The burials in this cemetery reflect the early history of Hemphill as a developing commercial center and seat of government. The oldest marked grave dates from 1867, nine years after the town was founded. The early gravestone marks the burial site of pioneer settler Marier C. Morris (1845-1867), the daughter of Jubal H. Ragan, an early area physician.
Early records of the cemetery were lost in an 1875 courthouse fire, but it believed the original tract of land for the burial ground was donated by Simon Newsome Beckom and William T. Morris. The site was later enlarged by additional donations of property. The first school in the area, the Sabine Valley Institute, was located in a Masonic Lodge building on adjacent land which was also used for early religious services.
Burials here include those of pioneer area settlers, prominent local merchants, and businessmen, veterans of several wars, early leaders of the community, and elected officials of the city, county, and district levels of government. Also interred here is Simeon R. Williams, who served this area as a state legislator.
Still in use, the historic Hemphill Cemetery serves as a reminder of the area's rich heritage.