Greenmount Cemetery History

Greenmount Cemetery, originally Green Mound Cemetery, was founded by Salem Church congregation in 1875. Previous attempts to purchase land for a cemetery in 1836 and 1866 were not successful.

In the Spring of 1875, under the direction of Rev. Simon Kuhlenhoelter it was decided to buy a tract of land on South 12th Street just outside the Quincy city limits. This land, just east of South Park, offered some of the highest and driest points near the city limits.

On June 16, 1875, a committee consisting of August Meyer, William Westerbeck, Peter Bastert, Henry Stoetzel, D. H. Merten, A Klusmeyer and A. Behrensmyer was appointed by the congregation to procure the land. The purchase which contained about fifteen acres, (which is now Blocks 1 through 5) was purchased from Philip Schwabedissen.

Action in setting up the cemetery was rapid. The first board of directors consisted of F. H. Kehlenbrink, William Winkelman, D. H. Merten, Adolph Behrensmeyer and Frederick Pankoke.

The cemetery was officially opened on August 1, 1875. When the cemetery was founded, it was a private cemetery for those belonging to Salem Church and the Lutheran Churches.

The first plan included a circle area to be the center or the heart of the cemetery grounds. This is Circle 3 and centered between Blocks 1, 2, 4, and 5. The inner circle is known as Minister’s Circle. It is reserved for ministers who have served the Evangelical and Reformed Churches, the United Church of Christ, and their families.

The Rev. C. Simon Kuhlenhoelter suffered a paralytic stroke during the early church service on Christmas Day, 1881. He passed away on January 1, 1882, and was laid to rest in the Minister’s Circle on January 5, 1882. To commemorate the founder Rev. Kuhlenhoelter, his name and the names of his family members were added to the Dedication Monument.

On January 7, 1897, a new section totaling thirty-one acres consisting of what is now known as Block A through R was added. It was named the New Greenmount Cemetery.

To help meet the needs of the community, it was decided to open the cemetery to the general public. February 23, 1897, marks the day that the State of Illinois issued a charter for the Greenmount Cemetery Association. This separated the cemetery from Salem Church.

About 1910 the separation between Green Mound Cemetery and Greenmount Cemetery ended. The name Greenmount Cemetery was used exclusively.

Through the years more land has been acquired. As of 2021, the association owns approximately 100 acres with 50 acres open for cemetery use.

The Beginning

Greenmount Cemetery historically has been tied to Salem Church. Salem Church was founded in 1848 by Reverend John Christoph Jung, a German reverend who served the church until 1852. Originally meeting in Jung’s home, the congregation was able to build a brick-and-mortar church in May of 1848 at the corner of Ninth and State Street in Quincy where it still resides today.

From these beginnings came Green Mound Cemetery. The congregation of Salem made attempts to purchase land for the cemetery in 1856, 1866, and 1875 with no success. On June 8th of 1875, the Salem congregation decided to propose the purchase of land on south 12th street of Quincy. Just east of South Park, this is a high and dry area and could be used for burial grounds. On June 16th of 1875, a committee appointed by the congregation met to secure the land. This committee consisted of the following members: August Meyer, William Westerbeck, Peter Bastert, Henry Stoetzel, D. H. Merten, A. Klusmeyer, and A. Behrensmeyer. The original purchase was for approximately 15 acres of land that are now known to us as Blocks 1-5 and was sold to them by Phillip Schwabedisse. The first plans for a layout for Green Mound Cemetery and a circle in the heart of the cemetery were formed. This Circle (block 3) was dedicated in August of 1875 to be the Minister’s Circle where you can find some of Quincy’s well-respected ministers laid to rest including Reverend Simon Kuhlenhoelter, the reverend under whose leadership the congregation founded Green Mound.

