Sunday Snapshot: Shawnee Indian Cemetery


A small, half-acre cemetery surrounded by suburban backyards is the final resting place for some of Johnson County’s earliest known residents. Shawnee Indian Cemetery, also known as Bluejacket Cemetery, can be accessed from beneath a basketball goal where 59th Terrace comes to a dead end just east of Nieman Road.

The cemetery includes the remains of Shawnee Indian chiefs as well as others; the first known burial was that of Nancy Parks in 1837. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this cemetery, and many of the markers have broken or fallen and are slowly being reabsorbed into the ground. Other pieces of broken markers have been saved by securing them to a large, shared concrete base. Today, the grounds themselves are well maintained and protected.

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5 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshot: Shawnee Indian Cemetery

    1. Diana Staresinic-Deane Post author

      The Shawnee reservation encompassed what is now Johnson County before that land was taken over by the settlers of European descent. There’s a great map of what tribes were where back in the days of the Kansas Territory at the Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memories page: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/213048 — it is old enough to include Columbia, a Lyon County town that only last about three years. (I blogged about it a couple of years ago: https://dianastaresinicdeane.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/columbia-a-kansas-ghost-town-story/ )

      I’m seeing that the existing headstones have been documented at Find-a-Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2169769

      But I find the fact that only a half-acre and a few headstones remain kind of ominous. It makes me wonder how many people are buried in the backyards of the local suburban landscape.

      Reply

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