A Historic Texas Cemetery With Modernized Services

A Final Resting Place for the Community Since 1881

An Old American Burial Ground Rich With History

Antioch Life Park Cemetery, formerly American Memorial Park Cemetery, is a Texas institution that dates back to the early Grand Prairie settlement, which includes the earliest Black Americans.

One of the First Settlers in Grand Prairie

Migrating from Tennessee and South Carolina and bringing slaves along with them, David and Alexander Jordan settled in the area around 1852. The early slaves who settled with them were reportedly buried in unmarked graves in the “Antioc” Cemetery.

Among these early Black American pioneers was Mose Jordan, Sr., a slave who arrived in the Grand Prairie area with the Jordans (slaves were given the last names of their owners).

The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863

On New Year’s Day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The momentous event was where he uttered the famous words, “I never in my life felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.”

Mose Jordan, Sr. Becomes a Free Man

Following the proclamation in 1863, word was slow to arrive in Texas owing to its being an outpost from Washington, D.C. that did not yet have extensive railroad coverage or telegraph communications.

According to records, Mose Jordan, Sr. was freed by the Jordans around 1865. He was given land to farm and is generally recognized as the first free Black man in what is now Grand Prairie, and possibly, Dallas County.

Consequently, Mose’s offspring, Mose Jordan, Jr. is believed to be the first Black American born in Grand Prairie.


The Establishment of “Antioc” Cemetery

The “Antioc” Cemetery was officially established in 1881 after 200 acres were sold to Charles O'Donnell with a provision that one acre be reserved by Mrs. Eugene Long for fencing a cemetery and building a Catholic Chapel.

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas, based on records dating back to 1856, doubts the Catholic Chapel was ever built.

According to the land records in Dallas County on November 16, 1891, H. M. Moore was a trustee and the grantor of the “Antioc” Baptist Church to the property at Live Stone Lodge No. 152 (chartered 1903).

It also appears from land records that this little cemetery near the shores of modern-day Mountain Creek Lake was at one point at the end of American Memorial Park Cemetery, which has become a part of it over the years.

These land records indicate that “…one-half acre and more fully described lying on the Dallas and Fort Worth Road and being on the south side of said road and being on the A. Cockrell 320-acre survey and being one acre east and west and one half acre north and south containing one-half acre of land; said “Antioc” Baptist Church has a church building on said half acre of land (Trustees – H.M. Moore, W.M. Alexander, L.G. and B.F. Jordan); said land being for church purposes.”

Based on a plat map of the American Memorial Park Cemetery, “Antioc” Cemetery was dedicated in 1896.

The Beginnings of the Free Black Community in Grand Prairie

Mose Sr., along with two other families, established Freetown, which was located east of Grand Prairie on land that is now known as Mountain Creek Lake. This included a cemetery in 1894.

The area of Freetown where the homes were lined up was called “The Line.” This was the place where the history of Black American settlement in Grand Prairie thrived and prospered.

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Father and Son, Both Free Men

Mose Jordan, Sr. was once a slave, but he lived for many more years and died as a free man. He was buried in the White Rock Cemetery in Addison, Texas. His son, Mose Jr., can be found in Antioch Life Park Cemetery in Section A, plot 118. There is no record of the exact burial date.

From American Memorial Park Cemetery to Antioch Life Park Cemetery

On February 3, 1904, it is assumed that the “Antioc” Baptist Church was officially disbanded or merged with another church around that time. However, church history has not been found to verify this information.

A survey was conducted that included all graves in both the Antioch (Antioc) Cemetery and the American Memorial Park Cemetery as the dividing line was indistinct.

Today’s Antioch Life Park Cemetery recognizes the distinct historic areas as the “Antioc” section and the “old cemetery” section. Many veterans of Armed Forces service are buried in Antioch, which recognizes them with ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Wreaths Over America Day.

A Time-Honored Tradition of Great Service

We take pride in our long and colorful history of honoring the dead and paying tribute to their lives. From the older generations up to the present, we are committed to ensuring that we provide our services with dignity and respect.

Honor Your Deceased Loved One With Our Help

Antioch Life Park Cemetery provides funeral and burial services that are more technologically advanced than others. For more details, you may visit our Price and Fees page.