Sioux City's three cemeteries enjoy a rich history. A brief review:
Floyd Cemetery, 2500 Seventh St.:
Early civic-minded Sioux Cityans were so proud of the climate that they boasted they had to kill a man in order to start a cemetery. The man, Bill Craven, who arrived in the city in 1855, was killed in a brawl and was buried near the Springdale brickyards, according to a 1945 story published in the Journal. The city fathers' boasting didn't produce a cemetery there, however.
In 1866, businessman John Hagy donated a field to the city for its first cemetery. The tall bluff overlooked the Floyd River. Two years later, the first lot was sold to G.W. Vanderhule, with the record of sale being signed by Mayor James Bacon.
A number of prominent citizens lined up to buy the lots, including Dr. William Smith, James Booge, Hagy and French fur trader Theophile Brughier, considered to be the first white resident of Sioux City. Brughier actually was buried in Salix before his remains were moved to War Eagle monument area.
A bandstand dedicated to the memory of veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic (Civil War) is located at Floyd Cemetery. As the oldest cemetery, it is filled with many tall, heavy monuments honoring people who died in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Immediately to the east is Mount Carmel Cemetery and to the south is Mount Sinai Cemetery.
Graceland Park, 2701 S. Lakeport St.:
Founded in 1909 by Andrew M. Jackson, Graceland is laid out as a burial park. It was designed by landscape architect Charles Finley, according to city records. In 1912, a chapel was built for $32,800. In 1971, a marble mausoleum was constructed at a cost of more than $100,000.
Jackson was a good promoter who traveled to towns selling lots. As a result, Graceland was a prosperous cemetery with 300 to 400 burials per year. Jackson died in 1943 and 10 years later, the City Council bought the cemetery, despite some controversy surrounding the purchase.
The James F. Toy Mausoleum is located in Graceland, where members of the prominent Sioux City banking family are buried. A statue of a Spanish American War soldier stands in Graceland in honor of those who died in that conflict.
The Woodbury County Commission of Veterans Affairs has a lot at Graceland for the burial of indigent veterans. Sections have been purchased by St. Thomas Antiochian Orthodox Church, an Islamic group and the Independent Farane Jewish Cemetery Association.
Also buried in Graceland is William "Bill" Harding, governor of Iowa from 1916-1921.
Logan Park, 3901 Stone Park Blvd.:
Logan Park was founded in 1892 by F.C. Hills and Associates. After visiting other burial parks in the country to get ideas, the company employed a firm of landscape architects to come to Sioux City to help select the location and recommend its design. Among the factors considered were finding a tract of land removed from the noise, odors and smoke of the city and finding a rolling countryside that would help protect the graves from cold winter winds and storms. The city bought Logan Park in 1924.
The first person buried in Logan Park was Andrew G. Anderson, hero of the flood of 1892 who rescued 26 people. He drowned trying to save other victims. A Swedish granite monument on his grave tells his story.
Other landmarks at Logan Park include the Badgerow Mausoleum, made out of white marble resembling an ancient Greek temple; a city vault where bodies were stored over the winter years ago, and the 1961 public mausoleum.