San Pedro Cemetery Centennial Celebration 2009
Centenario del Cementerio de San Pedro
The public is invited to come celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Cementerio San Pedro, located at the intersection of Posey Road and Old Bastrop Highway (Hwy 21). Established in 1909, San Pedro cemetery has had a very rich history. At a time when our country and state were highly segregated by race, class, and ethnicity, local Mexicans formed a mutual aid society to help people with the expenses involved in funerals. The society’s first officers were Antonio Sanchez (president), Pablo de la Rosa (secretary), Alejandro Rodriguez (treasurer and caretaker), Jose Guerrero (vice president), Ramon Rivera (substitute secretary), and Rosendo Arredondo (collector). Luis Rosales and others helped collect money from Mexican and Mexican American residents in the area to purchase approximately two acres of land. A group of 47 men is listed on the By-Laws as founders of the Cemetery. Records from 1915 indicate that the Association had approximately 300 members, and in 1933 they purchased another 2 acres. Based on the By-Laws, the association wanted to preserve the right for persons of all means and all faiths to bury their loved ones.
With increased urbanization and racial and ethnic integration after WWII, San Pedro Cemetery was relatively neglected, but local residents and members of the founding families revitalized it in the 1960s. Now, the San Pedro Cemetery Association is one of the few surviving mutual aid societies in Texas and the U.S.
San Pedro’s centennial celebration also commemorates the Mexican-Catholic Holiday of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. According to current board members, some relatives and friends of the deceased in San Pedro celebrate Dia de los Muertos by making home altars and decorating graves. The public is invited to learn more about the holiday and the cemetery. We are especially interested in having persons familiar with San Marcos and San Pedro attend to help us document the history and traditions of the local community, especially through photos, memorabilia, funeral announcements, and anything else related to San Pedro. Texas State University students will be available to record stories, folklore, and oral histories prior to and during the celebration.