The following article from July 3, 1875 in the Dallas Weekly Herald explains how Trinity Cemetery came into existence. Messrs. Gaston, Thomas & Morton, the proprietors of the new cemetery, have been pushing matters with commendable zeal. They now have the entire grounds, thirty acres, enclosed with a neat and substantial fence. There are fourteen hundred lots in the cemetery, each twenty-two feet square, while the streets are twenty-five feet wide and the alleys six. The grounds were surveyed and mapped out by Captain W. M. Johnson, our efficient city engineer, and reflects credit upon his skill and judgment. The cemetery is located on the McKinney road, adjoining the place of Mr. John H. Cole. The large gates are at the east and west corners.
Another article from the Dallas Weekly Herald printed on November 13, 1884 explains how Trinity Cemetery became known as Greenwood Cemetery:
Our reporter took an excursion over the Belt street railroad yesterday and, leaving the cars where the road turns out of the McKinney road, walked out to Trinity cemetery. This silent city of the dead is truly a beautiful location and, although it is small for so large a city as Dallas, it can be made as beautiful a cemetery as can be found in all the land. Young forest trees and cedars abound, which, if trimmed up properly and with nice shelled walks and drives winding among them, would make it a lovely spot for the repose of the dead. About three-fifths of the ground is already taken up.
Many of the lots
are nicely improved, some in one way, and some in another. Many imposing monuments and tombstones are to be seen, mementos of affection for the loved and lost, and on all sides the hand of woman, mother, wife, sister or daughter, is to be seen in the lovely flowers and trailing vines that bloom and grow above the resting places of those who were so loved in life. There is no higher mark of civilization, no stronger proof of refinement and of an elevated morality of the people, than is the attention paid to their cemeteries. We may moralize upon death and philosophize as we may. Reason may tell us that death is the common lot of all and that we should not grieve, but when the time comes that we are called upon to shut the coffin lid upon the face and to heap the clods of the valley upon the bosom of one we love, philosophy and reason are but as the idle winds. When we see the tired eyelids pressed down on tired eyes that brighten no more at our coming; see that one we have over so fondly and tenderly loved, still and cold in death, logic and argument-thought itself is as nothing. All that is left us is a memory, a memory twined about with the cypress of sadness, enshrouded in the pall of grief. All we can do for our dead is to beautify the place where we have put them away, and what is more appropriate for this than trees and vines and flowers and lichens and mosses. As they will live again, so will the flowers and grasses that grow and bloom about them every spring time after the autumn of their fading.
Trinity cemetery belongs to a private company, if we are not mistaken, and it is certainly not amiss to suggest that they improve the grounds-not the burial lots, but improve the grounds by making walks and drives, by cutting out the undergrowth, by trimming up the trees and by setting out evergreens and shrubbery along the walks and drives. It is not amiss, either, to suggest that a street railroad (streetcar) to the cemetery would pay. Hundreds of people who have friends buried there would patronize it every few days, who now, on account of the distance, are debarred the pleasure of frequent visits, and it is a pleasure, sad and solemn though it be, to visit the graves of our dead.
Transcribed by Jim Wheat for his Dallas County Archives collection.