Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie

by chuckofish

Last Friday I went along on a field trip with students at my flyover institute to historic Bellefontaine Cemetery. Founded in 1849 as a rural cemetery, Bellefontaine is home to a number of architecturally significant monuments and mausoleums. It is also an arboretum. Literally all of the prominent Protestant families in this town have a plot there. Additionally, a lot of famous local families like the Anheusers and the Buschs, who started off as Protestants, but are now Catholic, are buried there too.

We were driven there in this cute pseudo-trolley bus.


We had a great docent (in cap on right) leading the tour who knew everything about all the famous residents and, by the way, has visited the grave of every U.S. President. He quizzed us as we went along to keep us on our toes. Chester Arthur was buried where? In Albany! 




David R. Francis and family

The Wainwright mausoleum designed by Louis Sullivan.

The Wainwright mausoleum designed by Louis Sullivan.

A familiar name--our Rand obelisk is in New Hampshire

A familiar name–our Rand obelisk is in New Hampshire however.


You can kind of see the River behind the Lemp mausoleum situated on a bluff.


The Busch mini-Gothic-cathedral mausoleum


William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame is buried here.


How appropriate that his grave is decorated with buffs.

Well, I like cemeteries. Especially “rural” cemeteries like Bellefontaine. Visiting it was a fascinating way to spend a lovely spring afternoon and a great way to learn more about the history of my hometown. I was reminded of Prof. Wutheridge in The Bishop’s Wife (1947) who said, “For some time now, every time I pass the cemetery, I feel as though I’m apartment hunting.” Well, you couldn’t do much better than spending eternity in one of these mausoleums overlooking the mighty Mississippi River!