Mesquite’s Brickyard Cemetery memorialized after decades of limbo

MESQUITE — After decades of obstacles, the city of Mesquite is finally able to properly memorialize the Brickyard Cemetery.

With a century long history, the memorial seems to be well overdue.

The land was originally owned by Schuyler Marshall of the Dallas Pressed Brick Company.  Marshall donated a portion of it to his African American workers in the early 1900s.

Among cemetery plots, he also set aside property for a school, church and homes.

After the plant was sold in the 1920s, the cemetery seemed to get a little lost in translation.

“African American workers were able to bury their family members on the sight but it was never dedicated in county records. So, we didn’t really know that there was a cemetery here until people in the community started calling us and telling us that they remembered one here,” Charlene Orr with Historic Mesquite, Inc. said.

So, in 2005 a Brickyard Cemetery Committee formed, and they created a plan for a proper memorial to preserve DFW’s history.

“Through some work with Historic Mesquite and the local NAACP, we were able to do a survey of the sight and protect it and try to tell the story,” Mesquite City Manager Cliff Keheley said.

After more than 20 years, they’ve made it happen.

“We’re just happy to be here. We’re happy that these people will never be forgotten again,” Orr said.