In March 1892, a delegation of Lubbock residents requested five acres of pasture land from rancher H.M. Bandy for use as a cemetery. That same month, they held the first burial, that of a Cochran County cowboy, Henry Jenkins, who died of pneumonia while staying at a local hotel. The first Lubbock resident buried at the city cemetery was Joseph R. Coleman, who died in June 1892. His small cross-shaped headstone, no longer in existence, was the first erected in the cemetery.Historic Texas Cemetery - 2002
The cemetery has held as many as four separate burial grounds, segregated by race, faith and economic level. Records indicate various and distinct cemetery associations maintained these burial grounds throughout the 20th century. One such group, Los Socios del Sementerio, or associates of the cemetery, provided for the burial of area migrant workers. The cemetery was integrated in the late 1960s.
With more than 60,000 graves, the City of Lubbock Cemetery is one of the largest in Texas. Burials here represent a broad cross-section of the city's history. Among those interred here is the noted rock and roll musician and songwriter Charles Hardin Holley (Buddy Holly).