A tombstone from Warren Angus Ferris Cemetary ended up in Sandra Stevenson’s front lawn. (The Dallas Morning News article, 1982)

A tombstone from Warren Angus Ferris Cemetary ended up in Sandra Stevenson’s front lawn. (The Dallas Morning News article, 1982)

Some people in Forest Hills seemingly live on an old burial ground. Warren Angus Ferris was a prolific American surveyor who charted Yellowstone before coming to Dallas in 1840, where his records note the arrival of city founder John Neely Bryan one year later. He made his home on 80-plus acres along White Rock Creek. He established the cemetery in 1847 after the death of his son, where numerous members of the Ferris family, including Warren Angus himself, also were laid to rest. Over the years, it fell into disrepair and was targeted by vandals. By 1970, only a handful of grave markers remained intact, so the city declared it a public nuisance and made plans to sell the land. One of those tombstones belonged to Rev. Taylor, a black minister who lived nearby and was the last person buried at the cemetery in 1906. Strangely, his marble headstone showed up on the front lawn of Sandra Stevenson at 8614 San Benito in June 1982, seemingly a prank. Around that same time, plans were made to build five houses over the graves. Descendants of those buried in the now-unmarked cemetery implored officials to move the graves, but the city said it was not obligated. The burial sites remained and several houses were built in 1985-86. In 1988, the cemetery earned a marker from the Texas Historical Commission, the only visible remnant of what lies beneath. (Source: The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Central Appraisal District)

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