History of Davis Cemetery District

The Davis Cemetery District was formed in 1922. The District is located in eastern Yolo County and encompasses 42.28 square miles (27,699 acres).  In 1958 the catholic Diocese deeded three acres of cemetery land to the Davis Cemetery District, originally donated to the Diocese by the Chiles family. The District purchased twenty additional acres from George Chiles between 1962-1964.

The Davis Cemetery, perhaps the oldest cemetery in Yolo County, was named a “historical site” by the Davis City Council in 1985. The earliest remaining grave markers in the Cemetery are from 1855, on land originally owned by Colonel Joseph B. Chiles. Few burial markers from the mid-1800’s exist today. The earliest settlers, predominantly Chinese, now lie unmarked due to the havoc caused by vandals and grass fires over the years, which destroyed all but one remaining wooden grave marker. However, headstones of all descriptions still mark the burial place of many pioneers.

The Davis Cemetery District currently maintains one 27 acre cemetery. The Davis Cemetery, formerly Davisville Cemetery, consists of 16 acres of active cemetery and 14 acres of undeveloped land.

Health and Safety Code Background

Public cemetery district are single purpose special districts established and regulated under provisions of the Health and Safety Code, Part4, Sections 9000 et seq.

Cemetery districts are legally authorized to provide standard cemetery functions, including land acquisition, cemetery maintenance, and grounds keeping. Districts also conduct activities attendant to burials and disinterment. Districts finance services through property taxes, the sale of burial plots, charges for openings and removals, and setting of markers. A district can also raise month through gifts or donations.

A board of supervisors shall appoint a board of trustees of a least three or five members. Each person appointed shall be a voter in the district and serve a four year term.  Each district is governed and managed by the trustees and shall meet a t least once every three months, subject to the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act.  A provision of law also exists for the board of supervisors to act as the board of trustee of a district if necessary.

Residents and taxpayers of the district, former residents and taxpayers who acquired interment rights while they were residents or taxpayers of the district, eligible nonresidents of the district (pursuant to Section 9061) and all family members (pursuant to Section 9002(e) may be interred in district cemeteries.

An endowment care fund is intended to defray the cost of care and maintenance if and when a cemetery district no longer received revenue from the sale of plots and related services. The trustees of a district set the rate of the endowment care fund pursuant to the Health and Safety Section 8738.