The cemetery was established in 1853 and is recognized as an outstanding historical landmark by the Texas Historical Commission and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The cemetery reveals much of the city’s history. Victims of war, gunfights, yellow fever, and choleras are buried there, and their graves are evidence of early conditions in the border town. The earliset burials began in 1853. In 1868, after the cemetery had been in use for 15 years, Charles Stillman deeded the land for the cemetery.