Faces Of Elmwood Cemetery: Mattie F. Rhodes

Since 1872, Elmwood Cemetery at 4900 E. Truman Rd. has been the final resting place for many notable people that made an impact in Kansas City. While their faces may no longer be familiar, many of those names carry on today. This month, the Northeast News is featuring some of those familiar names laid to rest there.

Mattie F. Rhodes July 1 , 1871 – October 1, 1890

The namesake for the Mattie Rhodes Centers, located at 1740 Jefferson and 148 N. Topping, was born in Kansas City, the third of four children. As a member of the Central Presbyterian Church, she worked alongside ten other girls in her Sunday School class to form the Little Gleaners, sewing clothing for needy children and volunteering at the children’s hospital.


After contracting a life-threatening case of typhoid fever, young Mattie requested her $500 inheritance be used for continuing the work of the Little Gleaners. After her passing at age 19, her friends set about increasing the amount bequeathed, selling handmade clothing items and holding socials. By 1894, the Mattie Rhodes Memorial Society began a legacy that has assisted those in need for over 100 years.


Mattie Rhodes is buried in the family plot along with her parents, John and Catherine, brother William and his wives Olive and Mildred, and sister Irma with her husband Norman Morrison.

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