St. John Catholic Cemetery History

In the early years of the settlement of Jackson the Catholic inhabitants had no separate cemetery, but used the East Side burying ground in common with other citizens, for most burials, but some bodies were taken to Dexter, Ann Arbor and Marshall, where the Catholic families residing here owned lots.

It was near the close of the Civil War when the Catholics of St. John’s Parish resolved to secure a cemetery for their separate use, and after careful examination of various sites, Rev. Father Moutard, then pastor of St. John’s Church, selected the one on Francis Street, just south of the city limits, and in the summer of 1866 purchased it from Thomas J. Kent, paying $100 an acre for acres of land fronting on the east side of Francis Street.

It was promptly fenced, surveyed and laid out for cemetery purposes, after which, in the fall of 1866, the west half of the tract was formally consecrated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lefevre, of Detroit.  The work of improving this cemetery progressed slowly for some years, but was given a new impetus when Fr. Buyse became pastor of St. John’s, and since that time he has paid out of his own pocket more than $1,200, in addition to all the receipts from the sale of lots and incidentals extras, for beautifying and keeping up the repairs of this cemetery.  The result of this care is both self-apparent and gratifying, for St. John’s is as pretty a burial place for its size as there is in the state. It is tended by Wm. Rooney, who has devoted all his time to the place for a good many years past, at an annual salary of $600.

St. John’s Catholic Cemetery is Jackson County’s only Catholic cemetery serving the Catholic community at their time of loss.  St. John’s Catholic Cemetery is a parish cemetery, rooted in the firm belief in the sacredness of human life.

St. John’s Catholic Cemetery’s 80 acres of consecrated grounds are well maintained by cemetery staff.  Since the mid 1800’s, we have and continue to develop and beautify our grounds for future interments.  The chapel/office building, built in 1966, provides families a peaceful and fitting site for interment services.