Lawn Cemetery was officially established in 1878 when William T. Perry
deeded property to R.M. Collins, the mayor of Decatur, for a public
burial ground for area residents. At that time however, at least one
marked grave, that of Eli Lindley (d. 1867) existed, indicating that a
private cemetery has first been established here. Other marked graves
dating as early as 1857 are believed to have been relocated to this site
after the public cemetery’s founding.
||The city of Decatur
managed the cemetery between 1878 and 1928. During that time, local
residents C. and Caroline Harmon donated land to the city on four
occasions to enlarge the cemetery property. In 1928, in response to the
recent formation of a cemetery association by E.P. Gibson, W.P. Thurmond
and T.J. Dillehay, the city ceased its’ management of Oak Lawn.
Between 1928 and 1986, the Cemetery Association maintained the burial
ground, which was again enlarged in 1947 and 1960. In 1986, after the
dissolution of the Association, the city of Decatur resumed
responsibility for the graveyard.
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