The sprawling and picturesque Pecan Grove Cemetery, which covers more than 20 acres situated along State Highway 5 and sandwiched between Industrial and Harry McKillop boulevards, is the final resting place for more than 2,000 McKinney-area residents, dating back to 1870.
In a less-visited corner of the property is a separate section, known locally as the "Mexican Cemetery."
“These were Mexican immigrants, low income people,” said Jason Hernandez, a McKinney man who has three relatives buried there. “These would have been farmers, railroad workers, migrant workers. The people who built McKinney.”
According to Hernandez, who has researched the burial records that are available, approximately 160 people are buried in the smaller cemetery, which could commonly be called a Potter’s field, or pauper’s grave. Of the people known to have been buried there, nearly 60 of the gravesites are unmarked, Hernandez said.
“My concern is that it will be lost and forgotten,” Hernandez said.
Although the maintenance building for the larger Pecan Grove Cemetery stands just footsteps away from the Mexican Cemetery, the staff is not technically required to keep up with the grounds.
Hernandez hopes he can recruit community support for two specific, upcoming efforts - a cleanup of the cemetery on Valentine’s Day weekend, and help with rebuilding a fence that borders the west side of the cemetery.