Hopewell Cemetery

4stars (4.00)
Sam Bass Road
Round Rock

Located right next door to the historic Round Rock Cemetery, the smaller Hopewell Cemetery has some interesting stories to tell of its own. Official City of Round Rock web pages seem to at least partially confuse the old slave section of Round Rock Cemetery (northwest quadrant of that area) with the Hopewell Cemetery next door (east of Round Rock Cemetery). Further adding to some of the confusion is the fact that there is another Hopewell Cemetery in Williamson County west of Liberty Hill.

Hopewell Cemetery
Hopewell Cemetery
What we can be fairly certain of is that Hopewell Cemetery is a predominately African-American cemetery, though there are some recent graves of Hispanic individuals. Although there are some impressive, commerically cut headstones to be found here, of more interest are the headstones that appear to have been cut by non-professionals. It's not that much of the work is consistantly bad - far from it. Rather some of the stones are striking for their individuality. Even in the 1800's many headstones appear to have been carved by machine with monotonous lettering. Some of the carvings on stones found here are as personal and distinguishable as signatures.

Non-carved headstones such as this one are plentiful, and not likely to stand the test of time.
Non-carved headstones such as this one are plentiful, and not likely to stand the test of time.
We found not only personally carved headstones, but also headstones that were not carved at all. Several graves were marked by headstones that had the individuals personal information painted or drawn onto the stone surface. A few remain legible, though many are beginning to fade with age. Even more prone to wear and fading are the wooden cross markers bearing illegible letters.

The grave of Austin Police Officer Thomas Allen, one of the earliest African-Americans in the department.
The grave of Austin Police Officer Thomas Allen, one of the earliest African-Americans in the department.
One of the more interesting historical graves is that of Thomas Allen. Thomas was employed by the Austin Police Department and was killed in the line of duty in 1915. The marker here is obviously a more modern day replacement and was paid for by the Texas Peace Officers Association. There is no sign of the original headstone.

According to the new headstone, Thomas was the "second officer killed in line of duty". However, according to the official Austin Police Department web pages Thomas was the third police officer killed. A simple oversight? We're not certain. One possible explanation is that the Texas Peace Officers Association used to be referred to as the Texas Negro Peace Officers Association when it was formed in 1935 to further the advancement of African-Americans in police departments within the state. As it so happens, the second Austin police officer killed in the line of duty, John Gaines, was also African-American. So it's possible that the headstone refers to the second TPOA member to die in the line of duty.

Thomas Allen's grave appears to have been covered with cement, which has since weathered away, revealing the underlying metal supports. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
An example of the non-professional, but skilled and personal nature of some of the markers found here. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
We've not determined whether Weighty was this person's real name or a nickname. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Several Clark family markers of the same era share a common arrow style. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Wooden Crosses
The writing on these wooden crosses is already fading. The wood itself will eventually disappear as well. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Another set of homemade headstones. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Log Entries

No logs have been entered for this location.

Recommended Item
Recommended Item Ghosts In The Graveyard: Texas Cemetery Tales
Olyve Abbott
List Price: $18.95 Your price: $15.56 Buy Now
Legends of abandoned old graveyards and some not so abandoned abound-the crying dog in the cemetary well, the wandering ghost of Long Tom March, who carries a deck of cards and won't rest until he finds a winning poker hand. Next to a graveyard where an arm is buried, the old piano in the fogotten church plays. These and other tales along with some more recent real-life experiences will intrigue you, skeptic or not.
Read the tales with an open mind. They are for pleasure, a bit of paranormal, a little seriousness, and hopefully a laugh or two. If you are a nonbeliever in the supernatural, you may change your skepticism is etched in stone. Then again the author learned that nothing is etched in stone forever.
This humorous book also includes some unusual coffins, tombstones, and epitaphs as well as some early Texas burial traditions.