Cemetery History - Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill Cemetery

  • Laurel Hill Cemetery is one of the highest points of the city, with commanding views of the downtown skyline and is located directly south of the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
  • The cemetery was founded in 1907, and was one of the three established the City of Des Moines.
  • The cemetery includes a Veterans’ section, GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) section, infant section, 48-unit cremains columbarium, and sales office as well as maintenance buildings. 
  • Approximately 25% of the municipal cemeteries’ annual burials and space sales are done at Laurel Hill. 

Notable Burials

  • The first burial was Emma Springer in 1907. 
  • One of Iowa’s oldest citizens, Nellie Cross who lived to be 112. 
  • Civil War veteran John Heath, an African-American Union Army Buffalo Soldier.