Pioneer cemetery

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In the United States and Canada, a pioneer cemetery is a cemetery that is the burial place for pioneers in any area subject to territorial expansion, with founding dates spanning from the late 18th to early 20th centuries.


The State of Iowa defines "pioneer cemetery" as "a cemetery where twelve or fewer burials have taken place in the past 50 years".[1]

The State of Nebraska defines an "abandoned or neglected pioneer cemetery" as having been founded or situated upon land that "was given, granted, donated, sold, or deeded to the founders of the cemetery prior to January 1, 1900", and that "contains the grave or graves of a person or persons who were homesteaders, immigrants from a foreign nation, prairie farmers, pioneers, sodbusters, first generation Nebraskans, or Civil War veterans".[2]

The State of Oregon defines a "pioneer cemetery" as "any burial place that contains the remains of one or more persons who died before February 14, 1909",[3] which is the 50th anniversary of Oregon's statehood.

California recognizes that pioneer cemeteries may have become the responsibility of a public cemetery district[4] or may be dedicated by the city or county as a pioneer memorial park if no longer maintained.[5] The law also authorizes the "removal of such copings, improvements, and embellishments which the governing board finds to be a threat or danger to the health, safety, comfort, or welfare of the public."

List of pioneer cemeteries[edit]

Dates are of official founding or earliest burial.







  1. ^ "Code of Iowa 331.325 CONTROL AND MAINTENANCE OF PIONEER CEMETERIES - CEMETERY COMMISSION". State of Iowa. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  2. ^ "12-808. Abandoned or neglected pioneer cemetery, defined". Nebraska Revised Statutes. Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  3. ^ "Regulations". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: Heritage Programs: Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  4. ^ "§ 9001. PUBLIC CEMETERY DISTRICTS". HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE. California Legislature. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  5. ^ "§§ 8825-8829. PRIVATE CEMETERIES:ABANDONMENT". HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE. California Legislature. Retrieved 2012-12-20.