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Greenwood Cemetery Association

About Us

Historical Timeline

July 6, 1900

The first Organization Meeting, after approval of the Articles of Incorporation, 6 Trustees elected to manage the affairs of the Association: C.O. Stensrud, President (re-elected to term of 11 years(; J.A. Isaacson, Treasurer (41 years); Hans Rasmussen, Secretary (10 years); John Olson, Secretary after J.L. Adkinson (resigned during 1st year) (10 years); and D. Cameron (resigned after 1st year). Resignations could have been age or health: not described in minutes.

Business meeting of Trustees followed. Pres. Stensrud reported terms on which the Association could buy land. Pres. and Tres. appointed to buy land. Hans Rasmussen instructed to have Certificates printed: said certificate entitling owner to one lot (8 graves) in cemetery as completed; voted to sell not to exceed 200 of these certificates at Five dollars each; said sum being used for purposes of buying land and improving. Receipts from Sale of Certificates when printed - $20. (4 Trustees paid)

July 10, 1900

President and Treasurer instructed to purchase land at terms made with James Bardon - $30.00 per acre. Receipts from Sales of Certificates - $55. Balance on hand - $75.

July 16, 1900

Bard advised 18 acres purchased with option to buy balance of 23 1/3 acres. (The 5 1/3 acres purchased in Oct 1900: total cost for land - $700). Moved to offer Terminal Superior and Northern Odd Fellow Lodges all the lots they want at $5.00 each 9 size: 10' x 20' i.e. 200 sq. ft.) to be taken by Aug. 1st or be cancelled on that date. (Together they purchased 20 certificates prior to Aug. 1).

July 23, 1900

"No more lots at $5 be sold except for those already ordered." Quoted $225 price to S.E. Tubbs for two acres for an old Soldiers burial ground. Accepted and reported paid at 7/30 meeting. "Move that lots be sold for $20 on outside lots, and $15 for inside lots when plotted."

Note: of the 200 certificates to be sold, 181 were sold of the 191 who registered for same. 10 apparently did not pay on time as Cert. Nos. 142 thru 149, 155, and 178 left vacant on Record of Certificates. Total receipts recorded - $905.

Trustees met weekly until December and the decisions made were carried out. This involved clearing, removing stumps, plowing and harrowing; platting continued as land prepared, built first bridge, and building a small office building on the east side of Tower Avenue. The first Sexton was hired in September, 1900, for $40 for 8 months, 35$ for 4 winter months. H. Nelson (a contractor for land clearing) was the first Sexton. $3 was charged for a burial which was increased in early 1901 to $5. A fee could be charged for dressing a grave, which was within the law, (1c per sq. ft.) after grave had settled, and lot further dressed. $2 additional was collected.

July 9, 1901

The first Annual meeting was held at Oak Lodge July 9, 1901, with 131 persons present. Treasurer's Report: Receipts $905 from sale of certificates; Operations: Lot and Grave sales, burials, etc. $1,484.43. Because of treasury shortages borrowed $450 from 4 trustees and $400 from individuals at 10% interest per year. Total $850. (By agreement among themselves the interest rate changed to 8% after first year). Total receipts including borrowed - $3,239.23. Disbursements - $3,539.44. Cash short - $297.32: plus $850 borrowed: Debt $1,147.21.

Disbursements included land purchase - $700; platting and registration fees - $124.60; clearing - $114.60; dynamite for stump removal - $49.65; plow/harrow: $176.00; fencing - $281.48; road grading - $85.15; purchase 97 trees - $34.75; labor, materials, and supplies - $1,907.21.

Sexton's report: 145 burials. 18 were Civil War and Spanish War veterans buried in Soldiers' Circle. Of these 18, records show 9 were disinterred from other cemeteries throughout the area and interred in the Circle. (Note: In December, 1901, 6 soldiers were transferred from Nemadji Cemetery to the Circle: Interment Nos. 203 thru 208).

July 15, 1902

The first By-Laws for the cemetery went into effect July 15, 1902; Amended July 21, 1929; Amended: 1952; completely revised in 1987.


A new bridge was constructed on the main entrance road over the ravine -- cement, stone, large culvert pipe, labor - $147.40. Also constructed, the first storage vault in the area at a total cost of $1452.33. This received a great deal of publicity.

December 10, 1904

Superior (Wisc.) Sun report (Edited for space):

"The first body was placed in the new Greenwood Cemetery vault on Tuesday. This is the only vault in the city, is just completed and cost upwards of $1500. The officers of the cemetery are entitled to not only great credit but thanks of the entire population of the city for the erection of this much needed place in which to temporary place the dead."

"Four years ago today Superior had one little cemetery." "This movement started other societies and toady there are four other cemeteries, the Catholic, Swedish, Norwegian, and Jewish, and all of them are a credit to the churches which have them."

From these humble beginnings much has transpired: buildings, a gazebo, bridges, wood sidewalks were built and thru the years have been eliminated; mechanical equipment replacing horse and wagon. Platting of new sections required road extensions to develop areas for future interments, etc.


With over 10,200 interments, with constant maintenance and fill purchases to fill grave depressions, decision was made to use concrete crypts for internment of coffins. In November, 1954, the first of this process began.


A new pump house and water line to spigots was in place, replacing the old windmill with water tank.


The entire north section of the cemetery was prepared for future interments which required over 1,500 yards of fill, graded for proper drainage, and seeded.


A new map of the entire cemetery, platting out the new north sections and redefining other sections in the cemetery was completed.


The new Office/Warehouse/Garage was constructed replacing 3 frame buildings (plus outhouse). This was made mandatory to allow for code setbacks when State Highway 35 was divided for public safety as well as improving the cemetery's entrances, and cross traffic from the new building to the cemetery proper.


Road extensions were made to afford access to burial sites in the new sections.


After two years to develop, a new Cremorial Park has been established in the center of the cemetery. Platting was approved by both the Town of Superior Board and the Douglas County Board of Supervisors in 1990.


A columbarium, an above ground granite repository for cremated remains, was installed, in a time when two out of three interments were of the traditional, casketed, nature. A second unit was installed in 2007, with a third planned for the Fall of 2014. During this time period, the manner of interments have switched, with two out of three being cremated remains.

All proceeds for the continuity and perpetuity of the cemetery are retained by the cemetery, and is controlled by the Board of Trustees. After all running expenses are paid, any surplus funds are put into reserves: future equipment purchase requirements; ground improvements and development; contingency fund for unanticipated expense; Perpetual Care Fund. Several survivors have set up Endowments with the interest only being used for grave care. If not needed for currents expenses, is transferred into the Perpetual Care Fund. A number of persons, in lieu of baskets are contributing small amounts to the Perpetual Care Fund annually. This fund is invested to provide additional income to assist in providing perpetuity of the cemetery.

Where you can reach us
Greenwood Cemetery
8402 Tower Avenue
Superior, WI 54880

(715) 392-2837
Office hours
Open Weekdays:
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
and 1:00 PM to  3:00 PM
Our office is closed right now, but we'll be back tomorrow at 9:00 am
Our office is open until 3:00 pm
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Greenwood Cemetery Association

(715) 392-2837
8402 Tower Avenue, Superior, WI 54880-6132

Greenwood Cemetery Association is a non-profit cemetery with a long standing reputation of service in offering a place of dignity, rest, and peace for the families of Superior, Wisconsin and surrounding areas.

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Greenwood Cemetery Association