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Centennial Monograph: Glenwood Cemetery


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Centennial Monograph: Glenwood Cemetery


A chronology of the Glenwood Cemetery from its coincident start with the town in 1871 through 1950.


Birger Koski




Ralph Sheridan



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With the incorporation of Maynard in 1871 one of the needs was a Town Cemetery. Steps were taken immediately and the following is a chronology of events from the beginning.

First to be buried in what is now Glenwood Cemetery:

JOHM MARBLE - 1750 - 1820: burled in the Daniel Whitney lot in the original burying ground before the incorporation of the town. (from Nick Kavalcuch, caretaker)

TH0MAS H. BROOKS, buried May 9, I872: first after incorporation.

Cemetery chronology:

MAY 26, 1871: Voted to appoint a committee to select site for a cemetery consisting of Aaron S. Thompson, Amory Maynard and John Proudman.

JULY 1, 1871: Committee to bargain with Messrs. Amory and Lorenzo Maynard and take deed to land for cemetery (being part of the "Mitchel place"). To purchase six to eight acres at $150 per acre. Voted to purchase lot for cemetery from Amory and Lorenzo Maynard for $1,031.25. This must have from from the Maynard Family Tomb towards near the junction of Parker Street and Great Road, excluding the Turnpike School grounds.

SEPT. 16, 1871: To build a bank wall of stones with split stone afoot in width on top. This would run along Parker Street to the Turnpike School grounds.

DEC. 11, 1871: To leave the style of fence up to the Commissioners.

APRIL 1, 1872: To purchase a hearse and build a hearse house. With no mode of transportation but the two feet for most people, the town furnished a hearse for funerals. The hearse house would be situated on the cemetery grounds.

AUG. 21, 1872: Paid Amory and Lorenzo Maynard, cemetery lot, $1,031.25. Paid for building fence at cemetery. $732.68.

OCT. 12, 1872: Henry Fowler appointed Sexton and established prices, as follows:

For interments in town, adults: $4.00
For interments in town, children: $3.00
For out-of-town services: a reasonable sum
In case of dispute, as determined by the selectmen.

The word Sexton in relation to Henry Fowler meant he was undertaker.

APRIL 3, 1876: Voted to grant a lot to the G.A.R., Henry Wilson Post #86, said post to select same, and said lot to he used under their discretion for the burial of deceased soldiers.

APRIL 12, 1878: Herbert Fowler appointed Sexton.

1880: $250 deposited in the hands of the Town Treasurer by Benjamin Conant for care of his lot. This was the first money received by the town for "perpetual care".

APRIL 29, 1881: Voted to layout and draw plan of new half of cemetery. F.A. Henderson to procure services of a surveyor.

MARCH 14, 1882: Orrin S. Fowler appointed Sexton.

MAY 2, 1884: Voted town hearse be varnished. Mr. O.S. Fowler to supervise doing of same.

MARCH 8, 1886: Voted to build a receiving tomb at the cemetery. It was around this time, a year or two this way or that, also that the Maynard Family Tomb was built.

1887 --A substantial stone wall laid around the old Turnpike School grounds, enclosing them with the cemetery proper. The Turnpike School must have been at the junction of Parker Street and Great Road. It is the original school built 1779 on Old Marlboro Road about hundred yards north-east of Parker Street, then later moved to the junction, vacated in 1881 and moved to Acton Street for a residence. [Gutteridge’s History of Maynard, 1921]

APRIL 2, 1888: Voted that Abel G. Haynes, Warren A. Haynes and Orrin S. Fowler attend to the building of a receiving tomb.

1888: Paid North Acton Granite Company for receiving tomb, $7OO.

1889: Board of Selectmen serving as Cemetery Commissioners.

MARCH 12, 1889: Orrin S. Fowler appointed undertaker (sexton).

MAY 20, 1890: Complaints of plants and flowers being stolen from cemetery.

MAY 28, 1890: To put article in the paper regarding penalties for desecration of cemeteries.

AUGUST 27, 1890: Wood at cemetery sold for $2.25 per cord at auction.

OCTOBER 8, 1890: To sell American Powder Mills all remaining wood for $1.50 per cord.

