Waco Holds Open Meeting Regarding Reburial of Remains - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Waco Holds Open Meeting Regarding Reburial of Remains

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(KCEN) – Seven years after their discovery, the city of Waco is still debating what to do with the remains of over 200 people. The remains were found in 2007 during the construction of the Texas Rangers Company "F" Headquarters, just a few yards away fromFirst Street Cemetery.

John Wilson, a member of the committee handling the reburial says the discovery was extraordinary for Central Texas. "It's unprecedented to find the remains of this many people from a community in one place," Wilson said.

Years have come and gone and the remains are still inside the Texas Rangers facility, waiting to be reburied. "I mean I think it has taken quite awhile,” Wilson said. “Due diligence is never a quick process."

For years, the city has worked closely with the Texas Historical Commission and archaeologists to get permits and extensive research.

First Street is the oldest cemetery in the city, dating back to the 1850's. That's why there is speculation and little detail as to why the remains would have been unmarked.

Assistant City Attorney Annette Jones says the Brazos River could have washed away the markers during floods. Record flood waters of 41 feet hit the area in 1936. But old newspaper accounts talk about a lack of markers altogether. “If you look at the records that we have, it appears that it was never really kept all that well,” Jones said.

Now the city of Waco is making it right, looking for feedback from the public on everything from where the remains should be buried to what they should be buried in and how they should be honored.

"When you place it all in perspective, we just need to be careful and make certain that we do things the way that we would want to be handled,” Wilson said.

An open meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 8th at 6:00pm at the Waco Multipurpose Center. If you can’t attend the meeting, but would like to submit your comments, email them to trish@ci.waco.tx.us by July 11, 2014.

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