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Cemetery History

On May 23, 1919, the Minneapolis City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting future burials in Layman’s Cemetery. The ordinance was adopted in response to complaints from local residents and merchants that the cemetery was badly neglected and constituted a health hazard. The Public Welfare of the City Council, as well as the aldermen representing the 7th and 12th wards, agreed and forwarded their recommendation to the Council for a vote. It is important to note that the ordinance merely prohibited future burials; it did not require the removal of anyone who was already buried in the cemetery.

An Ordinance

Relating to and prohibiting the further burial of the dead in Layman’s Cemetery, so-called, in the City of Minneapolis.

The City Council of the City of Minneapolis do ordain as follows:

Section 1. The further burial of the dead in Layman’s Addition to Minneapolis Cemetery, also known and designated as Layman’s Cemetery, located on and including the south half of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter and a part of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter 24, in the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, and bounded on the south by Lake street and on the west by Cedar avenue, in said city of Minneapolis, is hereby prohibited, it appearing to the satisfaction of the City Council that said cemetery is at present overcrowded and that further burials of the dead in said cemetery would be detrimental to the public health and the general public welfare; and no person shall hereafter bury or cause to be buried in said cemetery the dead body or bodies of any person or persons whomsoever; and the Commissioner of Health of the City of Minneapolis is hereby directed not to give or issue any permit or permits for the burial of the dead in said cemetery.

Section 2. Any person violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall upon conviction thereof before the Municipal Court of the City of Minneapolis be punished for each offense by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding ninety days.

Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from the 1st day of August, 1919.

Passed May 23, 1919. Louis N. Ritten, President of the Council.

Approved May 31, 1919. J. E. Meyers, Mayor

Attest: Henry N. Knott, City Clerk