Founders of Oak Dale community began arriving in 1867. They included: John R. Pickard; George Lidia, who became Pickard's son-in-law; the Rev. James M. Johnson, a Methodist minister; and William Jasper Mefferd. These men and their families, including Johnson's four sons, harvested timber along the Bosque River to build cabins and began farming the land. Samuel Johnson chose Oak Dale as the settlement's name for the abundance of the trees in the area.Historic Texas Cemetery - 2004
By 1868, the wives of both John Pickard and James Johnson were interred here on Pickard's land; the graves are now unmarked. The first marked burial is that of two-day-old Ruth Ann Johnson (d. 1877).
Local residents established Oak Dale School, which consolidated with Stephenville in 1951. There were also a Baptist church and a Methodist church until the mid-20th century, when they likewise moved to the county seat.
Today, Oak Dale Cemetery is a link to the early settlement, which began to decline in population during the Great Depression and World War II. It is the final resting place of generations of area residents, including military veterans of conflicts dating to the Civil War.