Union Cemetery is maintained by the City of Guthrie Center

The cemetery sexton is Bob Secoy – 641-332-2987

The City is in the process of computerizing all historical records of the cemetery and cross-referencing those records with the map of Union Cemetery and all headstones within Union Cemetery.  This process will take a number of years to complete.

In the future we hope to have a reference book available for viewing at the mausoleum.  In the meantime you can look at our records file at the Mary J. Barnett Memorial Library.  The records are currently in Excel.  If you find information that is incorrect please notify the cemetery sexton.


Information and obituaries from the local funeral home can be found at www.twiggfuneralhome.com

History & Data Union Cemetery

Union Cemetery was laid out by L.P. and W. J. Hammond in 1885 and consists of approximately thirteen acres.

In 1900 an organization known as the Union Cemetery Association was formed and incorporated in accordance with the laws of the state of Iowa for the purpose of improving and caring for the cemetery yard.

This organization proceeded to function until the year 1930, at which time the City of Guthrie Center took over the management and supervision of the cemetery yard and the Association disbanded and surrendered their charter.

January 5, 1914 the City of Guthrie Center authorized “the purchase of the unsold portion of Union Cemetery for the sum of Forty-five Hundred Dollars ($4,500.00) and to issue warrants on the general fund in payment therefor.”

About the year 1908 the Association established a Perpetual Care fund Trusteeship in conformity with Chapter 446 of the Code of Iowa, as several lot owners were desirous of placing funds in such a fund for the care of their lots.

The court appointed J.H. Applegate as trustee to administer this fund.  Mr. Applegate served as trustee until 1910, at which time he resigned and C.H. Nelson was appointed trustee.  Mr. Nelson served as such until January 1925, at which time he resigned and Harold H. Hill was appointed.  Mr. Hill served until March 1943, at which time he resigned.

The city council them decided to take over the management and supervision of the fund, which they did until February 1946, at which time C.H. Nelson was again appointed as Trustee.  This change was made necessary in order to comply with or correct certain requirements of the law governing such funds.

The fund in the meantime had grown to the $12,000.00 mark.

When the fund was first established endowments were entirely voluntary, but later the Council voted that the purchase price of lots be made to include the endowment fee, thus making endowment compulsory.

Every lot owner who purchased lots prior to the Councils ruling should see that provision is made for the care of their lot for all future time in order that it may not be neglected or become a burden to the City.


7/2/1917 Moved and seconded that the town buy three crypts in the proposed mausoleum to be erected in Union Cemetery by R.E. Glass or the Ohio Mausoleum Company at $175.00 per crypt and convey to said R.E. Glass or the Ohio Mausoleum Co. six lots in Union Cemetery at $75.00 per lot in part payment therefore, as per option signed and filed this date.

7/9/1917 Moved by Alexander, seconded by Hess that the Town of Guthrie Center purchase the East Sixty feet of Lot no. 2 of the North West Quarter of the South West Quarter of Section 5 in Township 79 North, range 31, West of the 5th P. M. Iowa from Mrs. Lydia Ludwig for cemetery purposes at the agreed price of Four Hundred Dollars, said tract of ground lying west of Union Cemetery and within the corporate limits of said town.

Moved and seconded that the Clerk issue a warrant in the amount of $400.00 to Mrs. Lydia Ludwig in payment of said tract of land.

2/4/1918 Councilman Kilgore introduced the following Resolution and moved its adoption… Whereas the East Sixty Fee of Lot Two of the North Township Seventy-nine North, Range Thirty-one West of the 5th P.M. Iowa was purchased by the Town of Guthrie Center for cemetery purposes and upon which to build a mausoleum, and Whereas it is probable that an addition to said mausoleum will be necessary and the ground adjoining the present mausoleum should be reserved for such addition, Therefore, Be it Resolved that the North One Hundred Forty Feet of said tract above described and of the land lying east thereof so far as the west line of the Old Union Cemetery grounds, be reserved and held by the town of Guthrie Center for such addition to mausoleum, and that no part of such reserved tract be platted, plotted or sold for cemetery lots.

12/8/1918 Moved and seconded that the endowment fund of the Mausoleum be paid to the Committee as Trustees selected by the Crypt owner to-wit:  S.R. Alexander, H.J. Hess, E.J. Kilgore.

2/3/1919 Moved by Lower and seconded by Alexander that Town offer Mr. R.E. Glass or The Ohio Mausoleum Co. $500.00 for the Receiving Vault containing four crypts.

3/3/1919 Moved by Hess that town deed to Crypt owners a strip of ground on which Mausoleum is situated 60 feet wide East and West by 100 feet long North and South. Motion declared lost.

3/13/1919 Moved by Kilgore and seconded by Alexander that the town deed to J.E. Bowen and John G. Thomas as trustees for Guthrie Center Memorial Mausoleum Co. the North 100 feet of the East 60 feet of Lot 2 of NW 1/4 SW 1/4 Sec. 6-79-31 subject to rights of R.E. Glass or Ohio Mausoleum Co. therein the same to be held and used for mausoleum purposes only.  Motion carried.

4/21/1919 Moved by Lower and seconded by Alexander that Clerk and Mayor execute deed from Town to R.E. Glass for tract of land 48 ft x 82 1/2 on which Mausoleum is located and prepare deed from R.E. Glass to Memorial mausoleum Co., of Guthrie Center, Iowa, first deed to Peoples State Bank in escrow to be delivered to R.E. Glass upon the delivery of deed properly executed by him to Mausoleum Co.

4/23/1919 Moved by W.F. Masters seconded by W.E. Lower that warrant be drawn for $500.00 and interest from Dec 20, 1918 to date in favor of R.E. Glass in payment for Receiving Vault and Clerk directed to send such warrant to R.E. Glass.

11/3/1919  Moved by Alexander that bill of R.E. Glass for receiving vault at Mausoleum in sum of $800.00 and interest at 6% from Dec 20, 1918 be allowed and paid and that Clerk be instructed to draw and forward warrant for same and deed to Mausoleum lot.

3/23/1920  Moved by Kilgore and seconded by Alexander that Mayor and Clerk execute a deed to Guthrie Center memorial Mausoleum Company for East 66 feet of North 100 feet of Lot 2 in NW 1/4 SW 1/4 Section 5-79-31except a tract 48′ x 82 1/2′ on which mausoleum stands.

3/30/1920 The City paid J.G. Thomas $2,500.00 for cemetery lots.  Presumably for the empty spaces in the Mausoleum and the land which had earlier been deeded to the Guthrie Center Memorial Mausoleum Co.

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