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Elmhurst Cemetery History

Elmhurst Cemetery is a special place. Wooded heights and shaded valleys alternate from side to side. There are grassy slopes and shaded lanes, surrounded by mature trees providing dappled shade and in the center of things, a Columbarium Niche Garden. Elmhurst Cemetery, named for the 760 elm trees that once graced it's narrow lanes, was established in 1858, the same year that Minnesota became a state.

Elmhurst Cemetery is one of St. Paul's oldest cemeteries. It followed that of the more famous Oakland Cemetery on Jackson Street, where many Minnesota's pioneers are buried, and of Calvary, the Catholic cemetery on Front Street.

Elmhurst is not without notable residents, however. There is the Civil War section where 30 - 40 veterans of the Grand Army of Republic are buried. Gus Barfus, famous St. Paul police chief of the 1930s and 1940s is buried here. Tim Jones, one of the two St. Paul police offiers gunned down on a summer day in 1994 and Otto Manke, former Cemetery Board member but noted for leaving his mark on the top of the Minnesota Capitol building in 1902 when under construction.

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