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This Tour is a Virtual Museum or Site Tour.

Union Cemetery

Created by Missouri-Kansas Border Wars (University of Missouri-Kansas City) on December 9th 2023, 10:58:54 pm.

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Union Cemetery was founded in 1857 by the Missouri General Assembly as a private shareholder corporation, the Union Cemetery Assembly. The cemetery was opened for the joint use of the neighboring towns of Kansas and Westport after both communities were ravaged by a cholera epidemic in 1849. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the cemetery fell into disrepair and engaged in unethical burial practices, including mass graves and racial segregation. A campaign of public outcry lasting until the 1930s led to a change in leadership and declaration of city park status. Since 1984, the cemetery has been managed by a non-profit organization known as the Union Cemetery Historical Society. Maintenance for the cemetery is handled by the Kansas City Parks & Recreation department. It is estimated that the cemetery serves as the final resting place for over 55,000 souls. Though people are no longer buried there due to limited space, the cemetery remains open to the interment of cremated remains, and local community members are encouraged to use the cemetery for outdoor recreation.