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Exploring Historic Cemeteries: His Grave Taunts the KKK!

April A to Z Challenge 2020: It’s that time of year! Every April, bloggers around the world make posts for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to make friends online. Here’s my post for today:

[The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy stuff after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.]

Trinity Cemetery gates. photo (c) Tui Snider
Trinity Cemetery gates. photo (c) Tui Snider

First Black Millionaire in Texas

William “Gooseneck” McDonald was born in 1866 to parents who had both been slaves. Yet in his lifetime, he became a successful businessman and politician. McDonald was so successful, in fact, that he became the first black millionaire in Texas!

Obelisk erected for Gooseneck Bill McDonald. photo (c) Tui SniderObelisk erected for Gooseneck Bill McDonald. photo (c) Tui Snider
Obelisk erected for Gooseneck Bill McDonald. photo (c) Tui Snider

Opulent Obelisk in Trinity Cemetery

Gooseneck McDonald is buried in Trinity Cemetery, which is the black section of Fort Worth’s Oakwood Cemetery. As you can see, his 38-foot-tall obelisk towers over the other monuments in the burial ground.

Obelisk erected for Gooseneck Bill McDonald. photo (c) Tui Snider
Obelisk erected for Gooseneck Bill McDonald. photo (c) Tui Snider, inset photo via Wiki Commons

Full View of the Local KKK Building

This pricey monument was placed in a very particular spot, however. McDonald made sure that his monument stood in full view of the building where the local faction of the KKK met!

Learn More & Take a Virtual Cemetery Tour with Me:

I recently paid a visit to Gooseneck McDonald’s magnificent monument and shared a video to YouTube. Come along with me to learn:

  • What do obelisks symbolize?
  • How did William Gooseneck McDonald use his grave to taunt the KKK in Fort Worth, Texas?
  • What does it mean when Christians use ancient Egyptian symbols in graveyards?
  • And more!

Learn more at my Historic Cemetery Podcast & YouTube Channel:

Do you have questions about headstone symbols? Drop by my YouTube channel and let me take you one some virtual cemetery tours! You can also tune in to my 30-minute historic cemetery podcast on the first Tuesday of each month: Tombstone Tuesday with Tui Snider.

READ MY BOOK: If you enjoy historic cemeteries and want to learn more, check out my book: Understanding Cemetery Symbols. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and ebook form.

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Tui Snider
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    • Same here! And agreed. What a man that Gooseneck McDonald was. Wonder what he’d be doing if he were alive today?

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