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.
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.
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the clients serviced by TSH.
Through fundraisers, donations, and volunteers, we supply services and items that the state cannot supply by law or by limitation of funds.
Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.