The first cemetery was on old Block 4, two blocks south of the courthouse. It was located on the rear of Lot 4, or just a little northwest of the center of the block. The property had belonged to Sanford Baldwin, who gave the community the use of it at a time of need. He left town in the midst of the old courthouse scandal, and when he subsequently sold Lot 5 and the remainder of Lot 4, the small parcel was reserved to the town "for graveyard and purposes."
This place was used as a burying ground until the summer of 1873. Then an area to be known as Fairview Cemetery was surveyed by Judd Bradley on the rise about 3/4 mile west of town. This land belonged to Albert and Mary Clark, so it was often called the "Clark Cemetery."
The bodies that had been laid to rest in the old uptown graveyard were moved to the new ground. It has been estimated from recollections and records available that about 40 persons were interred there. A few could not be identified by markers, and were reburied in a common grave.
Two of these might have been the wife and child of Arthur Lawrence, first judge of the county. An account written in 1872 pertaining to his unfortunate role in the 1857 courthouse case, mentions his family. "His wife died of consumption in Grundy Center and was interred on a lot in the burial ground . . . . His little son had died a short time previous, and is known as the first to be called to the 'shadow land' after the settlement of Palermo Township. These graves may still be seen dimly outlined in the growing grass in the spring, but there is no stone to mark their resting place." No stone because A. W. Lawrence had slipped away and joined a wagon train for California.
In 1882 land which belonged to Mrs. Catharine Beckman, widow of E. H. Beckman, and located south of the Fairview area, was surveyed by J. D. Haile. Emil had died the year before and for him the marble mausoleum at the top of the slope was originally built. In 1883 plots in Rose Hill Cemetery were advertised for sale by Mrs. Beckman.
The Catholic congregation bought the north section of this property, and it was deeded to them in 1887. After that date the name Sacred Heart Cemetery was sometimes used.
In 1885 an area was given by the Clarks to the G. A. R. for use as a "soldier's lot." Near here at a later date was located the monument to the war dead that was the focus for memorial services until recent times.
For many years the citizens maintained a board sidewalk to the cemetery. This was replaced about 1908 by a cement walk that extended to the front gates. An iron fence stood along the road side.
The Cemetery Association began in 1921 to be responsible for the care and maintenance of the property. Henry Sprague was caretaker for more than thirty years. The area between the original Rose Hill and the east-west highway was added in 1948. At the corner entrance stands a flag-bearing memorial to Robert S. Plager, charter member of the board of directors of the Association, president from 1954 to 1964.
On the south slope at a crossing of the drives is located a black marble monument to the memory of the veterans of all wars. Called the V. F. Sieverding memorial, in honor of a Grundy Center attorney who once served as State Commander of the American Legion, the sculpture is described as "Wings of Peace."
--Grundy Center, A Centennial Portrait, 1977, pg 38
The inscription on the monument reads:
"Erected by the Woman's Relief Corps No. 244.
In Memory of the Known and Unknown Dead
Who Fell in the Civil War 1861 to 1865
The Grundy Center Cemetery Association now owns all three cemeteries - Fairview, Sacred Heart and Rose Hill. Each cemetery still has its own name.