Sunday, November 2, 2008
Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York
Photo: Birge Memorial, Forest Lawn Cemetery. Digital image. Released to the public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York was founded in 1849 as part of the rural cemetery movement which was sweeping the state. With a cholera epidemic appearing within the city limits in 1832 and another in 1849 when 900 people died, the city leaders saw an obvious need to move the burial of the dead to a location as far from the city center as possible. The battle against cholera and other epidemics figured prominently in the mayoral campaigns of that era and despite the establishment of Forest Lawn, a major epidemic would yet again afflict Buffalo in 1854.
The 269 acres committed to Forest Lawn are located within the Buffalo city limits in the northernmost part of the city.
Forest Lawn was organized in 1849 when the first 80 acres were purchased by Charles E. Clarke whose intent was to create a cemetery in the tradition of the English and French cemeteries.
In 1855, Clarke sold the cemetery to the Forest Lawn Cemetery Association which then began acquiring additional acreage from surround landowners, mostly farmers.
In 1865 what has been called the "second phase" of Forest Lawn commenced with laying out major avenues and the undertaking of large landscaping projects. By 1866 there were 203 acres later to be expanded to the present day 269 acres.
The first dedication took place on August 18, 1850 in a ceremony marked by the participation of various religious, civic and fraternal organizations as well as a very long speech given by then mayor George William Clinton.
With an expanded cemetery, and the reorganization as a private corporation, a second dedication - much more elaborate - was made on September 28, 1866. Participants included all the major religious clergy of the city, Masonic Orders, the Mayor and the Common Council members.
There is no complete or up-to-date list of remains which were transferred from other Buffalo cemeteries to Forest Lawn.
Black Rock Burial Grounds
Cold Spring Burial Grounds
Delaware and North Street Burial Grounds
Alexander, DeAlva Stanwood - U.S. Congressman
Bass, Lyman Kidd - U.S. Congressman
Becker, Phillip - Mayor of Buffalo
Bell, Lawrence Dale - founder of Bell Aircraft
Berlin, Dorothy Goetz - first wife of composer Irving Berlin
Brent, John E. - Buffalo's first African-American architect
Butler, John Cornelius - U.S. Congressman
Carrier, Willis Haviland - invented the first air conditioner and founder of Carrier Air Conditioner Corporation
Chisholm, Shirley - U.S. Congresswoman
Clinton, George Wilson - Mayor of Buffalo
Cook, Frederick Albert - discovered the North Pole in 1908
Daniels, Charles - U.S. Congressman
Dorsheimer, William - U.S. Congressman, Lieutenant Governor of New York
Fargo, William - transportation pioneer, part of Wells Fargo
Farquhar, John McCreath - U.S. Congressman
Fillmore, Abigail Powers - First Lady, wife of Millard Fillmore
Fillmore, Millard - 13th President, United States
Ganson, John - U.S. Congressman
Hall, Lawrence Washington - U.S. Congressman
Hall, Nathan Kelsey - U.S. Congressman
Harter, John Francis - U.S. Congressman
Hatch, Israel Thomas - U.S. Congressman
Haven, Solomon George - U.S. Congressman
Hinson, Sara M. - founder of Flag Day
James, Rick - R&B Singer, "Super Freak"
Jewett, Edgar Boardman - U.S. Congressman
Knox Jr., Seymour Horace - founder with Frank W. Woolworth of the 'Woolworth and Knox 5 and 10 Cent Stores"
Lockwood, Daniel Newton - U.S. Congressman
Love, Thomas Cutting - U.S. Congressman
MacGregor, Clarence - U.S. Congressman
Moseley, William Abbott - U.S. Congressman
Pierce, Ray Vaughan - U.S. Congressman
Sedita, Frank A. - Mayor of Buffalo
Southwick, Alfred - inventor of the Electric Chair
Spaulding, Elbridge Gerry - U.S. Congressman
Stone, Alfred Parish - U.S. Congressman
Street, Edward - humorist and author of "Father of the Bride"
Tolley, Harold S. - U.S. Congressman
Waldow, William Frederick - U.S. Congressman
Weber, John Baptiste - U.S. Congressman
Williams, William - U.S. Congressman
Dedicated: August 18, 1850 and rededicated on September 28, 1866
Location: Buffalo, Erie County, New York
Size: 269 acres
Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo, NY: Bigelow Brothers, 1879. Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society. Digitized August 8, 2007, Google Books. Accessed November 2, 2008. http://books.google.com/books?id=Mxk8AAAAIAAJ
Forest Lawn: Its History, Dedications, Progress, Regulations, Names of Lot Holders, &c., Buffalo, NY: Thomas, Howard & Johnson, 1867. Forest Lawn. Digitized October 22, 2007, Google Books. Accessed November 2, 2008, http://books.google.com/books?id=mrepaaaayaaj