Elmwood Cemetery to hold 150 year anniversary celebration

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City’s second oldest memorial park, is celebrating its 150th year with a special event to be held on Saturday, October 1, on its tree-filled grounds at 4900 Truman Rd.


“We are proud and privileged to share Elmwood Cemetery with the community, including our nearby northeast neighbors, Kansas City in general, and especially with the families and friends of the more than 30,000 souls who are buried here,” said Simon Abrahms, President of the Elmwood Cemetery Society’s board of trustees, which manages the facility.
The event represents a return to the picnic-style celebrations held in years past at this historical landmark, which opened in September 1872. Designed by renowned landscape architect George Kessler, thematic tours will evoke the original spirit with which it was created as a public park and space to spend time with friends and family, living and passed.


“Because it opened when Kansas City was so young, Elmwood represents an incredible amount of local history, including civil war veterans, city fathers, mayors, police chiefs, and thousands of regular folks who helped make this great city what it is today,” Abrahms said. “We want to celebrate that.”


The 43-acre cemetery is Kansas City’s oldest operating cemetery. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are remembered here – and have been since its founding. This includes notables like Jacob A. Rieger, Mary Atkins, Jacob Loose, and William F. Davis.


The anniversary event is open to the public at no charge and will include live music, a variety of food truck options, as well as guided and self-guided tours of the park, including visits with costumed characters who will share stories of their history and that of Elmwood with visitors.


Elmwood Cemetery Society is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, formed with the mission of caring for and maintaining this important historic site.


As a 150-year-old cemetery, maintenance needs are great. One of the areas of greatest need is in updating the historic Kirkland B. Armour Memorial Chapel to make it more accessible and available to the community. The Chapel has been part of significant life events – funerals, weddings, and baptisms.


To jumpstart that effort, the society has obtained a generous challenge grant from the Prince Charitable Trust – and needs to raise the $45,000 to meet that challenge and create a space that will better serve the community.
Sponsorships are available to businesses and individuals who would like to help defray the cost of the event and to help Elmwood raise needed funds for capital improvements to its 118-year-old Armour Chapel.


The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with nearby parking and shuttle service if needed. For more information, please contact event chair Steve Paddock at steve.paddock74@gmail.com or call Steve at 913-226-7318.

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