The area now known as Pioneer Cemetery is composed of the remnants of four early graveyards. The graves, dating back to the 1850’s, include many of Dallas’ early settlers and civic leaders. Two of the graveyards that now make up Pioneer Cemetery were associated with early Dallas fraternal organizations. The earliest marked grave in the section once known as the Tannehill Lodge #52 Masonic Cemetery is that of Elizabeth McPherson who died in 1853. R. P. Rodgers (d. 1852) is the oldest known interment in the section once belonging to Dallas Lodge #44 of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Some of the land nearby was once used as a cemetery by the Hebrew Benevolent Association.
The property was deeded to Congregation Emmanuel in 1912, and in 1956, the graves were moved to the Emmanuel Cemetery. The fourth section, known as Old City Cemetery, was formally deeded to the City of Dallas in 1871. Its oldest marked grave, that of John Henry Long, is dated 1870. The last burials in what is now called Pioneer Cemetery took place in the latter part of the 1920’s. The monuments that have remained over time are significant reminders of the history of the City of Dallas.