ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Look at Historical Union Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, MO

Updated on February 26, 2013

Union Hill Cemetery Tombstone

Inscription: B.M. JEWETT M.D. Born Aug 20, 1810 in Greenwich, Mass Died Jan 6, 1879 in Kansas City MO   ANNA M. Born Jun 27, 1848 Died July 24, 1867
Inscription: B.M. JEWETT M.D. Born Aug 20, 1810 in Greenwich, Mass Died Jan 6, 1879 in Kansas City MO ANNA M. Born Jun 27, 1848 Died July 24, 1867

Union Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, MO

I view cemeteries as locations where lives are continuously memorialized. Having driven past this historical cemetery many times, I decided I needed to see its history. The cemetery is over 150 years old. It is the home of many Civil War veterans. In 1849, a cholera epidemic had affected the area. Cemeteries in what used to be called the Town of Kansas, which is now Kansas City, Missouri, and Westport, which still exists, were enjoined, a "union," if you will of victims to the epidemic. This is how the cemetery received its name.

Initially, the cemetery was erected on 49 acres, but is only about 27 acres now. Over 50,000 people are buried here, but many do not have markers. There is a historical society associated with this cemetery.

Union Hill Cemetery is located on what must have been a hill at one time. It is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence. This cemetery with its markers and fence looked very distinct against the well taken care of green lawn that was garnished with yellow dandelions. In the entrance to the cemetery, to the right, a very old small white house stood which could cause a visitor to wonder if at one time a groundskeeper was employed to greet people, or to help people locate a specific gravesite. There was also a sign posted on the house indicating the cemetery is an historical site and that tours are self-guided.

After passing the house, again to the right, there was a wide open area with just a few markers. I wondered if possibly there used to be other markers at one point in time because the markers are very old. I was curious about the graves having no markers. Some of the graves dated back to the Civil War era.

As I continued my exploration, I was thinking how at one time this cemetery must have been just part of a growing city, and that now it's only near the heart of an ever and on growing city with suburbs. With nearby buildings being converted into upscale apartments, some of which rest only a few feet from the wrought iron fence enclosing the old gravesites, there is an interesting reinvention of opinion that seems to take place. Who would want to live next to a cemetery? That's a commonplace query. It seems ordinary to not choose to reside so close to one, but in light of the historical beauty of this cemetery plus the downtown area convenience, acceptance and desire are noteworthy.

On my first trip to this cemetery, I noted a 5 mph speed limit sign, but was concerned I should not be driving the pathway because it was very narrow. Upon seeing a couple of other vehicles inside, I proceeded. I noted joggers presuming they lived nearby, and watched them running back and forth through the paved paths as if they were strolling through a park.

The first Civil War marker I paid attention to was inscribed "Sam. L Troutman." There was a dot between the "m" in Sam and the "L" and I wondered if it was a shortened version of the name, Samuel. The marker had obviously undergone the effects of weather and time. There was a tombstone dedicated to "La Hines" containing an old base with a newly erected monument made of red tinted marble. There were tree trunk designed tombstones which were interesting to observe. One of the designed included a squirrel. This type of creative or artistic marker seemed to be more personal.

There were a lot of square and rectangular shaped markers. Some of the older ones were not legible at all, but pronounced antiquity. There was one I saw causing me to wonder if it ever contained an inscription.

There were two tombs, the fronts of which were abutted against the earth in that the rest of the tomb was buried. One held the family name of Gree and the other of McGee, the latter dating back to 1884.

A lot of old markers were overcome with moss and weather effects. The newly designed markers were of engraved marble. Some of the old markers had raise letters causing me to wonder about the concrete casts or forms that were used at one time. There were few I recalled seeing that had inverted engraving. Another interesting marker had gates on it that were open and a dove was depicted at the top, and below the gates were the words, "enter in."

On my second journey to the cemetery, the sun was out and the lawn was wonderfully green. I remember thinking if I lived closer to this cemetery, I would want to plant flowers near several of the grave sites, especially in the section for infants. There were so many markers dating back to the late 1800s.

One comparison in markers I noted was of the surname, Swain. The older marker on the left had a very interesting architectural design at the top which depicted some type of cover with tassels. I wondered if it was just a design the surviving members had selected, or if it was representative of some favorite cover or blanket. When you look to the right of the marker, you immediately note the new condition and casting material of marble.

With most of the markers I was draw to, they dated to the late 1800s. I would imagine a group of family members standing in a half circle nearby with the men dressed in black with dusty boots and women in their long dresses and bonnets.

The monumental markers stood quite tall and several had begun to lean from the ground settling. As I looked across the grounds, I thought of how many people were buried there, what their lives must have been like and what kinds of goals could they have had. In looking at each marker, a life was represented. In noticing the styles of some of the markers, I tried to decipher or at least imagine what the meaningful message was with each image or message. Aside from realizing the cemetery existed during the Civil War, I wondered how much history existed in this cemetery.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)