Editor: Shannon Cottongame
September 21, 2022
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Whitney’s Bethlehem Cemetery as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. The designation honors Bethlehem Cemetery as an important and educational part of local history.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the marker will be held Wednesday, October 26, at Bethlehem Cemetery. Speakers for the morning will include The Honorable F.B. (Bob) McGregor, Jr. The Hill County Historical Commission welcomes the public to share in and witness this historic event.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. The designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.
A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic.
There are three types of Texas Historical Markers. Subject markers are posted solely for public education awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection.
Unlike subject markers, the RTHL must also meet a third criterion—architectural integrity. Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) markers identify cemeteries which have obtained the THC designation and whose histories have been researched in detail.
Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year.
The THC’s Official Texas Marker Policies are outlined in the Official Texas Historical Marker Procedures, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 254-463-5853 or visiting the web site at http://www.thc.texas.gov.