The ladies in town addressed the need for a cemetery around 1862 when Austin’s population was around 400. They held a meeting on February 1, 1862 at the home of J. L. Davidson. At that meeting, they officially organized the Mite Society and Cemetery Association to purchase and improve land that would be suitable for a cemetery. Mrs. Davidson was elected president and Mrs. Ormanzo Allen was secretary of the new organization.
The Mite Society held meetings every other week in members’ homes. They went alphabetically to ensure everyone got a chance to host. Each member paid 10₵ and meetings were attended by about 80-100 people. Men could attend the meetings but only the women voted. “To talk to some of the old settlers, one would think that the burial society was the center of life and happiness.” Since Austin was a small (but growing) town, the Mite Society meetings were popular social occasions.
Mrs. J. L. Clark hosted the first regular meeting. The women voted to instruct the men to buy the land and the Mite Society would build the fence. They held different meetings and picnics to raise the necessary funds. Around this time, the men formed their own society, the Austin Cemetery Association, on March 15, 1862. Solomon Snow served as chairman and Ormanzo Allen as secretary. They sent out a committee to find land.