St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery is owned and operated by eighteen Catholic Parishes in the city of Evansville: St. Benedict, Christ the King, Holy Rosary, Good Shepherd, Nativity, Holy Spirit, St. Joseph, St. Theresa, Holy Redeemer, St. Anthony, Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. Boniface, Sacred Heart, St. Agnes, Corpus Christi, and Resurrection.

The cemetery has been in operation since 1841, just a few years after the first Catholic Parish, Our Lady of the Assumption, was established in 1837. The original St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery was located northeast of the city in an area that is now bounded by Columbia, Michigan, and Garvin streets. This cemetery was used from 1841-1871.

In 1871, a group was organized to lay the groundwork for a new Catholic Cemetery. The original board of directors consisted of representation from Assumption, Holy Trinity and St. Mary parishes.

Two main sites were studied for relocating the old cemetery. One was in the area of the present day Johnson Place on Lincoln Avenue and the other, which was eventually chosen, on Mesker Park Drive. When this hundred and fifteen acre plot of land was purchased in 1870, it was located on the far outskirts of the young city of Evansville.

In 1872, the new grounds were ready for burials. It wasn’t until 1879 that all remaining bodies were removed from the old cemetery and reburied in the new cemetery. To date, St. Joseph Cemetery is the final resting place for over 37,000 people. St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery is owned and operated by eighteen Catholic Parishes in the city of Evansville: St. Benedict, Christ the King, Holy Rosary, Good Shepherd, Nativity, Holy Spirit, St. Joseph, St. Theresa, Holy Redeemer, St. Anthony, Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. Boniface, Sacred Heart, St. Agnes, Corpus Christi, and Resurrection.

The cemetery has been in operation since 1841, just a few years after the first Catholic Parish, Our Lady of the Assumption, was established in 1837. The original St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery was located northeast of the city in an area that is now bounded by Columbia, Michigan, and Garvin streets. This cemetery was used from 1841-1871.

In 1871, a group was organized to lay the groundwork for a new Catholic Cemetery. The original board of directors consisted of representation from Assumption, Holy Trinity and St. Mary parishes.

Two main sites were studied for relocating the old cemetery. One was in the area of the present day Johnson Place on Lincoln Avenue and the other, which was eventually chosen, on Mesker Park Drive. When this hundred and fifteen acre plot of land was purchased in 1870, it was located on the far outskirts of the young city of Evansville.

In 1872, the new grounds were ready for burials. It wasn’t until 1879 that all remaining bodies were removed from the old cemetery and reburied in the new cemetery. To date, St. Joseph Cemetery is the final resting place for over 37,000 people.

Points of Interest

ST. JOSEPH STATUE

The Statue of St. Joseph, located near the entrance to the cemetery, marks the spot of a mass burial for the unmarked graves from the old cemetery on Garvin and Virginia Streets. This original cemetery served the needs of the catholic community of Evansville from 1837-1878 when new land was purchased on the west side of Evansville.

PROJECT RACHEL

The Project Rachel statue is one of the very special monuments in the cemetery. The statue and adjoining prayer area is dedicated to all those whose lives have been affected by abortion.

PRIESTS’ CIRCLE

Bishop Grimmelsman,  the first Bishop of the Diocese of Evansville, Bishop Shea, the third bishop of the Diocese of Evansville  and many  first  priests who ministered to the people of the Evansville area are buried in what is known as the Priests’ Circle.  On the adjoining hillside, many of the priests who have ministered to the people in the various parishes in the Evansville Diocese are buried.   The crucifix is also a part of the Stations of the Cross that adorn this area of the cemetery.

MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

Deceased members of the Daughters of Charity, Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Poor Clare Sisters are also interred near this area.

 

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