Honoring, Preserving, and Memorializing History

Sugar Land City Council approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Fort Bend Independent School District for the future relocation of bodies found buried on Fort Bend ISD's property, to the city’s Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. The city was informed of this discovery on February 19, 2018.

Per an interlocal agreement with FBISD, the City of Sugar Land will provide the individual grave plots for each set of human remains discovered at the FBISD site, and the city is solely responsible for providing ongoing perpetual care of any new gravesites in a manner that is consistent with the perpetual care currently provided to the existing Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. All other costs will be incurred by FBISD or through fundraising efforts coordinated by FBISD.

Honoring and Preserving

The city recognizes the historical significance of this discovery and the importance of honoring and preserving these individuals with the utmost dignity, and memorializing the area’s history for future generations.

Sugar Land is working with the Texas Historical Commission and the Fort Bend Historical Commission to ensure their future relocation to the city’s cemetery occurs under their guidance and direction.

In addition, city leaders organized a meeting with representatives of the Texas Slave Descendants Society - a group now called the Convict Leasing and Labor Project - and local activist Reginald Moore, to discuss preliminary relocation plans and conceptual ideas for enhancing and memorializing the cemetery.

Future Plans

Under the terms of the agreement with FBISD, the city will be responsible for:

  • costs of designing the layout and location of the interment for grave plots for each individual uncovered;
  • the procurement and placement of permanent markers for each grave plot;
  • the maintenance of the cemetery; and,
  • future park development to include walking paths, interpretive historical information and parking.

This website will be updated as the process moves forward.

More Resources

Books

  • Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867 – 1912 by Donald R. Walker
  • Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon 

Video

The Old Imperial Farm Cemetery

City Manager's Task Force

The City of Sugar Land and Fort Bend ISD have entered into an inter-local agreement that allows for the interment of the human remains at the Sugar Land Old Imperial Prison Farm Cemetery. As such, the City Manager’s Task Force work is concluded and the meeting scheduled for tonight (Nov. 7) has been canceled. Fort Bend ISD is assuming the leadership of the group, which will be restructured to serve as an advisory committee for the District.

For information on the formation of the new advisory committee, please contact Fort Bend ISD’s Chief Communications Officer Veronica Sopher at Veronica.Sopher@FortBendISD.com.

The first meeting of the Cemetery Task Force took place on September 5, 2018.

Previous Task Force Meetings

Date  
September 19            T. E. Harman Center | Meeting Summary
October 3 City Hall | Meeting Summary
October 17 City Hall | Meeting Summary

Have Additional Questions?

Fort Bend Independent School District
Veronica Sopher
Chief Communications Officer
[Veronica.Sopher@fortbendisd.com]

City of Sugar Land
Doug Brinkley
Assistant City Manager
[dbrinkley@sugarlandtx.gov]