Once the oldest public burial ground in Victoria, this square was laid in 1824 when Martin de Leon founded the town, then located in the Mexican State of "Coahuila and Texas". In early years the cemetery included the block to the east, and many Victoria pioneers were interred here. Burials of soldiers in the Texas Revolution took place in 1836 and later.
The cemetery was only occasionally used, however, until 1846, when an ordinance was passed deterring burials in family cemeteries, possibly to combat a cholera epidemic. Many who succumbed were citizens but some were soldiers, under General Zachary Taylor.
As the community grew, a larger plot (now Evergreen Cemetery) was purchased in 1850. Later in the Civil War, Confederate soldiers were interred here, but after the war some members of the Federal Army of Occupation unfortunately destroyed many headstones, so that today most of the gravesites are unknown. As burials here gradually ceased, the ground came to be used for other purposes and since 1899 has been designated Memorial Square. It is today devoted to the preservation of monuments to Texas history and to the remembrance of Texas' honored dead.