Kansas City’s oldest public cemetery, Union Cemetery, honored with addition to National Register of Historic Places

June 14, 2016

The Union Cemetery Historical Society (UCHS) is pleased to announce Union Cemetery, located at the north border of the Union Hill neighborhood, has achieved the distinction of being listed as a part of the National Register of Historic Places. The honor is decided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and was announced via the Director of the National Park Service on April 19, 2016.

The National Register of Historic Places lists the official historic places across the nation deemed to be worthy of preservation under the National Park Service. This national program, launched following the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, coordinates and supports public and private efforts to distinguish, assess and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. Union Cemetery was nominated to the listing under Criterion A, noting local significance in the area of Exploration and Settlement. Union Cemetery also qualifies for the honor under Criterion D as it acts as a final resting place for numerous leaders in Kansas City’s history.

The Union Hill neighborhood has recognized the cemetery’s historical significance by naming its residential apartments after notable leaders buried in the cemetery, including Michael Diveley, George Caleb Bingham, John Calvin McCoy, John Campbell, Jacob Ragan, Allan B.H. McGee, Dr. Johnston Lynkins, Martha “Mattie” Lynkins Bingham, Hattie Drisdom Kearney, James M. Hunter, Milton J. Payne, John Taylor, Patti Moore, Tillman Crabtree and M.C. Wood.

About Union Hill

Established in 1857, Union Hill is one of Kansas City’s oldest continuous neighborhoods with more than 1000 young professionals, established mobile mid-career and active empty nesters. Union Hill is a true urban neighborhood, spanning more than 16 city blocks nestled between Main Street on the west, Gillham Road on the east, the 31st Street corridor on the south and approximately 27th Street on the south. Overlooking Crown Center and the downtown skyline, the Union Hill district offers convenient living surrounded by green space, dining, arts, entertainment, fitness and some of Kansas City’s major employers. Bob Frye leads the overall development, preservation and advancement of Union Hill with a more than 30-year history of ownership and solid development that builds on 150 years of history with a long term vision and commitment to the neighborhood. Kansas City’s history is embraced throughout the district. For more information, visit www.unionhill.com or follow the latest at on www.facebook.com/unionhillkc, @UHILLKC on Twitter and Instagram or call 816-777-5900.

About Union Cemetery and Union Cemetery Historical Society

Union Cemetery Historical Society is a 501c3 organization founded in 1984 who’s mission is to restore, maintain, and preserve Union Cemetery, the oldest public cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. Union Cemetery was founded in 1857 as a result of a dramatic increase in the populations of the towns of Kansas (now Kansas City) and Westport (now a midtown neighborhood). A cholera outbreak in 1849 lead to a crisis as city leaders searched for a suitable place to create a new cemetery, and decided on the land now known as Union Cemetery as it was located halfway between the two towns. Located south of Crown Center and east of the Liberty Memorial, Union Cemetery is the final resting place for many of the founders, developers and leaders in Kansas City’s history. Union Cemetery is currently made up of 27 acres of land at 227 E. 28th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, and is maintained by the Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation and the Union Cemetery Historical Society.

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