Cemetery History - Elm Grove

Elm Grove Cemetery

  • In 1853, Henry C. Hargis moved to Bloomfield Township, just south of Des Moines and purchased 500 acres of farmland. 
  • H.C. and his wife Elizabeth donated land that became Elm Grove Cemetery. 
  • The first burial was Alice E. Brisco who passed on May 24, 1854 at age five months. 
  • 61 unwanted cremated remains are buried in a mass grave on Lot 346.
  • The Croatian Center (near the property) at 6575 Indianola Road has occupied the old Elm Grove Elementary School since 1972. 
  • The old school was vacant for seven years before four Croatian organizations in the city raised $10,000 to purchase the building.  
  • The original Elm Grove School was organized on May 14, 1867, and merged with the Des Moines Public Schools on July 1, 1957.