This community burial ground originally served the early settlers of Zavala, later known as Troup, a town established along a line of the International & Great Northern Railroad in 1873. Since no land was set aside for a public cemetery when the town was platted, efforts were made to secure a tract from the railroad. As a result of the influence of city leaders, prominent local residents, and Judge William Wright Morris, the area representative to the Texas Legislature, the railroad provided 1.67 acres of land at this site in 1875 for a burial ground, known then as Zavala City Cemetery. The earliest known grave is that of South Carolina native William A. Arms. Originally buried in New Orleans, he was reinterred here in the 1870s by his widow Martha Ann (Walker) Arms and his son Marion Francis Arms. Also buried here are three early mayors of the city, Dr. Erasmus Manley Hanna, William Clark Spruce, and Judge Stephen Decatur Morris. Leaders in securing the first rail line to the area, they were instrumental in having this site set aside for use as a public cemetery. Other graves here include those of prominent local residents and community leaders who contributed to the development of the area.
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