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Mount Olive Cemetery, Lemay

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Mount Olive Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Archdiocese, and one of the most isolated, forgotten and mysterious.

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Located at the far end of Mount Olive Road before it turns right, the cemetery has an entrance identifying it as a Roman Catholic cemetery, but does not even give its name.

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But what immediately fascinated us with this cemetery is the large number Spanish language burials.

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I grew excited at first; was this the location of the burial of early Spanish colonial officials and their families?

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Sadly no, the graves are far too new, dating to the Nineteenth Century, long after the end of Spanish colonial rule.

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Why are there so many graves in Spanish in this cemetery? I cannot figure it out. Perhaps one of my readers knows the answer.

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There are incredibly rare iron grave markers in this cemetery, which are also puzzling.

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But there are many other burials in English, and this one mausoleum, on what was apparently originally a family plot.

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8 Comments

  1. When I was a kid, I lived in the neighborhood behind the cemetery. We used the Marconnot mausoleum as a guide to find the family plot. Back then, it had the original door with a window and we would always peek in to see the casket. In the front section, in the back rows, there are a lot of stones with cyrillic letters. Some of the Spanish headstones used to have little photos of the deceased but I’m afraid many were lost to vandalism. There is a section where my great grandmother is buried in an unmarked grave that was for residents of “The Home of the Friendless” (I know, horrible isn’t it) a nursing home for poor widows.

  2. Also the last resting place of Mother Mary Jones, the Most Dangerous Woman in America.

    With regards to the names in Spanish, perhaps they were immigrant laborers, or immigrant coal miners.

  3. Mary Jones is buried in the Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive, Illinois. There is also the Spanish Society in Carondelet.

    • You are correct. I saw Mount Olive, and assumed. And you know what they say about assuming, heh-heh…

      Either way, ‘twould be nice if we had people like Mother Jones around today.

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