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One of the ponds at Lexington Cemetery
One of the ponds at Lexington Cemetery

Lexington Cemetery is a private, non-profit 170-acre (69 ha) rural cemetery and arboretum located at 833 W. Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Lexington Cemetery was established in 1848 as a place of beauty and a public cemetery, in part to deal with burials from the cholera epidemic in the area. It was designed by Charles S. Bell and John Lutz. It was originally 40 acres but has expanded to 170 acres[2] with more than 64,000 interments.

Its plantings include boxwood, cherries, crabapples, dogwoods, magnolias, taxus, as well as flowers such as begonias, chrysanthemums, irises, jonquils, lantanas, lilies, and tulips. Also on the grounds is an American basswood (Tilia Americana), which the cemetery claims to be the largest in the world. However, this claim is not supported by the National Register of Big Trees, which claims that the largest American Basswood is located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Within the cemetery are three places that are listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places from the main cemetery: Confederate Soldier Monument in Lexington, the Ladies' Confederate Memorial, and Lexington National Cemetery.

Some notable people

The Lexington Cemetery maintains a list of notable interments,[3] others are listed here:

  • Joseph “Joe” L. Campbell (1955-2016) - Entrepreneur
  • Henry Clay (1777–1852) - (antebellum Speaker of the House, three-time U.S. Presidential candidate, architect of the Missouri Compromise
  • James Brown Clay (1817–1864) - U.S. Congressman
  • Laura Clay (1849–1941) - Suffragist
  • Mary Barr Clay (1839–1924) - Women's Suffrage movement leader
  • John Winston Coleman Jr. (1898–1983) - historian, author
  • Leslie Combs (1793–1881) - War of 1812 veteran, general
  • Robert Wickliffe Cooper (1831–1867) - Union Army officer - Civil War. Post-war service as 2nd Major of the 7th Cavalry (Gen. Geo. A. Custer). Died ignominiously before Little Big Horn.
  • Jesse Orin Creech (1895–1948) - World War I Fighter Ace
  • Rev Spencer Cooper, Trustee of Translyvania University 1829. Tended the sick in the cholera epidemic of 1833, became ill and never fully recovered. Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lexington. Owner of a Powder House (made gunpowder).
  • Andrew Eugene Erwin (1830–1863) - Civil War Confederate Army officer
  • Henry Hampton Halley (1874–1965) - author of the Halley's Bible Handbook
  • Roger Hanson (1827–1863) - Civil War Confederate brevet brigadier general
  • Hal Price Headley (1888–1962) - American racehorse owner/breeder
  • Thomas H. Hunt (1815–1884) - Civil War Confederate Army officer
  • Thomas Hughes (1789-1862) Owned the farm later called Elmendorf Farm from 1855 to 1862. When he bought it from Carter Harrison, Sr it was called Clifton.
  • William Thomas Hughes (1832-1874) WT, son of Thomas, inherited the farm later called Elmendorf Farm in 1862. He began to buy land at high interest rates, and to build up the cattle herd. He was murdered by his uncle for defaulting on a loan.
  • George S. Shanklin (1807–1883) - U.S. Congressman
  • Jouett Shouse (1879–1968) - U.S. Congressman
  • Cincinnatus Shryock (1816-1888) - architect
  • William "King" Solomon, (1775–1854) - Town Drunk, Town hero - The Cholera Epidemic of 1833 killed 500 townspeople in 2 months ... King Solomon stayed in Lexington to dig graves, earning the lasting respect of the town.[5]
  • King Swope (1893–1961) - U.S. Congressman
  • Barak G. Thomas (1826–1906), Thoroughbred racehorse breeder
  • Eliza Parker Todd - Wife of Robert Smith Todd and Mother of Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Levi Todd (1756–1807), One of Lexington's founders and grandfather of Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Lyman Beecher Todd, MD (18? – 1901) First cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln. Close friend of Lincoln. One of the doctors who helped treat the President the night of the assassination.
  • Robert Smith Todd (1791 – 1849) Father of Mary Todd Lincoln, Son of Levi Todd
  • William Henry Townsend (1890–1964) - historian and author
  • Thomas R. Underwood (1898–1956) - U.S. Congressman, Senator
  • Solomon Van Meter, Sr. (1818–1859) Farmer and importer of shorthorn cattle, Duncastle Farm
  • Solomon Lee Van Meter (1859–1928) Member of Kentucky State Legislature elected 1899, Farmer. Son of Solomon Van Meter. Owner of Shenandoah Hall on the Bryan Station Pike.[6]
  • Solomon Lee Van Meter, Jr. (1888–1937) inventor of the Ripcord Backpack Parachute son of Solomon Lee Van Meter.
  • 2nd Lt Solomon Lee Van Meter, III (1925–1953) Pilot died in Korean War, son of S.L. Van Meter, Jr.
  • James Albert Varney, Sr. (1910–1985) - Jim Varney's father
  • Jim Varney (1949–2000) - actor who was best known as Ernest P. Worrell
  • Louise H. Varney (1913–1994) - Jim Varney's mother

See also

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