The International & Great Northern Railroad reached the new town of Rockdale in January 1874. Among the early residents were brothers Benjamin and Joseph Lowenstein, who opened a mercantile from a tent before the railroad arrived. They and their families were part of a larger contingent of Jewish settlers in the area. By 1879, a reported 100 Jewish residents lived in Rockdale, which boasted and active B'nai B'rith Lodge.Historic Texas Cemetery - 2004
In August 1877, Benjamin and Carrie Lowenstein's son Arthur died and was buried at this site. The following November, the Hebrew Benevolent Association bought the land for use as a dedicated Jewish burial ground. Among those interred here are Henry Goldsticker, a Confederate veteran, and Issac Crown, who died in a disastrous fire in 1888 at Rockdale's Mundine Hotel. One grave, that of Isaac Ensheimer, was placed in a separate part of the cemetery; Ensheimer committed suicide in 1884. The final burial occurred in 1939 and is that of Morris Cohn. The site is a reminder of Rockdale's diverse history.