Crown Hill Cemetery
Crown Hill CemeteryCrown Hill Cemetery Gateway, August 1970
Location: Boulevard Pl., W. 32nd St., and Northwestern Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana Coordinates: Coordinates: Area: 374 acres (151 ha) Built: 1875 Architect: D.A. Bohlen; Adolf Scherrer Architectural style: Late Victorian Governing body: Private NRHP Reference#:
Added to NRHP: February 28, 1973
Crown Hill Cemetery, located at 700 West 38th Street in Indianapolis, is the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the United States at 555 acres (225 ha). It contains 25 miles (40 km) of paved road, over 150 species of trees and plants, over 185,000 graves, and services roughly 1,500 burials per year. It sits on the highest geographic point within the pre-Unigov city limits of Indianapolis. Section 10 of the cemetery is designated as the Crown Hill National Cemetery.
Prior to the establishment of Crown Hill Cemetery, the primary cemetery in Indianapolis was the 25-acre (10 ha) Greenlawn Cemetery on the southwest side of the city. The demand placed on it by the normal demands of a growing city, along with the burials of both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners of war resulting from the American Civil War prompted the creation of a private board in 1863 to develop a new and larger cemetery. The board bought a farm outside the city limits and hired John Chislett, who was a landscape architect and cemetery superintendent of Pittsburgh, to design the grounds. Chislett retained many of the natural features and laid out winding roads to create a landscape in the Victorian Romantic style.
Crown Hill Cemetery was dedicated on June 1, 1864. The first burial took place the next day, on June 2, for a young mother named Lucy Ann Seaton, who had died of consumption.
Previously a private farm outside the city limits, Crown Hill Cemetery is a popular picnic location and today is well known for the stunning view of downtown Indianapolis from "The Crown."
- James Whitcomb Riley, poet best known for his poem "Little Orphant Annie"
- Benjamin Harrison, U.S. President, along with his two wives and a daughter
- Booth Tarkington, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes
- Caroline Harrison, first wife of Benjamin Harrison
- Mary Dimmick Harrison, second wife of Benjamin Harrison
- Mary Harrison McKee, daughter of Benjamin Harrison
- Three Vice Presidents of the United States, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas A. Hendricks and Thomas R. Marshall, and vice-presidential nominee George Washington Julian
- Ezra Dee Alexander, founder Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
- Lyman S. Ayres, founder of L. S. Ayres department stores
- Erwin "Cannonball" Baker, record-setting motorcycle racer
- James Baskett, Uncle Remus in Disney's Song of the South
- Ovid Butler, founder of Butler University
- Julia Carson, former United States Congresswomen of Indiana from the 7th district
- Cecil Duane Crabb, ragtime composer
- Elder Watson Diggs, a founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
- John Dillinger, a notorious bank robber
- Howard Garns, inventor of Sudoku
- Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun
- Dr. Guy Levis Grant, a founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
- John Wesley Hardrick, artist
- Sarah T. Bolton, poet
- Alfa Lloyd Hayes, a founder of Delta Zeta Sorority
- G T Haywood, First Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
- Robert Irsay, former owner of the Indianapolis Colts
- Colonel Eli Lilly, founder of Eli Lilly and Company, as well as several of his descendants, including Josiah K. Lilly Sr., Josiah K. Lilly Jr., and Eli Lilly
- Frank McKinney, Olympic gold medal winning swimmer, later president of Bank One of Indiana and civic booster
- Oliver Morton, the famed "War Governor" during the Civil War.
- Alexander Ralston, surveyor who platted Indianapolis in 1821, including the cemetery which Crown Hill eventually replaced
- Toad Ramsey, Major League Baseball player from 1885 through 1890.
- John Woodruff, Olympic Gold Medalist
- Eleven Indiana Governors
- Kentucky Governor William S. Taylor
- Fourteen United States Senators
- Fourteen Indianapolis Mayors
- Sixteen American Civil War generals, including Union brigadier general Jefferson C. Davis
- 1,616 Confederate soldiers who died during their confinement at the Union prison camp Camp Morton and whose remains were transferred to Crown Hill in 1931.
Crown Hill Cemetery is the largest refuge for animals in the city, including an estimated 300+ white-tailed deer. There are also numerous species of trees, each of which is marked with a number that corresponds to its scientific and common names.
There are many artworks on the property, some of which are free-standing but most of which are associated with a grave site.
Benjamin Harrison's grave
Graves of Confederate prisoners of war who died at Camp Morton
Closeup of James Whitcomb Riley's grave
John Dillinger's grave
Oliver P. Morton's grave
- List of United States cemeteries
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ National Park Service.
- ^ Conn, Earl L. My Indiana:101 Places to See (Indiana Historical Society Press, 2006). pg.81
- National Park Service. "Crown Hill Cemetery". http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/indianapolis/crownhill.html. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- Official website of Crown Hill cemetery
- Crown Hill Cemetery from Indianapolis, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
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Crown Hill Cemetery · Crown Hill National Cemetery
See also Indiana Statehouse Public Art Collection
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