Port O’Connor Cemetery Historical Designation Plaque Unveiled

Archived in the category: Announcements, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 16 Apr 15 - 0 Comments
On April 11, following years of research and work, the Port O’Connor Cemetery received its plaque designating it as an Historical Cemetery. Pictured above are some of the Cemetery Committee with Mary Belle Meitzen (far left) of Calhoun County Historical Society.

On April 11, following years of research and work, the Port O’Connor Cemetery received its plaque designating it as an Historical Cemetery. Pictured above are some of the Cemetery Committee with Mary Belle Meitzen (far left) of Calhoun County Historical Society.

Port O’Connor Cemetery

Text from recently installed Historic Marker.

Late in the 19th Century, a small settlement named Alligator Head, named for its particular landscape, developed on the coast of Matagorda Bay in Calhoun County. In 1910, the Calhoun County Cattle Company filed a plat for a town site and named it Port O’Connor in honor of Tom M. O’Connor of Victoria from who the land was purchased. With the establishment of the town, a cemetery site was needed for the rapidly growing community.

The first known burial in the cemetery is that of Lola May McCarty in 1913. The oldest marked grave is that of Juan Pena (1851-1919) but it is highly likely that there are many unmarked graves. Located on the Texas Coast, the cemetery is subject to the harsh effects of the elements. The Hurricanes of 1919, 1941 and 1945 swept the town of Port O’Connor and damaged the cemetery. High winds and rain during these storms destroyed the cemetery and many grave markers were displaced.

The cemetery is the final resting place for many key members of the community. Members of several lighthouse keeping families of the Matagorda Island Lighthouse are buried here. Some graves from Saluria on Matagorda Island were reinterred here due to erosion. Arranged in an east to west formation, the gravestones are comprised of marble, wood, granite, plastic and concrete. Tombstone decorations include ships, anchors, shells and driftwood, reflecting the saltwater heritage of the town. This historic cemetery reflects the determination and survival spirit of Port O’Connor.

Leave a Reply

Untitled Document Visit Calhoun Air Center