Mount Moriah Cemetery (South Dakota)
Steve and Charlie Utter at the grave of Wild Bill Hickok.
|Location||Deadwood, South Dakota|
Mount Moriah Cemetery on Mount Moriah in Deadwood, Lawrence County, South Dakota is the burial place of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Sol Star,Seth Bullock and other notable figures of the Wild West. By tradition, the American flag flies over the cemetery 24 hours a day, rather than merely from sunrise to sunset.
In the early years of Deadwood, there were two graveyards: The Ingelside Cemetery, which was part of the way up Mount Moriah and was filled quickly in the first few years it was open, and the Catholic Cemetery. Many prospectors, miners, settlers, prostitutes and children were buried within the Ingelside Cemetery, alongside Wild Bill Hickok and Preacher Smith.
In the 1880s it was determined that the land where Ingelside Cemetery was located could be better used for housing. Most of the bodies there were moved up the mountain to Mount Moriah and re-interred. However, since many graves were unmarked or unknown some were not moved. Today it is not uncommon for people working in their garden or remodelling a basement or shed to find human bones as a left over from the Ingelside Cemetery days.
Mount Moriah's main attraction is Wild Bill's gravesite. Calamity Jane and Potato Creek Johnny are buried next to him.
The Cemetery has many different distinct sections in it. There are four different sections in the grave yard labelled Potter's field, where the graves of unknown people or settlers that came from Ingelside were buried without a stone or marker. There is a Jewish section of the graveyard as there was a large Jewish community in early Deadwood and they were afforded more rights and equality in the rough frontier town than other places in the country at the time. Many of the inscriptions are written in Hebrew. Sol Star, a partner of Seth Bullock, was a member of this early Jewish community.
One section is labelled as a Mass Grave site. A fire burned down a lumber mill killing eleven men sleeping there at the time. Another section is labelled the children's section, due to the large number of children buried in Mount Moriah that died from the typhus, cholera and small pox outbreaks.
There are only two Chinese graves left in the cemetery, for Hui ta Fei-Men and a child of Fee Lee Wong, as all the other Chinese buried there were disinterred and sent back to China to be reburied.
In addition there is a veterans section, where many Civil War and Indian War veterans are buried with gravestones supplied by the United States government at the request of their families.
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