Historic Preservation

L. Butler Nelson Cemetery

2900 Block Hatcher Street


The L. Butler Nelson Cemetery is a combination of two historic cemeteries - the Woodland Cemetery and the Hillside Cemetery. The earliest headstone dates from 1896. These two cemeteries served the African American community from its establishment until 1969. The names and dates on the headstones document people who came to Dallas as slaves or were first generation free men and women. In 1954, Reverend L. Butler Nelson came to Dallas from Phoenix, Ariona to serve as pastor of the historic Salem Baptist Church. Nelson advocated passionately for the upkeep and preservation of the cemetery, and in 1971 the site was renamed in his honor. Without Reverend Nelson's efforts, it is unlikely that this historic cemetery would have been saved. 

Ordinance #27270

Designations: Dallas Landmark (2008), State Historic Marker Program

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