Prospect Hill Cemetery (North Omaha, Nebraska)

The Prospect Hill Cemetery, located at 3202 Parker Street in the Prospect Hill neighborhood of North Omaha, Nebraska, United States, is believed to be the oldest pioneer cemetery in Omaha.[1] It is between 31st and 33rd Streets and Parker and Grant Streets.

Prospect Hill Cemetery
Prospect Hill Cemetery.JPG
Country United States of America
Coordinates41°16′41″N 95°57′36″W / 41.278°N 95.960°W / 41.278; -95.960Coordinates: 41°16′41″N 95°57′36″W / 41.278°N 95.960°W / 41.278; -95.960
Owned byProspect Hill Cemetery Historical Site Development Foundation
Size13.84 acres (5.60 ha)
No. of graves15,000
DesignatedJune 19, 1979[1]
Find a GraveProspect Hill Cemetery
State Historical Marker


While laying out "Shinn's Addition" northwest of Omaha in 1856, Moses F. Shinn set aside 10 acres (40,000 m2) for a cemetery on land where Native Americans and Mormons had reportedly been buried earlier.[2] The location was reportedly one mile from the Mormon Trail. That year he sold the land to Byron Reed, an early Omaha real estate broker.[3] Jesse Lowe, the first mayor of Omaha, set aside those 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land for burial purposes in 1858. The new cemetery included a variety of lands, including the city original cemeteries called Cedar Hills and Omaha City Cemeteries. Parts of those cemeteries are still in Prospect Hill boundaries.[4]

The cemetery's first official burial was in June 1858. Alonzo F. Salisbury, Omaha pioneer and member of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, was the first person buried there. Early Omaha real estate agent Byron Reed ran the cemetery early, and sold it with the establishment of the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association in 1858. The next year, 1859, the cemetery grew to 20 acres (81,000 m2). The site of the Cemetery was further made available after the 1870 trial of Baker v. Morton, in which courts ruled against Omaha's land barons and the city's claim club. The land was enlarged again in 1890, when the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association was founded. Soon Prospect Hill was 35 acres (140,000 m2).

Many of Omaha's early business leaders and politicians are buried in the cemetery.[5] There were approximately 15,000 burials recorded at Prospect Hill, including those of many Omaha pioneers, including influential developers, religious leaders, mayors, judges, and benefactors, for whom Omaha streets, parks and schools were named.[6] The cemetery has many interesting monuments and a special section for soldiers from Fort Omaha, and it also has graves for at least 360 early African American Omahans.[7]

In the 1880s the Forest Lawn Cemetery opened seven miles (11 km) from Prospect Hill, and eventually Reed sold Prospect Hill to the Forest Lawn Cemetery Association.

Prospect Hill was designated a landmark by the City of Omaha in 1979. There is a chapel constructed of rough brick and accented in stone, and a Tudor-Revival gatehouse located on Parker Street. The cemetery was designated as a local landmark in 1979.[8]

Notable intermentsEdit

Many of Omaha's pioneer families are buried at Prospect Hill. Some of the family names include Deuel, Gaylord, Hall, Hanscom, Kennard, Krug, Lake, Lowe, McCague, Metz, Redick, and Reed. There are also many other notable people interred at Prospect Hill. There are also monuments to Spanish–American War veterans and the gravesite of at least one Buffalo Soldier, Sergeant Allen McClare.

