Bennett Family Gardens

At the heart of Laurel Oaks Memorial Park in Mesquite, Texas is the historic Bennett Family Gardens with its earliest recorded burial dating back 172 years from the present date to 1847, the first year after the Republic of Texas joined the Union. Hiram Bennett, a Franklin County, Georgia native and the patriarch of the Dallas County Bennetts, received a land grant and came here with his family in the mid 1840's as part of the Peters Colony, farming the land. Having arrived prior to 1846, the Bennett family were Citizens of the Republic and all of their descendants qualify as sons and daughters of the Republic.



According to a record in the Bennett family Bible, the earliest known burial here was that of Terniece C. Bennett, a grandchild of Hiram Bennett and daughter of William Hardy and Sydney Bennett who died at birth in 1847. Two of the earliest legibly marked graves are those of Sarah S. Futrell and Arcadia M. Futrell who both passed away in 1878.

On July 22, 1888, the day after his death, the Dallas Morning News published the following on its front page, "Mr. Hiram Bennett, the oldest man in this county, died this afternoon, about 1:30 o'clock, aged 93 years. He was surrounded by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even little ones of the fourth generation. To the day of his illness, his mind was clear and bright. He was universally admired, having been a moral and good man and a lifetime member of the Primitive Baptist Church."

In the years that ensued, many descendants, relatives, and friends of the Bennetts followed, among them Citizens of the Republic (as already mentioned), Civil War veterans, and Woodmen of the World. In addition, there are a number of primitive markers that are no longer legible and a few hand carved stones. All of the above constitute the unique and rich historical significance that sets Bennett Family Gardens apart.


An application for the Bennett Family Gardens to be a Texas Historical Site was approved in 2020.  November 4, 2022, we had a dedication ceremony for being the recipient of a Texas Historical Marker, attended by many dignitaries, a high school ROTC flag presentation, a local high school band, and of course many Bennett family heirs. 

The legacy of the Bennett Family was extended with the purchase of the land by Laurel Land Corporation in 1905 and, then, the Hugh Bearden family in 1958. Under the steady leadership of the Bearden family, now in its second generation of ownership, the original cemetery continues to expand as Laurel Oaks Memorial Park, a perpetual care cemetery in a beautiful park setting, and, now, includes Laurel Oaks Funeral Home, a beautiful facility which serves families in Mesquite and throughout Dallas and neighboring counties.

Written October 8, 2019 by James O. Peavey

Laurel Oaks Funeral Home & Memorial Park
Phone: (972) 288-4663
12649 Lake June Road, Mesquite, TX

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