Mount Vernon Cemetery gives look into Atchison history


Mount Vernon is a classic-looking cemetery. The Atchison location is the final resting place for several notable Kansans.

The cemetery was built in 1864 and overlooks beautiful lake areas from a hillside a few miles outside of town.


Amelia Earhart’s maternal grandparents are buried here. The Otis family has a family plot area. Her grandfather was Alfred and her grandmother was named Amelia.


Three former governors are buried here. Possibly, the most interesting marker belonged to John Martin. The former governor died at the age of 50. Since his life was only partially completed, his monument, too, was partially completed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it.

Senator John Ingalls is buried here, along other family members. He was known during his days in the United States Senate as the “silver-tongued orator.”

Several markers were beautiful with their designs. They ranged from basic appearances to elaborate work. One resembled a tree trunk.

Mount Vernon Cemetery

I loved the markers that were near the trees with leaves having changed to their fall colors. To me, it was a beautiful view. The deceased couldn’t have planned it better (unless they did).

Mount Vernon Cemetery

The aged grave markers were amazing to check out. I often wonder what the story is behind each person there.

Mount Vernon Cemetery

One person who is believed to haunt the area is Brit Craft. He was an engineer on a train that crashed when he noticed a burning bridge too late. He was able to save the passenger cars, so there weren’t any more unnecessary deaths. Now, he is said to ride the track near the bridge in a phantom train. Craft’s grave stone includes a carved train engine and the words “He died at his post.”

Mount Vernon Cemetery

People can take haunted tours of the cemetery during certain times of the year via the “Haunted Atchison” tours offered through the Chamber of Commerce and visitors center.

As the sun was starting to set, we figured it may be time to leave. I didn’t want to take the chance of running into a ghost or maybe even an unfriendly soul.

Mount Vernon Cemetery

We have learned during recent trips that older cemeteries can be places to visit as they offer a unique take on a city’s history.

So, if in Atchison, I suggest taking a respectful stroll through Mount Vernon Cemetery.