Banner Photograph of BRAD CEMETERY - Highway 180 West of Palo Pinto. Taken by Judith Richards Shubert 2009.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Smithfield Cemetery, North Richland Hills, Texas

Smithfield Cemetery North Richland Hills TX US Flag South EntranceSmithfield Cemetery, North Richland Hills, Texas
South Entrance

In the year 1887 the St Louis and Southwestern Railway built their tracks close to the area called Zion in Tarrant County, Texas. As happened with many little towns like this, it was eventually abandoned after the people and businesses began to drift away and relocate closer to the railroad where a new development grew up. This new settlement was called Smithfield, for Eli Smith, the resident who donated land for a church and cemetery.

"By the late 1940s Smithfield reported 350 residents and eight businesses. Nearby North Richland Hills annexed Smithfield in 1958. The Smithfield name survives in several local institutions, including a middle school, and on historical markers at the Smithfield cemetery, Masonic lodge, and two churches."

Lest We Forget a Dedication to Confederate Veterans1861 - 1865
Dedication to the Memory
of those Confederate Veterans
that Served the South with
Honor Courage and Valor

Eli Smith Smithfield Cemetery TX Historical Commission SignEli Smith
Texas Historical Commission
(Mar. 11, 1848 - Jan. 27, 1879)

A native of Missouri, Eli Smith moved to Texas in 1859 with his parents. They settled in this part of Tarrant County, and in 1868 Smith married Sarah J. Hightower. About 1876 Smith donated part of his farmland to the community, then known as Zion, for a Methodist Church and cemetery. Residents of the area honored Smith for his generosity and community service by renaming the settlement Smithfield. Smith remained an active Mason and a successful farmer until his sudden death shortly before his thirty-first birthday. He is buried at this site. (1984)

Tombstone Eli Smith with children's tombstones nearby Smithfield CemeteryTombstone Eli Smith Family Smithfield Cemetery TXTombstone Eli Smith Family Smithfield Cemetery Texas

Tombstone Eli Smith Family Smithfield Cemetery in North Richland Hills TX

Eli Smith

Born Mar. 11, 1848
Died Jan. 27, 1879
Aged 30 Yrs. 10 Mos.
& 16 Dys.

Order of the Masons Symbol

Tombstone Mary Idena Smith daughter of Eli and S. J. SmithMary Idena
Dau. of
Eli & S. J. Smith

Born Oct. 8, 1872
Died July 22, 1887

Ancient Cedars in Smithfield Cemetery, North Richland Hills, Texas

Ancient Cedars
of Smithfield Cemetery




Smithfield Cemetery, Tarrant County, Texas, Digital Photographs. 2009. Privately held by Judith Richards Shubert, Fort Worth, TX. 2009.


Smithfield United Methodist Church - North Richland Hills, Texas, : accessed July 31, 2009.

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Smithfield, Texas" (accessed July 31, 2009).

Cemeteries Photographed by Allen Wheatley, Cemeteries Index for Smithfield Cemetery, North Richland Hills, Tarrant County, : accessed July 31, 2009.


  1. Beautiful pictures! I have been there but I don't remember it being as pretty as you make it look. Now I have yo go back. Great job, Judith!

  2. Thanks, Diane. It is a very pretty place. I was surprised a little at how quiet it was since it sets between two major highways in the middle of the little area that once was called Smithfield.

  3. really good to choose subjects like this....

  4. Thanks, Vinu, for reading my blog. I enjoyed my morning at Smithfield Cemetery.

  5. Just found your website. I am James Eli Smith (named after THE Eli); my grandmother along with several other family members are interred this cemetery. Thank you for the lovely, respectful treatment.

    Jim Smith

  6. Jim, thank YOU for your nice note. Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever actually sees my photos and comments about the cemeteries I visit. You have just encouraged me and I appreciate so much your kind words. I really feel good that a descendant of Eli Smith read my blog and liked my treatment of his family buried there.

    Smithfield is a beautiful cemetery and even though it is between 2 major streets and in the middle of the little town known as Smithfield, you barely know it when you are visiting there.

    Thanks again for your note. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    Judy Shubert

  7. Judith,
    So happy that the group has made such tremendous improvements to the cemetary. I've been in the area close to 50 years and always saw this as such a beautiful & historic part of the community.

    I'm retired from the City of NRH & been privileged to help cut some city 'red tape' through Vickie Coles involvement with the Association. The Associations work is great!

    Randy Shiflet

  8. Thanks, Randy, for the note. I'm so pleased that you and Jim Smith have found my post and are pleased with it. I love to trek through cemeteries, and especially love those in Texas. I'm not associated with the cemetery in any way, but felt that it was a place I wanted to record in some small way here on my blog.

    Shiflet - a name I well remember from growing up in Mineral Wells. Your father was an inspiration to SO many of us in school with him as our teacher.

  9. How do I contact regarding information about Smithfield.

  10. Hello,
    If you need to contact the Cemetery personnel directly, the number is 817-281-5278. You can email me at and I will try to answer questions about the location of the cemetery and take a photograph of a tombstone if you need me to do that. I have added 2 pictures to this post with the sign and front gate if that helps.

  11. Thanks Judith. I am 58 years old and went to school there when a child. I can assure Dianne she remebers correctly. Even when I was a child, it was in pretty bad shape. My grand parents are buried there, I understand my grand father has an nmarked grave there and I always wanted to put a headstone for him.

    Does anyone know if the cemetery records still exist and how would I go about finding his unmarked grave. My father, who is now fairly old, said he cannot remember where it is, just approxmitaly and it was agains the fence towards main street. Any help would be good.

    Bill D. Moreland
    Now living in Georgia

  12. we have only lived in watauga for alittle over two years. we drive by Smithfield cemetry just about husband and i always tell each other that it would be great to walk thru the cemetry and look at all the can just tell by looking at it that it holds a lot of history. is it possible to just walk thru it at any given time,or do you have to permission?

  13. Hello ~
    The cemetery is full of historical significance and beauty and I'm sure you will enjoy your walk through it. Unless they have had a lot of vandalism in the last year since I was there and had to lock all the entrances, you do not need permission to visit. I entered through the south gate. I don't remember whether it was a small individual gate beside the large gate used by vehicles or the larger gate. But in either case, enjoy your visit.

  14. I visit this cemetary regularly and it's very sad to see that this historic cemetary isn't maintained. It's overtaken with weeds and it's not kept up. It's a shame that a cemetary that holds so much history has fallen by the wayside.

  15. Are there any grave sites left in the cemetery?

  16. My husband was buried there October 2013. I am still waiting for the grave to be leveled.

  17. After over four (4) years, and numerous phone calls back then to your caretaker, my near and dear friend STILL does not have a headstone.

  18. Hi, Judy! I'm a born and bred North Carolinian (from Kings Mountain), now residing in North Richland Hills, only a mile or so from Smithfield Cemetery. I drive by the Smithfield Cemetery quite often but have never ventured in. Our American Heritage Girls troop, however, voted to serve there for our service project this month. We will be helping to clean up the grounds and we will place flowers around and a wreath at the veteran's monument. If anyone needs me to keep a look out or special care of a particular gravesite, please let me know! I'll keep an eye out on this blog for any requests and I think it will send me an email if you make a follow-up comment.

  19. I remember this cemetery well. In the 70s and 80s, I attended the child care center in the little red church that backs up to it. Over the years, I am 43 now, I have thought about the cemetery, but never looked into its history until now. I now live in Baltimore, but next time I am in Texas, I plan to pay a visit and explore its history.


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