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December 2009

Something new ...

Thank you for reading the very first email newsletter from Columbia Cemetery!

National Register plaque photoWe're pretty proud of our history, so we're starting things off with some little-known facts uncovered by Deb Sheals, whose research secured the cemetery a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. If you're a local history buff, the cemetery's nomination is a must read. You can find it at

Because of Columbia Cemetery's  almost 190-year-old history, people are surprised to learn we're still a functioning cemetery with full burial and cermation space available at affordable prices. Everyone is welcome, so please use the information at right to contact us.

We'll send out periodic newsletters with cemetery history and updates, so pass this along to anyone you think might want to sign up by clicking on the "forward this email" at right. If this email was forwarded to you and you want to receive it yourself, follow this link to sign up. And let us know what you're interested in. We'll try to cover it in an upcoming edition.

Thanks! Columbia Cemetery


Did you know ... ?

  • The cemetery has its origin in a common burying ground established ca. 1821, and parts of the cemetery have been in service as long as Columbia has been in existence.
  • It was the primary cemetery in the community from the time the town was founded until well into the 20th century, and it is still one of the largest cemeteries in the community. 
  • The Columbia Cemetery Association, founded in 1853, was the first private organization formed to buy and hold land for use as a cemetery in Boone County, and the non-profit association has owned and operated the cemetery ever since. 
  • It is the only historic rural cemetery in the community.  
  • Rural cemeteries are characterized by an emphasis on nature and generally include planned landscapes with extensive plantings and other features calculated to create a picturesque setting.
  • A headline published in the local paper in 1922 claimed that the “Population of Graveyard is Equal to That of Columbia.” The article boasted that “many distinguished persons are buried there: state senators, supreme court judges … presidents of the University of Missouri, a president of Christian College and of Stephens College, and acting governor Abraham J. Williams.” The total number of graves in the cemetery at that time was estimated to be 13,000.


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More to come ...

Grant school photo

If you've enjoyed this newsletter, stay tuned. Topics for upcoming editions include the cemetery's historical connection with its next-door neighbor, Grant Elementary School, and the opening of a new "scatter garden" on the site of a former bandstand. (You didn't know the cemetery ever had a bandstand, did you?)

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Contact Us

Columbia Cemetery
Tanja Patton, Superintendent
30 E. Broadway
Columbia, Mo., 65203
(573) 449-6320

e-mail us

Tree program

Did you know Columbia Cemetery has a tree program? Lot owners who wish to plant trees can take advantage of the cemetery’s wholesale pricing on trees and labor. Once the tree is planted, the cemetery will maintain the tree free of charge — forever. It's a great way to make a lasting improvement to the appearance of your part of the cemetery and save money in the process. All expenses are tax deductible. For information, contact board member Sabra Meyer at (573) 443-1492.