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It is said that Adath Joseph cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery west of the Mississippi, with its first burial taking place in 1843. The cemetery served Temple Adath Joseph and the German Jewish population.

Adath Joseph Cemetery

Plant, Sky, Cemetery, Tree

The Jewish community began in St. Joseph in the wake of the 1848 gold rush. Very quickly they established the Jewish Burial Society and opened Adath Joseph Cemetery. The cemetery predates Temple Adath Joseph by nearly a decade with the congregation beginning to hold services in 1856 in a hall on Felix Street. The congregation of Temple Adath Joseph were largely of German ethnicity. 

One of the early burials is that of Levi Rosenblatt who died in 1859 at the age of 31. Levi was the first leader of Rosenblatt’s Band which arrived in St. Joseph in 1854. Rosenblatt’s Band was the first brass and string band that had ever been seen in St. Joseph and were very popular for many years, often being referred to as one of the “finest musical organizations in the west.” Levi’s headstone is adorned with a Lyre, often representing heavenly music, and is undoubtedly a nod to his musical gifts.

Kim Schutte. Eastern European Immigration Patterns.

 “Rosenblatt’s Band,” St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph, MO) Mar 30 1872

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Megan Wyeth