Laurel Hill Cemetery
Mission, Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx
With permission of Hidalgo County Historical Commission 2006
Submitted by Sue Hansen
LOCATION: In northwest Mission on West 18th Street at North Holland Avenue.
SURVEYED: Partial (from family records), 2006
HISTORY: Laurel Hill Cemetery was established around 1908. City founder John J. Conway donated approximately 11 acres for the cemetery. According to city legend, when Ed Dawson died and the need for a cemetery arose, John C. Conway selected the spot with a pistol shot to the land plot map. The incident is documented in Cleo Dawson’s 1943 fictionalized history of Mission, She Came to the Valley (p331).
In 1906, Minnesotans John J. Conway and James W. Hoit opened the first land office in Hidalgo County and founded Mission in 1907. By 1908, there was a frame railroad depot, pumping station with three miles of canals, a restaurant, post office, lumberyard, saloon, and Dawson’s El Caballo Blanco store. Mission was incorporated in 1908.
In the 1920s or 1930s, Charlie Langston, longtime director of Public Works for the City of Mission, planted hundreds of live oak trees to shade Laurel Hill Cemetery. (There are no Texas mountain laurel trees, with the purple blossoms that smell like grape bubble gum, on the grounds.) The cemetery originally had separate Catholic and Protestant sections.
City pioneer Rich Hansen had the cemetery fenced, and installed irrigation and a sprinkler system. He raised $35,000 for care of the cemetery. There are a number of above-ground crypts, including the Hansen family mausoleum built in 1950.
The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Mission provides maintenance. A city-appointed Cemetery (or Parks ?) Board oversees operations and maintains records. All burial plots were sold prior to 2006.
|LAST NAME||FIRST NAME||BIRTH||DEATH||COMMENTS|
|CONWAY||JOHN J[OSEPH]||--||1931-||H/O DALE, F/O ROY|
|CONWAY||ROY PATRICK||-||-||S/O JOHN J; H/O DALE; F/O MARY ALICE|
|CONWAY||DALE PICKLER||-||--||W/O ROY PATRICK|
|DAWSON||ED||-||-||F/O CLEO, CARRIE|
|JEFFRIES||KATHERINE McWHORTER||-||-||W/O HERBERT JR.; M/O KATHY, JEFF; D/O IRENE TULLOS & WILLIAM MCWHORTER|
|MARTIN||DAVID SCOTT||-||-||S/O SCOTT & MARY ALICE CONWAY MARTIN|
|RODWELL||James||64 yrs||Dec 27 1963||h/o Pauline Drummond Rodwell WWi & WWII OBIT submitted by Tobie Neller|
|RODGERS||FLOYD H. (SLATS)||1889||1956||PIONEER AVIATOR; HIST. MKR. AT MILLER AIRPORT|