Muscatine County Iowa
Cemetery Records

Source of following article: "MUSCATINE JOURNAL and NEWS-TRIBUNE", Muscatine, Iowa, Wednesday, December 30, 1936, page 5 of the Cemetery & Funeral Section.

St. Mary's Cemetery, Property of Two Muscatine Catholic Parishes, Contains Graves of Nearly 3000.

Originally a tract of timber, St. Mary's cemetery, which dates from 1877, when the first burials were made now contains between 2,500 and 3,000 graves.

The site for the cemetery was purchased by a stock company with proceeds from the sale of stock. Gradually the stock was redeemed with funds accumulating from the sale of lots and the entire area became the property of the parishes of St. Mary's and St. Mathias' churches.

First Burials in 1877.

The first burials were those of Thomas Curn* and Mrs. Augusta Phillips, who were interred in 1877, before the cemetery was formally laid out. The graves were later moved to conform with the arrangement of lots.

Timber which covered the tract was cut off in the year 1877 and converted into barrel staves, making the area available for use as a cemetery.

The original St. Mary's cemetery, situated on Mulberry avenue near the corner of the five-mile drive, was abandoned for various reasons. Donated by John Maher of New York City, the tract soon became too small to contain burials from the parishes, and adjoining land could not be obtained for enlarging the tract. In making the donation about 1853, Mr. Maher specified that it never be used for any other purpose other than a cemetery.

Situated a long distance from town for that time when all vehicles in funeral processions were horse-drawn and streets were often made almost impassible by rains, the cemetery seemed not as accessible as tracts closer to the center of the city, and the tract on Logan street was selected.

Served 31 Years.

P. J. Fahy was sexton at the cemetery for 31 years, resigning five years ago. During the time he served as sexton, 1,210 burials were made. George Thauren succeeded Fahy as sexton and has held the positiion since Mr. Fahy's resignation.

Adding to the beauty of the cemetery are three mausoleums. One was built by Joe Bisesi, one by Vincenzo Manjoine and one by Frank Calderone and Louis Gaeta.

A chapel erected at a cost of several thousand dollars, stands at the front of the cemetery, facing Logan street, on the Bisesi lots.

One of the most imposing adornments in the cemetery is the large crucifix, which is lighted by lights provided by Frank Bisesi.

Present members of the cemetery board are the Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. L. Hannon, the Rev. N. J. Peiffer and D. F. Sullivan.

* (this may be Thomas Curran, who is now buried in the newer St. Mary's Cemetery)

Back to Cemetery Records Index Page

Back to Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page