Shawnee Cemetery

About this Cemetery

Shawnee cemetery is situated between two cemeteries on Quivira Rd in Shawnee, St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery to the south, and Pleasant View Cemetery to the north.

The land where Shawnee and St. Joseph cemeteries are situated was originally patented to M. P Randall, a Shawnee Indian. M P Randall sold a portion of his land to the Shawnee Town Company, however the land where Shawnee and St. Joseph's cemeteries was not part of the original Shawnee Town.

The Heirs of Randall sold the portion of land where Shawnee and St. Joseph cemeteries are located to Thomas Douglas. On 14 Feb 1874, Thomas Douglas sold this land in part to the Trustees for Shawnee Cemetery Association and to L. M Frink, Catholic Bishop of Leavenworth, for St. Joseph Cemetery. At the time of this sale, both cemeteries were already in existance. Two marked legible 1860s death dates exist in Shawnee Cemetery, and 4 are readable in St. Joseph cemetery. See St. Joseph Cemetery for more information.

Based in the index of legible gravestone inscriptions, cemetery usage took off in 1873, when the cemetery was officially established, with 20 burials each in the 1870s and 1880s. In the 1890s, the number of interments doubled and stayed around this level through the 1920s. After the 1920s the cemetery growth began a slow decline until a sudden growth spurt in the late 1990s to an all-time high of 65 interments. This sudden growth is likely due to the platting of new lots in the existing aisles.

The growth of this cemetery by age group (see chart below) illustrates the pattern of an early pioneer community that struggled, survived, and grew over time. The 1860s and 1870s show a high infant and child mortality rate, and young ages of those interred. As the town grew, the population thrived, life spans lengthened and child mortality dropped.The oldest known person interred in Shawnee Cemetery is Lula I Garrett, 1894-2000.

Interments by Decade by Age Group