Saint Rose was designated a Texas Historical Cemetery during a dedication ceremony in August 2008, chaired by Dr. Barbara Welder, chairman of the Bee County Historical Commission, and attended by Lawrence Oaks, executive director of the Texas Historical Commission, state Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles and a representative of state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, George McCarty, president, Saint Rose Cemetery Association, local officials and numerous current and former Bee County residents.
Construction of the pillars and the plaques was made possible by a $3,000 grant received from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and additional funding received from the Lott-Canada Alumni Corporation, a nonprofit organization. The pillars enhance the appearance of Saint Rose and complements Bee County’s paving of the road that runs through the cemetery.
This historic African American burial ground was formally deeded in 1921. However, some burials took place prior to that; with the earliest known burial being that of former slave Nancy Williams dating from 1901. Among the prominent individuals interred here are Mose Lott and Allen Canada, the two men who built the first Beeville schoolhouse for African Americans; several veterans of conflicts dating back to World War I; and Mrs. Mary Canada, who was a mediator between the black and white communities during the “incident free” desegregation of the Beeville Independent School District.
The pillars replaced the wrought iron sign at the main entrance which had been donated by the Juneteenth Committee but was later accidentally damaged.
The Lott-Canada Alumni Association would like to thank the Coastal Bend Community Foundation for its support of this project as well its financial support in obtaining the historical marker.