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Glenwood Cemetery in Houston: Who’s Who of Spectacular Grave Sites

Updated on March 24, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Detail of Albert Erickson monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Detail of Albert Erickson monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source

Glenwood Cemetery

If you are looking to visit a spectacular cemetery with opulent gravesites located in a breathtaking setting, you need to plan a visit to Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

Washington Avenue bounds this enchanting cemetery on the north with Memorial Drive and Buffalo Bayou to the south. The entry is on Washington Avenue, where ivy-covered brick pillars with iron fencing and gates present the first view.

When the gates open between the hours of 7 AM to 5 PM or sunset hours, which seasonally go to 6:30 PM, visitors enter through these gates.

The road takes visitors past a beautiful three-tiered fountain surrounded by a bed of blooming flowers. Atop three tall flag poles are the United States flag, the Texas Flag, and a dark blue Glenwood Cemetery Flag.

Glenwood Cemetery, Inc. operates as a non-profit corporation and maintains the property. The location of this beautiful cemetery is here: 2525 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beautiful entrance to Glenwood Cemetery Entry street into Glenwood Cemetery Fountain inside the entranceOne of many historical markers
Beautiful entrance to Glenwood Cemetery
Beautiful entrance to Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Entry street into Glenwood Cemetery
Entry street into Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Fountain inside the entrance
Fountain inside the entrance | Source
One of many historical markers
One of many historical markers | Source

1871 Origin

Glenwood Cemetery dates back to 1871. A landscape designer by the name of Alfred Whitaker was employed and came from England to create this beautiful site. It is one of the very few places in all of Houston that has small hills with a rolling landscape. He took advantage of that topography.

Curving streets and pathways wind throughout the 84 acres of magnificent and fascinating monuments plus gorgeous landscaping. There are still eighteen acres available for future development.

It is easy to understand why photographers, as well as artists, like to come to this cool site. Glenwood Cemetery is such a lush environment with old-growth oaks and magnolia trees, among others. The grounds are in pristine condition. Views of downtown Houston are seen from various spots in this green and verdant cemetery.

Cemetery lots here are understandably expensive. An article written in the Houston Business Journal had the average per square foot cemetery plot charge listed at $540, and that was back in 2014!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Guardian Angel MonumentOne of many angel monuments in the cemetery One of many historical markersAngel Monument Green Hue on Angel Monument Angel Monument One of many historical markers
Guardian Angel Monument
Guardian Angel Monument | Source
One of many angel monuments in the cemetery
One of many angel monuments in the cemetery | Source
One of many historical markers
One of many historical markers | Source
Angel Monument
Angel Monument | Source
Green Hue on Angel Monument
Green Hue on Angel Monument | Source
Angel Monument
Angel Monument | Source
One of many historical markers
One of many historical markers | Source

Guardian Angel

Written on the monument above with the guardian angel holding a sword is the following:

OF HIM IT WAS WRITTEN – A CHARACTER FOR MORALITY, CHIVALRY, AND COURAGE THAT WAS SUBLIME. “HONOR WAS HIS SOUL AND KINDNESS HIS HEART.”

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Angel of Grief sculpture used on Hill Monument in Glenwood CemeteryHill Monument from a different angle Another view of Hill Monument Angel Monument Webre Monument One of many angel monuments Fredericks monument Angel MonumentAlbert Erickson monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Angel of Grief sculpture used on Hill Monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Angel of Grief sculpture used on Hill Monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Hill Monument from a different angle
Hill Monument from a different angle | Source
Another view of Hill Monument
Another view of Hill Monument | Source
Angel Monument
Angel Monument | Source
Webre Monument
Webre Monument | Source
One of many angel monuments
One of many angel monuments | Source
Fredericks monument
Fredericks monument | Source
Angel Monument
Angel Monument | Source
Albert Erickson monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Albert Erickson monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source

Angel of Grief

The Hill monument is one of two in Glenwood Cemetery using this Angel of Grief motif. Gloria Cheng's monument is the other one. Numerous ones are replicated around the world. It is exquisite as well as eye-catching!

