Pastoral scene belies bloody siege

PC forest hill.jpg

By Michael Bushnell
Northeast News
August 1, 2012

In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside the Kansas City city limits at 69th and Troost Avenue.

The limestone building shown in the postcard was the receiving vault. Traditionally graves were dug by hand, a procedure that was extremely labor intensive and virtually impossible during the long Midwest winters, so the receiving vault is where bodies were kept when it was too cold for a hand operated shovel to penetrate the frozen earth.Grave digging was resumed during the warmer months of spring and summer.

The lake shown in the card has been filled in and landscaped since then, leaving no trace as to its whereabouts on the grounds. During the early part of the 20th Century, an enormous abbey was built to house burial vaults for families. The abbey is of Roman Renaissance architecture and dominates the grounds, which were an integral part of the Battle of Westport in October 1864. A marker placed by the Daughters of the Confederacy and titled “Shelby’s Last Stand” marks the area where Confederate Gen. Joseph Orville Shelby was forced back by Union Gens. Curtis and Pleasenton.

Shelby used the stone fences running across the property for cover but was eventually outgunned and outnumbered by the advancing Union brigades.

A memorial pays homage to 75 Confederate soldiers from Virginia, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois who died during the siege and who are interred at Forest Hill. Some notable Kansas Citians who are buried here include Boy Scout leader and former Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle, baseball great Leroy “Satchel” Paige, political boss Tom Pendergast and Confederate General Joseph Shelby.

Comments are closed.

  • Cemetery vaults held waiting bodies in historic cemetery

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 30, 2016 In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside […]


    Americans give thanks nearly 400 years

    November 23rd, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 23, 2016 What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast […]


    Polished beauty rode the rails

    November 16th, 2016
    by

    Billed as the first streamlined diesel-powered train between St. Louis and Kansas City, the Alton Burlington, Ozark State Zephyr graces the front of this linen era postcard sent to Meyer Supply Company of St. Louis on Feb 23, 1937. Built entirely of stainless steel, the train was the flagship of Burlington Railway…


    Iconic igloo inspires museum memories

    November 9th, 2016
    by

    If you’ve forgotten what the third floor of the Kansas City Museum looked like when your elementary school booked a field trip there, here’s a little refresher for you…


    When the center isn’t really the center

    November 2nd, 2016
    by

    Depending on whom you ask, the geographic center of the United States could be one of four different places, all in various midwestern states.


  • Halloween’s chilling origins

    October 26th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 26, 2016 Halloween traces its origins to the ancient Celtic holiday “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”), […]


    Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    October 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..


    P&L building lights up KC

    October 12th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 12, 2016 Arguably one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the […]


    A royal treat since 1899

    September 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The roots of today’s American Royal can be traced to 1899 when the fledgling event was referred to as the National Hereford Show.


    Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent Kansas City architect of its day.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCPS gets chance to impress DESE with James Elementary tour

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – James Elementary was one of three buildings in […]

    Mural installation at Scarritt Elementary almost finished

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News caught up with Kansas City […]

    Robbery suspect dies after officer-involved shooting

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News November 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A Kansas City, Missouri police officer shot and […]