Hamilton’s earliest burials were in public grounds, in the area of what is now the intersection of Front and High Streets. Other sites included: the Third Ward Cemetery between Third, Fourth, and Sycamore Streets (also known as Ludlow Park or Third Ward Park); the Rossville Cemetery (First Ward) at Park and D Streets (now Sutherland Park) on the west side. On occasion, family yards, rural plots, and farms became places of interment.
In the 1840’s, Hamilton’s leaders felt the need for a community cemetery. In 1848, Greenwood Cemetery Association was established. The cemetery land was purchased from David Bigham. The cemetery contains more than 1,800 remains from Hamilton’s two pioneer cemeteries.
Greenwood was modeled after the world-famous Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Boston and the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Adolph Strauch, the landscape architect and gardener who designed Spring Grove also planned Greenwood, although most of the work laying out the cemetery was done by prominent Hamilton citizens John W. Erwin, John M. Millikin, and Governor William Bebb. It is in the style of a park containing beautiful mortuary art.
Many people who made major contributions to Hamilton, Butler County, the State of Ohio, and the nation are buried at Greenwood. Hamilton historian Jim Blount has written profiles of some of these people in his book Greenwood Biographies.
Deceased veterans of all wars from the American Revolution to the present are buried at Greenwood, including the only Civil War general from Butler County and some of the most recent fallen heroes from the war in Iraq.
In 1994, Greenwood Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
Greenwood Cemetery exists in the city of Hamilton which has been known as the city of sculpture, but Greenwood Cemetery is Hamilton’s original sculpture park! Opened in 1848, Greenwood has thousands of monuments which are works of art in themselves!
Walking through the cemetery, one can see the transitions Hamilton has endured, beginning with the days of Fort Hamilton and moving onto when the city was known for all of its manufacturing, through the large variety of personal mausoleums and memorials. The cemetery’s upmost purpose is to commemorate the lives of our loved ones. Greenwood Cemetery has availability for the next 100 years so please come and visit us!