This cemetery is located at the intersection of 10th and 'G' roads, on the NW corner of the intersection.
DAR records indicate that the land for the cemetery was donated by J. Roberts and D. Robb, each donating one acre a piece. The oldest marker in the cemetery is dated from 1864, and the newest one from 1880. Most of the gravestones have deteriorated and have been replaced with wooden markers. The cemetery is abandoned and was 'Quit Claimed' in 1927 to the Rosewood Cemetery Association.
"The Otoe County Board of Commissioners agreed to contribute $250 for a restoration project at the Pioneers Cemetery southeast of Palmyra. The cemetery, which is older than the state of Nebraska, was built over two acres on a hilltop surrounded by prairie with grass so tall it was claimed that a man could ride through it on horseback and not be seen.
Many of its have been displaced or destroyed, but Bob Fey of Palmyra said a map exists with the size and location of the lots and a trail running up the center. He said there are probably 15 people buried there, but only two to four markers that remain in the correct place.
Commissioner Joy Schroder said Tuesday a group, led by Fey and Gerald Royal of Palmyra, has recently set out to restore the cemetery, which is located at the corner of G and 10 roads. They are working to repair the fence, built in 1927, and hired a contractor to clear brush and unwelcomed trees. Schroder said he expects the group to plant native grass on the cemetery once it is cleared.
The cemetery was started in 1864, nine years after the creation of the Nebraska and Kansas territories and three years before statehood. Among the surviving tombstones are those for the children of Charles W. and Martha E. Palmer, Maud M. and Charles. The children died in April 1880, the same year the cemetery was abandoned or neglected, said Fey. The inscription on the children's monument reads, 'God gave. He took. He will restore.'
Other markers are for Elizabeth White, 1793-1870; Cornelia Laurie, 1827-1874; Mary Webb, 1862-1864; and Freddie Webb, 1868-1869. Some markers are unreadable and some only partially survive. The remains of one marker states, 'Sarah, wife of R.W. Sears, Jan 22, 1874. 33 years.' Fey said there is a Taggart buried at the cemetery, but no marker for him. He said the man may have been related to the Rev. J.N. Taggart, who donated half of his farm in 1870 to establish the village of Palmyra.
Fey, who had drawn a map of the cemetery in 1976, said his wife's relative, a McKee, is also buried there. Since 1930, he said, the cemetery has been overgrown with plum thickets, cedar trees and brush. The North Palmyra 4-H clubs have been helping in the restoration, which has also received support from the Palmyra Village Board. 'It was kind of an overgrown mess and we decided to clean it up if we could,' Fey said. 'Between all of us, we ought to get something
A complete listing of burials has been compiled by the Otoe County Genealogical Society, and can be found in our 'Otoe County Cemeteries'
CD-ROM, which is available for purchase on our Publications
Point of Contact: If you desire more information about this cemetery, please contact the Otoe County Genealogical Society at and we will provide you with as much information about the cemetery as possible.
(1) Swanson, Dan. "Palmyra Attends to Pioneers Cemetery." Nebraska City News-Press [Nebraska City] 14 Nov. 2002. Print.
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