“Greenwood Cemetery is the place that my grandparents, great-grandparents, and their family were laid to rest in dignity for perpetuity, to be remembered and honored. For decades – starting in the 60′s – I have often wondered if they would “be rolling over in their graves” at the sight of tombstones toppled; abandoned cars and other debris dumped as if it were a landfill; and all forms of neglect that had become the fate of the cemetery. To me this was a sin that, finally, is being stopped under the new ownership as the historic cemetery enters a new and exciting era, one filled with respect, caring and love. My own participation in the monthly meetings of the 15th Police District Advisory Council shows how times are changing, for the better. And I have personally cherished the opportunity to help organize thousands of burial records as we reconnect with the past and plan for the future. My hope is that K of P Greenwood Cemetery will be an example to other cemeteries and the City that cemeteries do not have to be bulldozed over or neglected; there are ways to give them the honor they deserve.

Greenwood Cemetery is special to many, but even more special to me due to its amazing history and its connection to historical organizations and important people such as The Knights of Pythias, The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), Native Americans, war heroes dating back to the Civil War, Dr. Benjamin Rush, W C Fields’ parents, and more. There is so much to learn here. What role did the cemetery’s ‘residents’ play in developing the area? What was the average age of death each decade? What were the common causes of death and did it strike their descendents. It is important we save the historical house and property and learn what secrets it has to offer – for today and for future generations.

I want to be proud that my family is buried there and I welcome the help of volunteers who share my passion for the history of “our” cemetery.”

Joanne Clare
Friends of Greenwood Director