A cemetery may not be one of the first things that come to mind when planning your trip to Austin, but a word to the wise, you should put it on your to-do list. The Texas State Cemetery is the final resting grounds for late state politicians, First Ladies, members of the military, founders and authors. The state of Texas purchased the land for the cemetery in 1854 to honor Edward Burleson, a statesman and general, who died in 1851 and was buried on donated land there.
The Texas State Cemetery in Austin has strict rules about who can be buried here, narrowing that list down to only former politicians and public servants and those deemed by a committee to have made significant contributions to Texan culture and society.
The city’s namesake, Stephen F. Austin, is buried here. Also known as the “Father of Texas,” the Virginia-born Austin helped settle the state by recruiting white settlers and keeping the peace with Mexico in the 1820s and 1830s.
Austin’s first mayor Edwin Waller and Robert Potter, a legislator, cabinet member and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, also are buried here. Others buried here include Susanna Dickinson, Alamo survivor; James Michener, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Tales of the South Pacific;” Tom Landry, legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys; and the United States Senator John Tower. Many Confederate generals are buried here, too.
On the grounds is a pink granite obelisk dedicated to Texans who have received the Medal of Honor. Currently, there are six medal recipients buried at the Texas State Cemetery.
The flagpole is lowered to half-mast every time a member of the military who is a native Texan dies.
Several of the Texas State Cemetery’s elements reflect Texas culture and history. The limestone visitor center is modeled after the Alamo. And the Columbarium Wall is made from the same pink granite as the state capitol’s base.
The Texas State Cemetery is located in East Austin, across the highway from the state capitol. It is a must-visit if you’re taking a tour of Austin’s historical locations.
We have homes in East Austin close to the cemetery and capitol. When you stay with us in Austin, you’ll have so many opportunities to explore the local history. Browse our website or call today to book your next trip! Visit the Austin Capitol Segway Tour as well.