s Who of Spectacular Grave Sites
Last Updated on
If you are looking to visit a spectacular cemetery with opulent grave sites located in a breathtaking setting you need to plan a visit to Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
Washington Avenue bounds this enchanting cemetery on the north with Memorial Drive and Buffalo Bayou to the south. The entry is on Washington Avenue where ivy-covered brick pillars with iron fencing and gates present the first view.
When the gates open between the hours of 7 AM to 5 PM or sunset hours, which seasonally go to 6:30 PM, visitors enter through these gates.
The road takes visitors past a beautiful three-tiered fountain surrounded by a bed of blooming flowers. Atop three tall flag poles are the United States flag, the Texas Flag and a dark blue Glenwood Cemetery Flag.
The multitude of crape myrtles was in a dormant stage when I took these photos. They would undoubtedly add more beauty during the summer months when they are gloriously in bloom.
Dating Back to 1871
Glenwood Cemetery dates back to 1871. A landscape designer by the name of Alfred Whitaker was employed and came from England to create this beautiful site. It is one of the very few places in all of Houston that has small hills with a rolling landscape. He took advantage of that topography. Curving streets and pathways wind throughout the 84 acres of magnificent and fascinating monuments plus gorgeous landscaping. There are still eighteen acres available for future development.
Written on the monument above with the guardian angel holding a sword is the following:
OF HIM IT WAS WRITTEN – A CHARACTER FOR MORALITY, CHIVALRY, AND COURAGE THAT WAS SUBLIME. “HONOR WAS HIS SOUL AND KINDNESS HIS HEART.”
Angel of Grief
The Hill monument is one of two in Glenwood Cemetery using this Angel of Grief motif. Gloria Cheng monument is the other one. Numerous ones are replicated around the world. It is exquisite as well as eye-catching!
William Wetmore Story in 1984 designed the original Angel of Grief. He and his wife Emelyn reside under it in Rome, Italy. Mr. Story (1819 – 1895) was a lawyer who gave up his practice to concentrate on sculpture and more artistic endeavors like poetry. He was also an author.
Many Angel Monuments Found Here
Many of the stunning monuments in this cemetery use different forms of angels. There are reported to be over 90 of them! It would take many visits to get to see all of them. A small sampling of them is in this post.
The Hermann monument is shown above on the right and also has an angel topping off this extraordinary architectural beauty. George Hermann (1843 – 1914) bequeathed the majority of his fortune to benefit those of us living in Houston. His most generous and lasting legacy bears his name on not only Hermann Park but also Hermann Hospital and the square in front of our downtown City Hall.
It is easy to understand why photographers, as well as artists, like to come to this cool site. Glenwood Cemetery is such a lush environment with old-growth oaks and magnolia trees, among others. The grounds are in pristine condition. Views of downtown Houston are seen from various spots in this green and verdant cemetery.
Cemetery lots here are understandably expensive. An article written in the Houston Business Journal had the average per square foot cemetery plot charge listed at $540, and that was back in 2014!
Notable People Buried Here
So many influential people who have Houston streets and buildings named after them reside in this serene setting. Daniel Denton Cooley who was responsible for developing the Houston Heights, as well as his famous heart surgeon son Denton Cooley, are now buried here. Marmion Park is the location of D.D. Cooley’s former home.
Businessman and well-known aviator Howard Hughes is buried here. So is Hollywood actress Gene Tierney.
William P. Hobby who at one time was the Governor of Texas went on to become the publisher of the Houston Post newspaper. Those living here in Houston for a time may also remember him as a Channel 2 radio and television executive. Hobby Airport bears his name.
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport is chock full of memorabilia including some from Howard Hughes who at one time had his hangar there.
What is inscribed between the shared monuments of MacGregor and DeMeritt shown above is the following inscription:
WHERE EVER HE BUILDED, HE PLANTED TREES, LEAVING A GIFT OF GRATEFUL SHADE AND BEAUTY. E.S.M.
If you look closely at the memorial above and to the right, trees rise above the words and blend at the top with a canopy of leaves. Viewing a live tree in the background with a branch and leaves dipping down over the top in the center seems somehow very fitting.
Woodmen gravestones are very distinctive. Note the log appearance of the tallest monument shown above. If you wish to learn more about Woodmen gravestones, you will find that information plus many more examples in the article I wrote regarding the historic Masonic Cemetery in Chappell Hill, Texas.
Founding Families and Others
So many “Who’s Who” of notable people significant to our beautiful city of Houston and elsewhere have been interred and memorialized in this lush environment. Among them is John Staub (1892-1957), who was a respected and well-known architect. Numerous buildings were designed with his expert touch including Bayou Bend in River Oaks. Bayou Bend is now a part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
A notable philanthropist by the name of Caroline Wiess Law (1918-2003) has the original building of the MFAH renamed in her honor. She bequeathed some $400 million to our fine arts museum leaving her lasting legacy in paintings and the like. Caroline Wiess Law now resides in this peaceful cemetery.
Many of the founding families of Houston now have their beautiful headstones situated along the meandering paths of this cemetery. People can drive or ride bicycles through it, but to see it, one should plan on doing some walking. Cars can be parked anywhere along the streets.
Monuments Honoring Children
Both of these touching monuments shown above were for children who died. Inscribed at the bottom of the Gladys House monument were these words: “God’s finger touched her, and she slept.” She was not quite three months of age.
What was once a rural area is now not far from downtown Houston. Peace and serenity reign within the cemetery unless an active burial is taking place.
Texas Historical Markers
There are numerous Texas Historical Markers placed throughout the cemetery. One of them tells about Archibald Wynns who at one time had his country home built on the 42 acres of this very site. It was purchased by the Houston Cemetery Company to facilitate the construction of this cemetery. Additional acres were added to enlarge it to what it is today.
One of Many Inscriptions
Charles Raymond Judice (monument above on the right) had a long career eventually becoming a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. He died on November 9, 2014. Written under the angel is this: “May Saint Michael the Archangel protect us from all evil.”
Glenwood Cemetery, Inc. operates as a non-profit corporation and maintains the property. Click here to see a list of many of the distinguished and famous people now buried here with additional photos.
Here is the location of this beautiful cemetery: 2525 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007.