Odd Fellow's Cemetery
Dates of Existence: 1854 to 1923
Location: approximately 27 acres between Geary and Turk streets,
Parker Avenue and Arguello Boulevard
Number interred: 26,000?
Moved to: Greenlawn Cemetery
Notes: was originally a subdivision of the Lone
"Squatting on Cemetery Grounds. The
climax of all outrages have been attained in the forcible seizure by the
squatters of the Odd Fellows Cemetery Grounds. The cemetery was legally
deeded by S[amuel] Brannan to the first Lodge established in the city more
than two years ago, for the perpetual use of the Order, and has been in
their possession since that time until the squatters seized it. They declare
their intention of holding it at all hazards. In the mean time, the Order
of Odd Fellows are taking steps to oust the sacrilegious wretches from
the sacred resting place of the dead. If an argument had been wanting to
show the depths to which perverted human nature can sink, it would have
been furnished in this desecration of hallowed ground. It is bad enough
for private property to be forcibly taken and held by armed bands of lawless
desperadoes; but when even the hallowed spots dedicatd to the burial of
the dead are this outraged, patience ceases to be a virtue, and the public
action is called for."
Source: Daily Alta California, 22 July 1853.
WILL DEED TO THE CITY. Plan for Perpetuating
the Odd Fellow's Cemetery. George T. Baker, president of the
board of directors of the Odd Fellow's Cemetery Association, is agitating
a proposition to deed the cemetery to the State or city authorities, to
be maintained forever as a public park. It is part of the plan to
give $100,000 with the deed of gift, the interest on this sum to be used
in keeping the cemetery in good condition.
The plat of land now used as a burying ground was purchased by the association
in 1865, and was paid by an issue of bonds taken up by the different lodges
of Odd Fellows throughout the city. These bonds have been redeemed
long since, and the property consequently belongs to the association.
As each individual plat-owner has an absolute right to the property he
purchased, the association has not the power to divert the land from its
present purpose, and it therefore must remain as the city may see fit to
condemn it. It is for the purpose of preventing this latter alternative
and to secure for the plat-owners a perpetuation of their rights that the
association is making the present move. It is estimated that two
years will be required to dispose of the burial plats yet unsold, and nothing
definite will be done until this has been acomplished.
As the association exists under the rural cemetery act, a special act
of the Legislature will probably be necessary to insure the perpetuation
of the burying ground as proposed."
Source: San Francisco Morning Call, 6 October 1893.
"A Neglected Graveyard. Seven-year-old Willie
Elsie of 2722 Golden Gate avenue was playing Klondike yesterday with some
little fellows of his own age at the junction of Golden Gate avenue and
Stanyan street, and in digging for gold unearthed some human bones and
fragments of a coffin. Pieces of the shroud and a pair of boots were also
found. The gruesome relics were taken to the Morgue, but neither inquest
nor autopsy will be held. The site on which the bones were found was a
cemetery many years ago and when the bodies were exhumed some were forgotten."
Source: San Francisco Morning Call, 15 August 1899.
San Francisco Genealogy
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