Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery

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Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery
Established 1867[1]
Location 806 SE 3rd St, Lees Summit, Missouri
Coordinates 38°54′58″N 94°21′49″W / 38.91611°N 94.36361°W / 38.91611; -94.36361Coordinates: 38°54′58″N 94°21′49″W / 38.91611°N 94.36361°W / 38.91611; -94.36361
Type Public
Owned by City of Lee's Summit, Missouri
Size 20 acres (81,000 m2)[1]
No. of graves 20,000[1]
Website LSHC Homepage
Find a Grave Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery
The Political Graveyard Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery

Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery is a cemetery in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Many local notable people were buried there, including Nicholas B. Langsford, Pleasant Lea, George Neal, William B. Howard, William S. Cowherd, and former mayors from Lee’s Summit and surrounding areas. Civil War veterans and several members of the Confederate guerrilla band known as Quantrill’s Raiders were also buried there,[2] including Cole Younger.


The Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery (LSHC) got its start in 1865 when William B. Howard donated the oldest addition of the cemetery (approximately two acres) to the Town of Strother,[2] which later became incorporated and known as Lee’s Summit. Before this cemetery, there were numerous family cemeteries throughout the area. The second addition of the cemetery was surveyed in May 1875, and in April 1887, a third addition was added.[2] Two additional acres were purchased from Mrs. William B. Howard in December 1889.[2] The cemetery grew again in April 1907 when another 2 acres (8,100 m2) were added.[2] Sidewalks were built along the cemetery in September 1915.[2] In July 1931, the cemetery roads were graveled and then paved in September 1975.[2] In July 2002, the original wrought iron sign was restored and placed at the southeast corner of the cemetery.[3] This sign dates back to 1860 and once marked the entrance to the cemetery.

Cole Younger's grave

The most notable of all people interred at LSHC is Thomas Coleman Younger, better known as Cole Younger. Younger was born in Lee’s Summit in 1844[4] and killed his first man during a border skirmish serving as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. He was 21 when the Civil War ended in 1865, and he returned home to join his ailing mother and three brothers. Cole and his brothers, Jim, John, and Bob, all joined the James Gang and lived the lives of outlaws, which led to the 25-year prison sentence they would serve at the Minnesota State Prison.[4] Cole was released from prison and returned to Lee’s Summit to live the life of a “model citizen”.[5] He died in 1916 with 11 bullets still embedded in his body. Cole was buried in lot #12, with his brothers Jim and Bob and his mother, Bursheba, also buried nearby.

There are thousands of others who have made LSHC their final resting place.[2] The remains of those who could not afford to purchase a family lot are buried in a potter’s field.[2] Many of the influenza victims of 1918, infants, and slaves, whose headstones (if they had them) have long eroded away, are buried in this section of the cemetery.[2] There are currently 20,000 grave sites sitting on 20 acres (81,000 m2).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lee’s Summit Historical Cemeteries". Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Self Guided Walking Tour of the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  3. ^ "Cemetery Marker Restored,July 24, 2002". Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b "Younger Family". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  5. ^ "The History of Lee's Summit". Retrieved 2009-06-14.