Denison takes over three abandoned cemeteries

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DENISON, TX -- In the early 1900's two Denison families donated separate plots of land to build a school and a cemetery.

Now that the school has closed, these two plots could be re-united for a common purpose.

Denison ISD Superintendent Henry Scott said they have about an acre and a half of land where Layne School stood until 2012.

He wants to donate it to the city to be annexed into Layne Cemetery.

"Our thinking would be to honor the memory of that family or those families, that donated that land," he said.

Denison Human Resources Director Rich Hollensed said the city council tabled the issue Monday night...while they look further into the issue.

But it's not the only cemetery on the city's mind.

"We've been taking care of lane cemetery and magnolia cemetery, maintaining those, for a number of years," Hollensed said.

He said they're taking official possession of three cemeteries: Layne, Hoffman and Magnolia.

"Once we took control we could provide rules and regulations for those cemeteries for future burials, and also help to maintain the rich history of those cemeteries," he said.

The city provided basic maintenance work - like cutting grass and trimming weeds - for the past three years by contracting it out to other companies.

But they couldn't put regulations in place.

He said now they can work on getting the cemeteries "up to standards."

"That would be maintaining, resetting stones, resetting broken stones, just looking at the entire beautification of those cemeteries."

Scott said the school board will make the final decision on donating their land to the city later this month.

"I think that's what those family would have wanted, to donate that property back into public use."

Scott said if the School Board approves the land donation, the city will have until July 1st to decide if they'll accept.

If they decline, he said they'll put the land up for sale.

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