Wyuka Cemetery Information


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Wyuka Cemetery

Wyuka Cemetery was established by an act of the Nebraska Legislature in 1869, to provide the capital city with a state cemetery. Even though Lincoln was less than two years old at the time, the Legislature felt that a cemetery was necessary to provide a resting place for the community.

A board of three trustees rejected the first site provided by the state due to it being a flood prone ground located just west of Lincoln, along the Salt Creek.  Instead, they opted to purchase 80 acres of rolling terrain east of the city on which to establish a “rural cemetery”, patterned after Mount Auburn Cemetery near Boston, MA (est. 1831).

The cemetery design was the latest trend in American burial grounds, inspired by the English garden school of landscaping, which was crafted for the enjoyment of the public. This new type of large, scenic, park-like cemetery with curving roads that accentuate the lay of the land, as well as the abundant plantings of trees, shrubs, and flowers, encouraged visitors to stroll, remember, and learn about their community’s past, continuing that same tradition to present-day.

Although Wyuka has grown in size since its inception – the cemetery currently encompasses over 140 acres between “O” Street and Vine Street – it continues to retain the rural cemetery design. In 1982 the National Register of Historic Places listed Wyuka Cemetery as an outstanding example of the beautiful rural cemetery form.

The current funeral home, chapel, and office here at Wyuka Cemetery were built in 2000, with the architecture and design being based – in large part – on the cemetery buildings that were put in place in the early 20th century. Two century-old stained glass windows grace the interior of the building, both of which were repurposed from the original cemetery buildings.