Olathe Memorial Cemetery has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. The following links tell the story of our cemetery from the beginning.
Learn the story of how and why Olathe Memorial Cemetery came to be in the present location.
1864 Church Square
Written on January 9, 1864, this newspaper article talks about the City of Olathe’s original cemetery.
1865 Elvira Beckwith Obituary
Elvira Beckwith was the first person buried in Olathe Memorial Cemetery. Her brother had previously set aside 10 acres of his own land for the City of Olathe to be used as a permanent cemetery.
1868 Church Square
Taken from the Olathe Mirror newspaper on September 24, 1868, the Church Square was the original City cemetery, located near downtown Olathe.
1877 Watts Beckwith Article
Watts Beckwith set aside 10 acres of his own land for the new cemetery. In this letter, he makes his case for the City to buy the property.
1877 A. Carroll Article
This newspaper article urges lot owners to meet regarding the City’s purchase of the land in order to secure the best resting places of their loved ones.
1877 Monument Committee
A letter to the Editor, dated December 20, 1877, discussing the organization of a cemetery committee and how to raise funds for a monument for the fallen soldiers.
1879 Cemetery Purchase
Dated May 22, 1879, this article requests the citizens of Olathe to meet with the City Council to discuss the purchase of Watts Beckwith’s land for the City cemetery.
1879 Decoration Day
Dated May 1, 1879, describes the meeting of the Monument Committee for further discussion on how to proceed with the construction of the G.A.R. Monument.
1893 Decoration Day
Written April 28, 1893, this newspaper article tells about the Olathe Decoration Day celebration.
1907 Proposed Park
Written July 11, 1907, this article explains the need for a City park, where it should be and what activities should be provided for the public.
1924 Soldier’s Monument Plan
Reported May 1, 1924, the City Commissioners met and decided on another Soldier’s Memorial Circle to be added at Olathe Memorial Cemetery.
1925 Earl Collier Memorial
Earl Collier was the first Olathe soldier killed in WWI. This article, written April 30, 1925, describes the fund his parents set up to memorialize him and the others who gave their lives.
1934 Chapel Construction
This article dated, December 2, 1937, reports the construction of the cemetery shelter house was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. It later became the cemetery chapel and now serves as the cemetery office.
1940 Memory Lane
Arbor Day, March 29, 1940, the D.A.R. replanted 24 Maple trees along Memory Lane in the Olathe Memorial Cemetery.
1984 Chapel Restoration
From the Olathe Daily News, September 23, 1984, the City celebrated restoration of the chapel at the cemetery, fifty years after it was built.