JULY 8, 1891: Thomas McCarthy of Acton engaged to build wall near the tomb for $120.

MAY 3, 1897: Voted to have hearse house painted.

JULY 14, 1899: Vandals at the cemetery.

SEPT. 1, 1899: Pump broken and lot owners complain about not being able to water graves.

SEPT. 13, 1899: Standpipe with faucet erected at Glenwood.

NOV. 17, 1899: Voted to have new part of cemetery laid out and plans drawn for same.

1903: Cemetery Commissioners, a board of three members, now elected for the first time at Town Meeting. Orrin S. Fowler, Sidney B. Shattuck and Fred W. Taylor.

1904: Since building known as the hearse house was appropriated for a "pest-house’,' a building was purchased from George Hart for $50 to store tools and equipment at the cemetery. Sometime previous to 1904 the use of the town hearse was discontinued. The need for a "pest-house", for isolation of smallpox: victims from the rest of the population, required a small building. The hearse house filled the requirements and was moved across the street from the Poor Farm, somewhere set back in the vicinity of the high school or Alumni Field.

An incidental note about the sale of the town hearse would be in order here. A practical joker by the name of Emil Boeske bought it and one busy Friday evening, dressed in his best, laid himself in it and had somebody parade him around town.

NOV. 10, 1908: Voted to accept $1200 for perpetual care of the lot of Lorenzo and William Maynard.

1925: Voted to appropriate $1500 to replace toolhouse and contents which was destroyed by fire,

1927: Voted to transfer and appropriate so much of the land acquired by the Town by virtue of a deed from Lorenzo Maynard to be added to the cemetery. Voted a committee of two be appointed to act with Cemetery Commissioners, regarding additional land for cemetery purpose.

1928: Voted to instruct Cemetery Commissioners to purchase in behalf of the town for cemetery purposes land containing about eleven acres, adjoining Glenwood cemetery, from the heirs of William Taylor and appropriate $2900 for same. This land is between Glenwood and St. Bridget’s cemeteries.

1928: A beautiful granite arch recently erected at the entrance of the cemetery, gift of one of the leading citizens of Maynard, Mr. William F. Litchfield. The December 7, I928 Maynard News details this as follows: New Milford granite archway had been completed and open for usage. Arch is supported on two columns 15 feet high and 3 feet deep, weighing about 30 tons. (A) gift to the town from William F. Litchfield, retired coal merchant. The name "Glenwood Cemetery" is inscribed on the columns. George Smith, grandfather of Mrs. Litchfield, was one of the first to purchase (a) lot in (the) cemetery.

1933: Voted to set aside for enlargement of the cemetery, premises described in a deed from Lorenzo Maynard to the Town of Maynard, dated March 26, 1903. New section plotted. The November 16, 1934 Maynard News reports that the iron fence has been installed from the The Maynard Family Tomb to Great Road. (This must have been one of the make-work projects of the W.P.A. during the Great Depression).

1935: Purchased a power lawn mower. Now possible to cut grass in entire cemetery in a short time. Roy E. Marsden appointed full time Superintendent at the cemetery.

1937: Voted $200 to purchase a parcel of land between new addition.

1938: 78 spruce trees destroyed by the hurricane on September 21st. Owing to loss of spruce trees surrounding the "summer house" it was thought advisable to remove the structure, which had stood there for so many years, and make a planting of shrubs and flowers. We have been unable to ascertain when the summer house was built. It was circular with seats around it for people to sit and rest.

1943: After September 1, 1943, all interments must be made in concrete, stone or steel vaults. Wooden interment boxes will not be permitted. Will solve sunken grave problem.

1947: Purchased truck, lowering device and artificial grass.

1950: A five foot fence erected at Maynard’s tomb.

1952: Voted to approve the regulations at Glenwood. Cemetery nov under the Public Works Department.

Interred in the Glenwood Cemetery is a cousin of Abraham Lincoln, Mrs. Ruth Trent by name. A monograph has been written on her.

I am indebted to Ralph Sheridan for all research in the Town Reports, Selectmen's Reports, Town Clerk's Records and the Maynard Enterprise. A few dates are from the Maynard News.

Read at the Meeting of The Maynard Historical Society