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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Linwood Cemetery
CEMETERIES. The City of Dubuque map dated 1852, drawn and published by Joseph C. Jennings, indicated three "grave yards" within the present city limits. One of the three cemeteries was Catholic while the other two were public.

The Catholic cemetery lay at the base of the bluffs behind modern ST. RAPHAEL'S CATHEDRAL. The cemetery was bordered on the north by Third Street, the west by Outlot 723, on the south by Lots 698 and 698a, and on the east by Outlot 693. The cemetery had a width of 411 feet along Third Street and a depth of 382 feet. This cemetery was eventually closed by the bishop. The remains and markers were moved to MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY.

Both of the two public cemeteries lay farther north. The one furthest north was bordered on the west by Outlot 678; on the south by part of Outlot 673, the northern edge of Main Street, and part of Outlot 674; on the east by Outlot 677; and on the north by 20th Street. This cemetery had a frontage of 353 feet, part of which would have included the width of the northern edge of Main Street, and a depth of 576 feet. In August 1852, Lucius Hart LANGWORTHY exchanged ten acres of land adjoining property owned by a T. Davis for this unused tract.

The third cemetery was bounded by Iowa Street on the east, Fifteenth Street on the south, Main Street on the west and Outlot 746 on the north. Platted during the summer of 1833 and confirmed by government survey in 1836, this cemetery was used until 1853. Among the problems faced were wandering livestock trampling the ground, broken fences and two conflicting boundary lines. The boundaries established in 1833 included the right-of-way along the STREETS. This led to some burials in what was platted in 1836 as roadway. Graves were moved after Bishop Mathias LORAS found some burials were on land the church had purchased for the construction of ST. PATRICK'S CATHOLIC CHURCH.

The cemeteries needed protection from wandering animals. One of the first ordinances passed under the CITY CHARTER levied a fine of three dollars for anyone placing animals inside the protecting fence. Hogs were such a nuisance that another ordinance stated than no more than "two hogs or one sow and suckling pigs" belonging to a single family would be permitted to "run at large" within the city limits. (1)

Early records indicate that the city paid for the burial of those without local relatives. Digging a grave for those over twelve years of age cost two dollars in 1844. Graves for those under twelve cost one dollar. By 1852 public burials cost $63.42.

An ordinance establishing a new city cemetery was passed by the city council on May 9, 1853. The ground designated for the cemetery had been purchased for hospital purposes from T. Davis in 1851. To this area were added the ten acres obtained from Lucius Langworthy. In 1863 an additional twenty acres were purchased. The new addition was called "Linwood," a name then applied to the entire cemetery.

The expense of moving the remains was to be paid by relatives of the deceased who lived in town. Exhumation and reburial of those without relatives was paid for at public expense. Concern that the city was being unfairly billed for more work than was being done led to the passage of an ordinance in May 1855. This ordinance required that records be kept of all interments, including the name and age of the deceased; filing a monthly report with the City Recorder; and a requirement that all graves be at least five feet deep.

In 1856 the emptied graveyard was dedicated as a park. This site was named JACKSON PARK in July 1857. The maintenance of LINWOOD CEMETERY was turned over to private hands in October 1875.



1. Petersen, W. J. "Dubuque as a Chartered City," Telegraph-Herald, November 28, 1940, p. 8