William Wetmore Story in 1984 designed the original Angel of Grief. He and his wife Emelyn reside under it in Rome, Italy. Mr. Story (1819 – 1895) was a lawyer who gave up his practice to concentrate on sculpture and more artistic endeavors like poetry. He was also an author.

Many of the stunning monuments in this cemetery use different forms of angels. There are reported to be over 90 of them! It would take many visits to get to see all of them. A small sampling of them is in this post.

Hermann monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Hermann monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source

George Hermann

The Hermann Monument is shown above and also has an angel topping off this extraordinary architectural beauty. George Hermann (1843 – 1914) bequeathed the majority of his fortune to benefit those of us living in Houston. His most generous and lasting legacy bears his name on not only Hermann Park but also Hermann Hospital and the square in front of our downtown City Hall.

View of downtown Houston from Glenwood Cemetery
View of downtown Houston from Glenwood Cemetery | Source

Notable People Buried Here

So many influential people who have Houston streets and buildings named after them reside in this serene setting. Daniel Denton Cooley, who was responsible for developing the Houston Heights, as well as his famous heart surgeon son Denton Cooley, are now buried here. Marmion Park is the location of D.D. Cooley’s former home.

Businessman and well-known aviator Howard Hughes is buried here. So is Hollywood actress Gene Tierney.

William P. Hobby, who at one time was the Governor of Texas, went on to become the publisher of the Houston Post newspaper. Those living here in Houston for a time may also remember him as a Channel 2 radio and television executive. Hobby Airport bears his name. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport is chock full of memorabilia, including some from Howard Hughes, who at one time had his hangar there.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
MacGregor and DeMeritt  monuments in the cemetery Dickson Monument Dunn Monument Impressive monuments in Glenwood Cemetery Priester MonumentSessums Monument Jones Monument Schulte Monument in Glenwood CemeteryGlenwood Cemetery Sculpture
MacGregor and DeMeritt  monuments in the cemetery
MacGregor and DeMeritt monuments in the cemetery | Source
Dickson Monument
Dickson Monument | Source
Dunn Monument
Dunn Monument | Source
Impressive monuments in Glenwood Cemetery
Impressive monuments in Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Priester Monument
Priester Monument | Source
Sessums Monument
Sessums Monument | Source
Jones Monument
Jones Monument | Source
Schulte Monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Schulte Monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Glenwood Cemetery Sculpture
Glenwood Cemetery Sculpture | Source

Inscription

What is inscribed between the shared monuments of MacGregor and DeMeritt shown above is the following inscription:

"WHERE EVER HE BUILDED, HE PLANTED TREES, LEAVING A GIFT OF GRATEFUL SHADE AND BEAUTY. E.S.M."

Woodmen Gravestone for William James Aubertin
Woodmen Gravestone for William James Aubertin | Source

Woodmen Gravestones

Woodmen gravestones are very distinctive. Note the log appearance of the tallest monument shown above. If you wish to learn more about Woodmen gravestones, you will find that information plus many more examples in the article I wrote regarding the historic Masonic Cemetery in Chappell Hill, Texas.

Glenwood Cemetery
Glenwood Cemetery | Source

Founding Families and Others

So many “Who’s Who” of notable people significant to our beautiful city of Houston and elsewhere have been interred and memorialized in this lush environment. Among them is John Staub (1892-1957), who was a respected and well-known architect. Numerous buildings were designed with his expert touch including Bayou Bend in River Oaks. Bayou Bend is now a part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

A notable philanthropist by the name of Caroline Wiess Law (1918-2003) has the original building of the MFAH renamed in her honor. She bequeathed some $400 million to our fine arts museum leaving her lasting legacy in paintings and the like. Caroline Wiess Law now resides in this peaceful cemetery.

Many of the founding families of Houston now have their beautiful headstones situated along the meandering paths of this cemetery. People can drive or ride bicycles through it, but to see it, one should plan on doing some walking. Cars can be parked anywhere along the streets.

