Zeno Phillips, one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old 300" colonists, acquired land here in 1829. Zeno and his brothers John Clark, Sidney, and James Ray (J.R.) Phillips, served in the Republic of Texas Army. The cemetery began with the burial of Zeno and John C. Phillips in 1835. J.R., who inherited part of the property (known as Waverly Place), and members of his family are buried here. Descendants of J. R. Phillips sold the land in 1887. According to local tradition at one time Phillips Cemetery contained about a dozen large granite tombstones, a number of smaller grave markers, and an iron fence.