An unmistakable crisp smell of fall hangs in the air. The old, iron fence can be seen by anybody on the road, as the sound of gravel sounds under visitors’ shoes. People can feel a strange sense of peace and calmness as they look at loved ones. Surprisingly this is the typical setting of the Blue Springs Cemetery. The cemetery not only serves to contain deceased loved ones, but also as a symbol of pride to the Blue Springs and surrounding community. The Blue Springs Cemetery, a Gage County Landmark, has a rich history, and is an important part of community pride and service.
The Blue Springs Cemetery is in the town of Blue Springs, Nebraska, located in the Southeast corner of the state (Everson and Petersen). Blue Springs is approximately 51 miles south of Lincoln and 12 miles south of Beatrice following Highway 77 (Everson and Petersen). Located one mile north of the Blue Springs City limits, the rural community with a population of 431 takes great pride in the cemetery’s rich history and recognition (Everson and Petersen).
Nebraska gives credit to the Blue Springs Cemetery, as the “Oldest Recorded Cemetery” in Nebraska (125 Year). The first burial and death recorded was that of Allen R. Johnson, on January 25th, 1862 (125 Year). Johnson, who drowned in the Big Blue River, originally died on September 26, 1857 (125 Year). Originally, the Johnson family buried their son in a field on the family farm (Petersen, Minute Book). They later, after the founding of the cemetery in 1860, exhumed the body and reburied their son in the new cemetery (Petersen, Minute Book). His death is also marked as the first recorded white death in Gage County (Petersen, Minute Book).
Without the assistance of generous community members, the cemetery would not have been possible. The first acre of land was given by “Pap” Taylor, and soon the first acre was followed by the second donated by “Uncle Bob” Wilson for burial purposes(Petersen, Minute Book). These two acres of the cemetery are today, referred to as the “Original Section” of the cemetery(Petersen, Minute Book).
Citizens of Blue Springs wanted to be sure that they were given an opportunity to help with the Blue Springs Cemetery. On May 16, 1982 people living in Blue Springs and the surrounding area gathered in Roderick’s Hall in order to organize a cemetery association(Petersen, Minute Book) This association was, and still to this day, is known as “The Blue Springs Cemetery Association (Petersen, Minute Book).” A committee of five citizens, namely James H. Cassebeer, Mrs. A.C. Miover, Miss Anne Craig, E.H. Burington, and W.W. Wright were appointed to draft the constitution and by-laws (Petersen, Minute Book). Surprisingly, the original Articles still remain in effect, with very few revisions (Petersen, Minute Book). In earlier years, meetings were held scheduled annually for the second Tuesday in March (Petersen, Minute Book). Meetings were usually held in the homes of association...