City Cemetery - Laredo, Webb County, Texas
Address: 3200 N. Meadow Ave.
Marker #: 5479012359
Year Dedicated: 2000
Size, type: 27" x 42"
Last reported condition: No report
City Cemetery - The earliest burial grounds in Laredo were known as camposantos (Saints' Fields) by Spanish settlers. Laredo's first camposanto was probably the one at San Agustín Church. In 1892 the Laredo City Council decreed that the cemeteries then in use were full. The city dedicated four blocks for a burial ground, and half was conveyed to the local bishop for use of the Catholic church. The original plan included a Jewish section and a potters field for indigent citizens. Large private plots were set aside for local church groups, such as the Ladies' Guild of Christ Episcopal Church, and for fraternal, civic and labor organizations including Mutualistas, Mexican American benevolent groups essential to the Mexican labor movement in the United States. A deadly smallpox epidemic in 1898-1899 caused the daily burials of small children and the closure of public places such as churches and schools. In 1926, bodies from an earlier city cemetery on Scott Street were reinterred here and at the Catholic Calvary Cemetery. By the 1930s, an African American section and an infants section had been added. Through the 1950s Laredo citizens honored the Mexican custom of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), also known as All Souls' Day, with the eating and offering of food and cemetery decoration. A veterans section was added in 1974. The cemetery continued to grow throughout the 20th century. Grave decoration and funerary art reflect Mexican American traditions. The lack of formal shrubbery and landscaping is offset by highly elaborate floral displays. The Laredo City Cemetery is a chronicle of the city's ethnic and religious diversity. (2000)
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