We regard the inauguration of GREENWOOD CEMETERY, as an era in the history of Clarksville, and an enterprise which should enlist the cordial support of all our citizens, who cherish the memories of departed kindred and friends. The places formerly used for burying the dead in our midst, being limited in extent, had in the course of time become so occupied that there was not a lot for sale in either of the old Cemeteries. Besides this, they were organized upon a basis that provided no means to preserve them from neglect, as the weeds and briars and the general air of desolation surrounding them fully attest.
Under these circumstances a few of our citizens determined that a new Cemetery should be opened and organized on a basis that would ensure its being kept up as a fit resting place for the dead, for all future time. Accordingly in 1869, a CHARTER for GREENWOOD CEMETERY, was obtained from our Legislature, and in 1870, six gentlemen made a purchase on their own responsibility, of suitable grounds which were on the eve of being divided off into small lots, and sold. They felt that this was the best and the only suitable place in the vicinity of our City for a Cemetery, and to save it from being appropriated to other purposes, they bought the property, which they afterwards transferred to the Company at cost. Subsequently, the incorporators, under the Charter, organized, and books were opened for subscription of stock, the shares of which were fixed at $50 each. The sum of $8,900.00 has been subscribed in stock by forty-six stockholders. As soon as a sufficient amount of stock was subscribe to warrant it in the judgment of the Board of Directors, they at once employed Benjamin Grove, Esq., of Louisville, an engineer of tried and approved skill and taste in such matters, and the whole tract of land, containing about forty acres, has been most beautifully and artistically laid out. About one third of the tract, sufficient for many years to come, is now ready for use and other portions will be prepared and brought into use as occasion may require. The grounds have been beautifully graded, the borders sodded and the avenues will all soon be macadamized and graveled; the Superintendent’s house is now being built, evergreens, shrubbery and shade trees will be planted this fall, and the work of adorning and beautifying the grounds will proceed as rapidly as possible, it being the intention of the Board to the utmost extent of the means at their command to ornament and beautify the grounds by all that art can supply or taste suggest. They are determined that GREENWOOD shall be second to no Cemetery in the State, and to accomplish this object, they intend to appropriate every dollar of the Capital Stock and the entire proceeds of the sales of lots to the improvement and decoration of the grounds, and the formation of a permanent endowment fund, until said endowment fund is sufficiently large to yield an annual income that will provide for keeping the entire place in good order perpetually. The Board feel greatly encouraged by the spirit with which their efforts have been seconded by a liberal and refined community, and feel that GREENWOOD is already a success, of which all our citizens should feel proud, and labor to augment. We wish to make it a spot whose beauty and lovely attractions and surroundings will afford some solace to the stricken hearts of bereaved friends and assist in keeping green the memories of the loved and lost.
On the 21st day of June 1873, at a public sale, seventy-three lots were sold and since that time there have been thirty-one more sold privately making in all one hundred and four lots. Many families are removing their dead from the two old neglected Cemeteries and from the country to GREENWOOD, where they have the assurance of a perpetual organization to keep their graves green long after they and theirs have moldered into dust.
The extent to which these liberal plans of the Company for beautifying the grounds by the planting of ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers, can be carried out without delay, will depend in some measure upon the interest felt and manifested by the community, with regard to it. The Board of Directors therefore appeal to all our citizens to come to their assistance in a spirit of liberality worthy of the laudable object in view. It is hoped that every family in the city and county adjacent, will at once embrace the opportunity of securing lots suited to their various tastes in the beautiful and appropriate resting place for the dead. Let every one come forward and aid in this enterprise, by buying lots that the work of improvement may go on rapidly and on a liberal scale. Many of our citizens have done nobly in liberal subscriptions of stock and purchase of lots, and others, we feel satisfied will do so, when their attention is directed to the matter