Residents Weigh In on Reburial of Remains - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Residents Weigh In on Reburial of Remains

WACO, TX (KXXV) - On Tuesday, Waco residents weighed in on where some of their ancestors should be laid to rest.

The First Street Cemetery Memorial Advisory Committee hosted its only public forum regarding the reburial of 225 sets of remains from First Street Cemetery. These remains were unearthed six years ago during the construction of the Texas Ranger Company F headquarters.

The committee will provide recommendations on the relocation of the remains and memorial services after the reburial. In addition, it will suggest the type of historical markers or signs to be included.

According to committee chair John Wilson, Rosemound Cemetery has been suggested as a possible reburial location. The First Street Cemetery is not an option because more remains could be unearthed.

Pam Thomason, who has uncles buried at First Street, supports the idea for the remains to be relocated at Rosemound. The move would allow her uncles to be buried closer to her grandparents.

She cannot be certain her uncles were among those dug up until DNA tests are done because they were put to rest in unmarked graves. However, she said the reburial at Rosemound would still mean a lot to her family, especially to her dad.

“We have a great family loyalty and you know a great love between him and his brothers and sisters,” said Thomason. “Even if they didn't know this four, they heard about them all their lives. It would be a coming home for him to know that before he passed."

According to Wilson, the city set aside $50,000 to pay for the relocation.

However, it could not afford to pay for other expenses, such as full DNA testing, unless a grant comes along.

Wilson said an associate professor of Anthropology at Baylor University offered to conduct part of the DNA testing at no cost. Families of those buried at First Street Cemetery would pay for another portion of the testing.

The advisory committee hopes to present its recommendations to the city council by next February. The council will ultimately have the final say.
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