The Wildwood Cemetery was consecrated as burial land soon after the hospital opened. The first burial was
October 22, 1885. For many years the hospital was used as a sanitarium for patients with TB and other highly infectious diseases. Many patients were separated from family and subsequently died at the
hospital. The cemetery provided a dignified place of interment.
Over the years, Wildwood Cemetery has become the resting place for more than 3,600 people. Concrete blocks
with numbers were used to identify the grave sites. Some families had headstones set but the majorities laid to rest in Wildwood Cemetery were identified only by a numbered marker.
Restoring Dignity.....From Numbers to Names
In the mid-1990s, Beatrice Butler, Superintendent of Terrell State Hospital appointed a committee to review
patient death practice. From that committee arose a calling of conscience that the cemetery was in need of attention, the buried needed to be properly identified, markers replaced, and a committed
ongoing maintenance of the grounds established.
The Wildwood Cemetery Association was formed and both Terrell State Hospital staff and community volunteers
joined hands to "Restoring Dignity ... From Numbers to Names". The Association's ongoing efforts, the cemetery and thousands
of persons are being reclaimed and given the respect and dignity every individual has a right to.