Abilene Municipal Cemetery is composed of five different burial grounds. The oldest documented grave is that of Florence Phillips, who was buried in the Masonic section in 1881 shortly before the establishment of the local Masonic Lodge in 1882. Among the notables buried here are Mary Houston Morrow, Abilene postmistress and daughter of General Sam Houston, and C. W. Merchant, who gave land for the burial ground and helped establish Abilene. The oldest recorded burial in the city cemetery, that of Oliver Bailey, occurred in 1882. Another grave of interest is that of Dr. W. H. Butler, an African American physician. The first deed verifying the establishment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery was dated August 1906. Several early Abilene businessmen including James Radford and H. O. Wooten are interred here, as is Mrs. Jewel Scarborough, a prominent citizen and active woman suffragist. The city of Abilene purchased the 20-acre Cedar Hill Cemetery in 1920. The Cedar Hill Cemetery Association bought it from the city in 1923. The city took over care of the Masonic and IOOF cemeteries in 1928 and the Cedar Hill Cemetery in 1934. Abilene founder K. K. Legett and railroad legend Morgan Jones, as well as veterans of major American and international wars and conflicts, are interred here. In 1945 the city bought an additional tract of land; the first burial in Cedar Hill Flats was in 1969. More than 26,000 people are believed to be buried in the graveyard. A chronicle of the city's past, Abilene Municipal Cemetery continues to serve the area. (1998)
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