The cemetery now known as Forest Grove was established as a cemetery in 1854. It was deeded from the City of Lexington to the “trustees for the colored people of Lexington, Missouri” on October 28, 1890. Many of those first buried at Forest Grove were born into slavery there, but as free people the scope of their labors has mirrored the times. Military veterans of domestic and foreign engagements are laid to rest among the coal miners, horsemen, smiths, farm hands, civic leaders, merchants, musicians, morticians, athletes, carpenters, cooks, domestics, barbers, educators and construction workers who made their homes in this historic river town.
The cemetery has fallen into disrepair over the last fifty or so years—overgrown with brush, headstones knocked down by vandals, a fence in desperate need of replacement….but good people around the city and beyond are acting to spruce things up at Forest Grove so it can again shine as part of our historic narrative. You can help, too!
We have already raised money for and installed a new fence and gate. But we’re not finished! We will repair and reset the damaged headstones, as well as include a memorial area complete with a flag and pieces of the old fence. Ongoing maintenance is also critical.
Here are some before an after pictures.
As you can see from the photo at the top of this section, we have procured a military headstone for our Civil War veteran, Israel Burles. It has been set and we are planning a dedication. Date tbd. Future plans include repairing and resetting damaged headstones, creating a memorial area with new flagpole, upgrading the road, and planting flowers across the front of the fence (as it was in the past). We have reached our goal in raising money to purchase a headstone for Miss Eva Saunders. It has been ordered and will be dedicated in the spring.
Stay tuned for upcoming work days–November and May.