Concordia Cemetery is what remains of a 900 acre ranch and community owned by Hugh and Juana Maria Azcarate Stephenson established in the 1840s. Juana Maria died in 1856 of injuries when a deer she had raised as a fawn gored her. She was buried near a chapel on the property. Later, her remains would be moved to the French family plot at the Concordia Cemetery.
In 1867, much of the ranch was confiscated by the federal government as reparations for the civil war. Some of the land was purchased by Albert H. French, who was the son-in-law of Hugh Stephenson, and resold to the Stephenson heirs for a 1 dollar.
The cemetery was established in 1883 by J. B. and Benancia Leahy. Mrs. Leahy was the daughter of Hugh and Juana Maria Stephenson. The first Sexton of the cemetery was Louis Wolf. When first established, the cemetery was more than two miles outside the city limits. Now, it is surrounded in all directions.
There are over 65, 000 burials with occasional layovers for former Mexican presidents, governors, generals, and other dignitaries. Many of El Paso’s pioneers are buried in Concordia. They stopped counting in 1985 so the actual number of burials are unknown. Concordia Cemetery depends on community service volunteers for maintenance. The Jewish Sections are still privately maintained.
Concordia Cemetery is contained on 52 Acres and has 10 Distintive areas or Sections:
2 Jewish (Orthodox and Reformed)
Catholic (American and Mexican)
Black (There’s a Black Masonic within)
Pauper Sections for City and County Burials (Burial records for these areas have not been located)
Please note that the Jewish Cemeteries have separate Find a Grave locations and any memorials for those locations should be placed in that respective cemetery.
The Buffalo Soldier Memorial pays respect for African-American soldiers. 52 of which are buried in buried in Concordia.
Approximately 20% of the grave sites are unmarked or deteriorated as to be unreadable. Sections are easy enough to determine but specific tiers, rows, and lots are not.
Concordia Cemetery was more of less full sometime in the mid 50s. After the 1960s burials became “creative” and some roads and pathways were filled with the dead. With the possible exception of the Chinese Cemetery and family plots, all burial locations are occupied. That being said, Concordia Cemetery is still active and it is still possible to be buried in a shared family grave.
Concordia Cemetery is a Texas Historical Cemetery and is under the guardianship of the Concordia Heritage Association