Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission

Historic Texas Cemetery Designation

LOCHC Cemetery Chair-Bernard Lemley

Document verifying Oakville Cemetery's Historic Texas Cemetery Designation granted in 2018.


Historic Texas Cemetery Designation Beginning - The Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) Designation Program came into being at the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in 1998. Even though the program is now twenty-two years old, it took time for program definition. 

Lagarto Cemetery received the first Live Oak County Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) Designation in the 1998 HTC charter project because it already had this marker.


Oakville Cemetery was the only other Live Oak County cemetery with a prior Texas Historical Marker at the time.

Prior Official Texas Historical Subject Markers for Cemeteries - Numerous cemeteries throughout the state already had Official Texas Historical Subject Markers before HTC Designation began. To accommodate then existing markers, the THC hired a person to designate one cemetery in every county as an HTC. 

An HTC Medallion with a separate name and date plaque is available to accompany existing official Texas Historical Subject Markers. This medallion with a plaque is available for purchase but not required for pre-existing cemeteries with official Texas Historical Subject Markers.

Current HTC Designation Process: Choosing an HTC Medallion and Plaque or an HTC Interpretive Marker.

  • HTC Designation includes public, private, and government cemeteries. Private and abandoned cemeteries were a big thrust in bringing this program into existence.
  • HTC Designation does not include places where ashes may have been spread but does include sites with mausoleums or designated area for enclosed ashes.
  • One marked grave constitutes a cemetery.
  • HTC Designation Application has no timeline. Application may be submitted at any time and is considered by order received. Incomplete applications are returned, may then be completed and reconsidered by the order received at the time finally resubmitted.
  • Typically, a cemetery association spokesperson connects with the local historical commission cemetery chair, presently Bernard Lemley in LOCHC, and begins the designation process with his help and direction.
  • Numerous responsibilities must be accomplished before an HTC Designation application is complete. Once completed, application for HTC Designation is submitted to the THC. This final designation step usually occurs within no more than a few months.

Two Choices: an HTC Medallion and Plaque or an HTC Interpretive Marker

Choosing an HTC Medallion and Plaque or an HTC Interpretive Marker:

  • HTC Medallions with name and date plaques can be chosen at the time HTC Designation occurs. However, an HTC Medallion with accompanying name and date plague does not include an interpretive narrative text with history of the cemetery.
  • The HTC Medallion is at the crest of an official interpretive Texas Historical Cemetery Marker, therefore a separate medallion is not needed if a cemetery association desires an interpretive text accompanying the Medallion. Depending on the amount of history the cemetery association wishes told, two marker sizes are available.
  • Oakville Historic Texas Cemetery Association received their recognition by making application with the LOCHC Cemetery Chair. Application went to the THC Cemetery Program, which granted designation. The Oakville association acquired a separate HTC Designation Medallion to accompany the present Oakville Texas Historical Marker.
  • George West Historic Texas Cemetery Association applied with the LOCHC Cemetery chair and was granted HTC Designation. Then the association worked with the LOCHC Marker Chair is now approved by the THC Board and Staff. They are expected to receive the George West Historic Texas Cemetery Marker pending approval of text and foundry completion.  
  • Weston-Chapa Historic Texas Cemetery received their THC Designation by working with the LOCHC Cemetery Chair in 2020. They are now working with LOCHC Marker Chair to submit a 2021 THC Application for a Historic Texas Cemetery Marker which category is processed at the same time as other Texas Historic Subject Markers and Recorded Texas Historic Landmark Markers, March 1-May 15, 2021.

How to Acquire an Historic Texas Cemetery Marker:           LOCHC Marker Chair: Richard Hudson

Acquiring an official Historical Texas Cemetery Marker with Documented Interpretive Narrative: 

  • To receive an HTC marker with cemetery history, the cemetery chair and cemetery spokesperson give the local commission's marker chair the cemetery's designation information. 
  • At this point, the cemetery association works with the LOCHC Marker Chair. Together, they complete a documented narrative history, secure funding, a location and sponsor, and submit an official Historic Texas Cemetery Marker Application to the THC during the THC's annual application window presently March 1-April 15, 2021. 
  • HTC Designation does not ensure an HTC Marker award. As with HTC Designation, the HTC application is accepted by the THC when all pieces of the application procedure are complete. THC Program staff does not approve Marker texts; texts are approved by the THC Official Board which meets quarterly during the third week of January, April, July, and October each year.

Documented Interpretive Narrative:

  • The most intensive part of a marker application is the documented interpretive narrative. An HTC Marker application's narrative history contains three sections: Context, Overview, and Significance.
  • Context relates historical data and culture preceding a cemetery's beginning. Property deed information and family or families involved, and significant historical culture and events.
  • Overview relates historical data including deeds, other data regarding size and locations, names of significant persons interred and events and culture related to the cemetery and those people.
  • Significance recapitulates the importance of time, people, events, and culture of the community and county but further states importance to present and future citizens.
  • Application narratives need to be completed and relayed to the Marker Chair by February 15 for edit steps toward completion of application which is to be sent to THC March 1 through May 15 this year. Application fee is $100.00. Acceptance depends on full completion of application, or it is returned and may be resubmitted during the application window of the following year’s window.
  • HTC Marker applications are accepted by the THC Marker Program. They are reviewed and approved or rejected for merit worthiness by THC Staff and then THC Board of Directors at one of their four quarterly meetings. 
  • Approved marker applications are announced after each quarterly meeting. Sponsors are required to make full payment within 45 days of notification. If full payment is not made by that time, approval is null and void. Application for that marker may begin again during any following year of the THC Marker Application window.
  • According to state code, THC Marker Division approved application narratives with full payment are then transformed to Marker Interpretive Text.
  • Marker Interpretive Text goes through a 45 day collaboration between the THC and local county historical commission including marker sponsor. Once agreement is reached, text is submitted to the THC Board of Directors for final THC marker processing. 
  • If text agreement is not reached within the 45 day collaboration, funds paid for the marker are returned to the sponsor except for the $100.00 submission fee. Returned marker requests may be refined and submitted in the next year’s marker application or not, as sponsor sees fit. The $100.00 application fee is waived if application is submitted a second time.


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