Action setting up the cemetery was rapid. The first Board of Directors was formed and included F.H. Kehlenbrink, William Winkelman, D. H. Merten, Adolph Behrensmeyer, and Frederick Pankoke. In 1897 it became necessary to purchase more land and 31 more acres were added on. This area purchase on January 7th of 1897 is known now as Blocks A-R. This section was named Greenmount Cemetery. At this time the Greenmount cemetery association was formed and on February 23rd of 1897 received its charter. In 1910 the whole cemetery took the name Greenmount leaving the original name of Green Mound in the past. Since then, Greenmount Cemetery has purchased more land and now owns approximately 100 acres of land. 

1898 Greenmount Cemetery Association

1898 Green Mound Cemetery Association

Back row left: Ed Lohmeyer, F. A. Kordsiemon, G. Ledig, H. Meyer, F. W. Niekamp, C. D. Behrensmeyer, F. J. Wessels, J. H. Julfs, H. G. Garrelts
Middle row left: W. F. Westerbeck, Karl Krause, S. H. Pieper, P. Kramer, H. Haupt, W. Arning
Front row left: Aug. Stork, J. F. Pieper, K. Eppinger, W. Altheide, F. H. Peuster

Rev Simon Kuhlenhoelter

Reverend Kuhlenhoelter

Simon Kuhlenhoelter was born in Oberwuesten, Amt Schoetmar, Lippe-Detmold, Germany on April 9th, 1820. He came to America in 1852. His first wife was Minnie Miller and his second wife was Laura Meyers. By his first wife, one child survived infancy, Mrs. John (Minnie) Nolan. From his second wife there were three children: Laura, Clara, and Ada.

Pastor Kuhlenhoelter was one of the first graduates of the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Church in Marthasville, MO. On June 6, 1860, the Rev. Simon Kuhlenhoelter of Cumberland, Indiana was unanimously elected to be Pastor of the Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church in Quincy. At that time, the church had only 47 voting members. (Only the male heads of families could vote). He assumed his pastorate in Quincy in August of 1860.

Rev. Kuhlenhoelter was instrumental in the growth of the congregation. In 1862, a parsonage was erected; in 1863 a 20-foot addition was built to the church; in 1864 the church was furnished with a pipe organ. In 1868 the church property was enlarged by the purchase of the adjoining lot on State Street.

On June 8, 1875, under the leadership of Rev. Kuhlenhoelter, the Salem congregation decided to buy a tract of land on South 12th Street, just outside the city limits, for the purpose of providing a burial ground for its members. This was the beginning of what was to become the Greenmount Cemetery. Pastor Kuhlenhoelter suffered a paralytic stroke during the early church service on Christmas Day, 1881. He passed away on January 1, 1882, and was laid to rest in the Ministers' Circle at Greenmount Cemetery on January 5, 1882.

Simon Kuhlenhoelter was the first minister to be buried in the circle area. Other members of the Kuhlenhoelter family are also buried in this area.


The First Interment

The first burial to take place in Green Mound cemetery was that of a young child on July 23, 1875, the day the cemetery was dedicated. The following information was entered in the death register by Pastor Simon Kuhlenhoelter: Anna Wilhelmina Josephine Hillebrenner, Daughter of Wilheilm and his wife Anne, nee Budde Died on July 21, 1875 aged one year, nine months and eleven days.

The child was the first to be buried in the New God's Acre On the eve of July 23, 1875. The burial was made in Block One Lot 32 the Northwest Quarter of the North Gravesite.

A family stone marks the location of the burial and has the following family information:

Wilhelmina Hillebrenner 10 Oct 1873 - 21 July 1875
Caroline Hillebrenner 3 Aug 1887 - 17 Oct 1888
Wilhelm Hillebrenner 10 May 1879 - 10 March 1885
Lydia Hillebrenner 7 Jun 1881 - 1 Apr 1896
Anna Hillebrenner 31 Oct 1850 - 15 Dec 1890
William Hillebrenner 29 Sep 1849 - 25 Nov 1914
Dora Hillebrenner 1 Jan 1867 - 18 May 1896