History of Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois, dates to 1857, when land was purchased by Bishop Juncker, then Bishop of Alton, in order to conform to a city ordinance passed in 1856, which prohibited further establishment of burial grounds within the city of Springfield.

The land purchased by Juncker was utilized by the German and Irish parishes of Sts. Peter and Paul and the former St. Mary’s, each operating independently, forming two separate cemeteries (on the present site of Calvary) and each operating out of its own rectories.  A fire of dubious origin occurred around the turn of the century causing many records to burn as well as an office building on the grounds.  The building remains, and signs of the fire can be seen today in the charred rafters when entering the attic space.

Calvary Cemetery Association was established in 1924.

The causes of death in old journals attest to the hardship of life on the Illinois prairie- whooping cough, typhoid, small-pox, tuberculosis and numerous other causes such as runaway horses, killed by train, murder, and on and on...

Calvary Cemetery is rich in local Catholic history.  Buried here is a man named William de Fleurville, who was Mr. Lincoln’s barber and an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.