Judge Charles Raymond Judice monument
Judge Charles Raymond Judice monument | Source

One of Many Inscriptions

Charles Raymond Judice (monument above) had a long career eventually becoming a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. He died on November 9, 2014. Written under the angel is this: “May Saint Michael the Archangel protect us from all evil.”

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gladys House Monument John J. Foley, Jr. Monument View of the cemetery Glenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in BloomGlenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in Bloom Beautiful lady monument in Glenwood Cemetery Another beautiful lady monument Joseph R. Stuart monument Little Girl with Umbrella & Dog monument
Gladys House Monument
Gladys House Monument | Source
John J. Foley, Jr. Monument
John J. Foley, Jr. Monument | Source
View of the cemetery
View of the cemetery | Source
Glenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in Bloom
Glenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in Bloom | Source
Glenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in Bloom
Glenwood Cemetery with Azaleas in Bloom | Source
Beautiful lady monument in Glenwood Cemetery
Beautiful lady monument in Glenwood Cemetery | Source
Another beautiful lady monument
Another beautiful lady monument | Source
Joseph R. Stuart monument
Joseph R. Stuart monument | Source
Little Girl with Umbrella & Dog monument
Little Girl with Umbrella & Dog monument | Source

Monuments Honoring Children

The first two touching monuments shown above were for children who died. Inscribed at the bottom of the Gladys House monument were these words: “God’s finger touched her, and she slept.” She was not quite three months of age.

What was once a rural area is now not far from downtown Houston. Peace and serenity reign within Glenwood Cemetery unless an active burial is taking place.

5 stars for Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas

The only place where you can find equality is in the cemetery.

— Evan Esar

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      It seems we both like visiting cemeteries for the same reason.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 days ago from UK

      You have written an interesting and well-illustrated account of this cemetery. My husband often finds interesting inscriptions when we wander round graveyards.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Manatita,

      I'm happy to be able to furnish a bit of information about some of the people buried in Glenwood Cemetery, such as Caroline Wiess Law, as one example.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      While on vacation, my mother and I have visited cemeteries in Colorado and Utah, among other places. We did not specifically go to those states to do that, but when we saw them and had extra time, we wandered through them. We both found them to be interesting. In one prison cemetery, there were only numbers engraved on the stones in place of names.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorna,

      These photos are only a small sample of the angel monuments at Glenwood Cemetery. It is a photographer's dream if they wish to capture that type of monument. I'm glad you enjoyed this virtual stroll through this well-tended site.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      You would not have heard of these local people, but surely you have heard of Howard Hughes? Anyway, thanks for the visit.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      7 days ago from london

      Lush green vegetation and the verdure is stunning. The sculptures and monuments are sublime and aesthetically pleasing to the senses. Good to read about the philanthropist Caroline Wiess Law and a little history.

      Seems that this place has been designed for the elite. Much Love.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      My husband will accompany me occasionally to cemeteries, but my mother and I were the ones who truly loved visiting them. I find them fascinating!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Heidi,

      I agree that history buffs would enjoy this cemetery. We are well, thanks, and I hope you are also.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 days ago from Sunny Florida

      There are so many very nice grave stones and other monuments in this beautiful cemetery. I like visiting cemeteries when I am searching for my genealogy roots but as nice as it is, I probably wouldn't make a trip just to see the cemetery.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      7 days ago

      It looks like a very peaceful place Peggy - so beautiful. I have always enjoyed walking through cemeteries and have often wondered about the lives of the people buried there.

      Glenwood Cemetery has a wonderful collection of angels and it appears to be very well tended. I love the quote by Evan Esar and how touching the monuments honoring the children. Thank you for the scenic stroll through this lovely cemetery.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      7 days ago from USA

      I don’t know any of the local philanthropists and celebrities buried here but wow is this ever beautiful and serene. It’s too bad we have to die to enjoy such peace and be watched by such sculptures.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Bev and I have spent countless hours touring cemeteries, looking at the monuments, and reading the inscriptions. We both think they are fascinating places of history.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 days ago from Chicago Area

      This would definitely be a great place to visit for history buffs! Thanks for sharing. Hope you're staying well and positive!

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