Notable interments at Prospect Hill Cemetery
Name Place of birth Date of birth Occupation Place of death Date of death Notes and References
Dan Allen New York 1832 Gambler, businessman Omaha April 1884
George P. Anthes Frankfurt, Germany October 30, 1856 Candidate in primary for Nebraska state auditor, 1908 Omaha June 15, 1936
George Robert Armstrong August 1, 1819 Mayor of Omaha, 1858–59, 1861–62 Omaha April 20, 1896
William M. Brewer Mayor of Omaha, 1873–74 Omaha September 12, 1921
Clinton Briggs October 17, 1828 Member of Nebraska territorial House of Representatives, 1858; mayor of Omaha, 1860–61; delegate to Nebraska state constitutional convention, 1875. Iowa December 19, 1882 Hit by a train and died.
Smith Samuel Caldwell September 4, 1834 Mayor of Omaha, 1871–72 Omaha June 26, 1884
Champion S. Chase Cornish, New Hampshire March 20, 1820 Lawyer; Member of the Wisconsin State Senate, 1857–58; Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, 1874–77, 1878–81, 1883–84; 1st Attorney General of Nebraska, 1867–68 Omaha, Nebraska November 3, 1898 Chase County, Nebraska, and the unincorporated community of Champion in Chase County, are named after him[9]
William James Connell Cowansville, Quebec July 6, 1846 U.S. Representative from Nebraska's 1st congressional district, 1889–91 Atlantic City, New Jersey August 16, 1924
Thomas B. Cuming Secretary of Nebraska Territory, 1854–58; Governor of Nebraska Territory, 1854–55, 1857–58. Omaha March 23, 1858 Original interment at a private or family graveyard, Douglas County, Neb.; subsequent interment at Prospect Hill Cemetery; re-interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Cuming County, Nebraska is named for him.
Augustus Hall Batavia, New York April 29, 1814 Lawyer; U.S. Representative from Iowa 1st District, 1855–57; justice of Nebraska territorial supreme court, 1858–61; chief justice of Nebraska territorial supreme court, 1858–61 Bellevue, Nebraska February 1, 1861 Died in office; Hall County, Nebraska is named for him.
John B. Hawley Hawleyville, Connecticut February 9, 1831 U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1869–75 (4th District 1869–73, 6th District 1873–75) Died May 24, 1895. Omaha
Phineas Hitchcock New Lebanon, New York November 30, 1831 Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nebraska, 1860; Delegate to U.S. Congress from Nebraska Territory, 1865–67; U.S. Senator from Nebraska, 1871–77 Omaha July 10, 1881 Hitchcock County, Nebraska is named for him.
Frederick Krug Germany 1855 Founder, Krug Brewery Omaha November 18, 1930
Charles O. Lobeck Andover, Illinois April 6, 1852 Member of Nebraska state senate, 1893; Presidential Elector for Nebraska, 1900; U.S. Representative from Nebraska 2nd District, 1911–19. Omaha January 30, 1920
Jesse Lowe March 11, 1814 Mayor of Omaha, 1857–58. Omaha April 3, 1868 Original interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery (which no longer exists); re-interment in 1891 at Forest Lawn Cemetery; cenotaph at Prospect Hill Cemetery.
Frederick Metz Germany Founder, Metz Brewery; member of Nebraska state senate, 1871–72, 1885–86 Omaha 1901
Ezra Millard February 2, 1833 Mayor of Omaha, 1869–71 Omaha August 20, 1886
Joseph Millard Hamilton, Ontario April 20, 1836 Mayor of Omaha, 1872–73; U.S. Senator from Nebraska, 1901–07 Omaha January 13, 1922
Algernon Paddock Glens Falls, New York November 9, 1830 Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nebraska, 1860; secretary of Nebraska Territory, 1861–67; acting Governor of Nebraska Territory, 1861; U.S. Senator from Nebraska, 1875–81, 1887–93. Beatrice, Nebraska October 17, 1897
John T. Paulsen Ockholm, Germany April 25, 1837 Member of Nebraska state senate, 1889 Omaha September 3, 1889
Andrew Jackson Poppleton July 24, 1830 Mayor of Omaha, 1858 Omaha September 24, 1896
Byron Reed Darien, New York March 12, 1829 Real estate businessman Omaha June 6, 1891
Origen D. Richardson Vermont July 20, 1795 Fourth Lieutenant Governor of Michigan Omaha November 29, 1876 [10]
Alonzo F. Salisbury Vermont Stagecoach driver; miller; member of Nebraska territorial House of Representatives, 1856. Omaha October 4, 1858 First burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery
John Taffe Indianapolis, Indiana January 30, 1827 Newspaper editor; member of Nebraska territorial House of Representatives, 1858–59; member Nebraska territorial council, 1860–61; major in the Union Army during the Civil War; U.S. Representative from Nebraska at-large, 1867–73 North Platte, Nebraska March 14, 1884 Founder, Omaha Public Library
Eleazer Wakeley Homer, New York June 15, 1822 Lawyer; member of Wisconsin territorial House of Representatives, 1847–48; member of Wisconsin Senate, 1851–55; justice of Nebraska territorial supreme court, 1857–61; delegate to Nebraska state constitutional convention, 1871; district judge in Nebraska 3rd District, 1883–92; appointed 1883 Omaha November 21, 1912
Reuben H. Wilbur April 26, 1825 Mayor of Omaha, 1877–79 Omaha April 4, 1896
Anna Wilson May 27, 1835 Brothel owner Omaha October 27, 1911 A polished stone in the dimensions of a king-size bed with four posts rests over the double graves of Wilson and Dan Allen.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Prospect Hill Cemetery". Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  2. ^ Douglas County. Andreas' history of Nebraska. Retrieved August 11, 2007.
  3. ^ Omaha's first century, Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 11, 2007.
  4. ^ (nd) Historic Prospect Hill – Omaha's Pioneer Cemetery Archived 2000-11-20 at the Wayback Machine. Nebraska Department of Education. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  5. ^ (n.d.) Historic Prospect Hill – Omaha's Pioneer Cemetery[Usurped!] Nebraska Historical Society.
  6. ^ (nd) About Prospect Hill Cemetery Archived 2004-12-26 at the Wayback Machine. Omaha Public Schools. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
  7. ^ (1981) Project Prospect: A youth investigation of blacks buried at Prospect Cemetery[permanent dead link] Girls Club of Omaha.
  8. ^ (n.d.) Prospect Cemetery Archived 2004-12-21 at the Wayback Machine Omaha Public Schools. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  9. ^ "Omaha Mayors". Douglas County Historical Society. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Thaddeus D. Seeley (1912). History of Oakland County Michigan. Thaddeus D. Seeley. p. 128. Origen D. Richardson prospect Hill Cemetery.

Further readingEdit

  • L.Baumann, L. Martin, C., Simpson, S. (199) Omaha's Historic Prospect Hill Cemetery: A History of Prospect Hill Cemetery with Biographical Notes on Over 1400 People Interred Therein. Prospect Hill Cemetery Historical Development Foundation.

External linksEdit