Friday, November 4, 2011

Pioneer Cemetery


Boulder marking the cemetery, along Iowa Street.
Pioneer Cemetery, originally called Oread Cemetery, was established shortly after the founding of Lawrence in 1854. Oread was originally the city cemetery until it became too much of a hassle to keep up the cemetery and after 1882, the cemetery fell into disuse. Renamed Pioneer Cemetery in 1928, the cemetery was the burying ground for early Lawrence settlers, Civil War veterans and victims of Quantrill's 1863 raid on Lawrence. Most burials were re-interred in Oak Hill Cemetery and Pioneer was largely forgotten. In 1953 the University of Kansas assumed responsibility for the cemetery and reopened it in 1968. The cemetery is now used for burials for faculty, family and friends of Kansas University.

Thomas Barber's grave.
The large marble obelisk near the center of the cemetery marks the grave of Thomas W. Barber, who was killed in December 1855 during the Wakarusa War. Barber's body was held in the Free State Hotel where he was immediately considered a martyr. His murder inspired John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Burial of Barber", which is inscribed on the two stones on either side of Barber's grave. Barber is also the namesake of Barber County, Kansas and a one-room schoolhouse established on his original claim in 1871 was named Barber and still stands just north of Clinton Lake.

One of the mass grave trenches.
After Quantrill's Raid in 1863, most bodies were buried in two long mass graves. After Oak Hill Cemetery opened, most were unearthed and reburied there. The long trenches that used to be the mass graves can still be seen and four Quantrill burials are still in Pioneer and still have headstones. Due to the years of neglect the cemetery faced, a lot of the headstones have been broken and have been placed in cement in an effort to preserve them. Pioneer Cemetery is a rare quiet spot located in a busy area of Lawrence.

Here are some additional pictures of Pioneer Cemetery.
Chester Hay (1835-1863) gravestone.
Civil War graves from the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry who died of typhoid in 1862.
Gravestone of Mary Jane (1818-1864) and Charles Thomas (1858-1859) Stearns.
Gravestone of Maynard Wolfe Shelly (1928-2002) featuring a mathematical equation.
Epitaph for Leaner D. Speas (1827-1864).
 What Brutus is doing is not called blinking, it's called sleeping. There is a huge difference Gladys and now you are misleading children into think that when they doze at the kitchen table at breakfast they are blinking.

Also, pretty sure there is no "daily allottment" for blinking. You do it as often as you need.

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