Virginia native John Freeman Pettus (b. 1808) came to Texas in the early 1820s as a member of Stephen F. Austin's first colony. During the Texas Revolution he served with Ben Milam in the Siege of Bexar and participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. Soon after moving his family to Goliad County about 1876, he chose this site near his home as the family burial ground. Pettus died in 1878 and was the first buried here. Graves include those of 3 other Austin colonists: Elizabeth Pettus, Sarah Pettus and Phoebe Scott; and a San Jacinto veteran, James Austin Clements.