The House and Outbuildings 

The cemetery office is the former home of cemetery founder, Franklin Crane. It was built in 1855. The carriage house was built in 1860 and the stable to the south was constructed in the 1890s.
point-of-interest-1A Victorian home belonging to David Crane, Franklin’s son, was located to the north of the cemetery office and was torn down in the 1980s.



The Gage Monument

In 1897, a Topeka newspaper remarked that this may be the only memorial that a soldier has erected to his fellow servicemen. Guilford Gage, a name still familiar to Topekans for the park and street, was a private during that frightening time. A native of Ohio, Gage came to the Kansas Territory in 1856 and began working in a brick kiln. Later, he operated his own brick manufacturing site, roughly where Hayden High School is situated. He married, but the couple never had children.

point-of-interest-3The monument, made of Vermont granite, was dedicated in 1895 at an estimated cost of $5,000 to $10,000. Gage designed the monument himself. It features the statue of a soldier on top, a private at parade rest. He is 6 ½ feet tall, facing west. The base is seven and a half feet square and bears the names of those who served and those who died in Missouri at the Battle of the Blue in October, 1864. It bears this inscription: “By the blood of these heroes and by their conquests, this republic was founded.” On the east side of the monument are the remains of Topeka’s brave soldiers who died in that battle. Initially interred near the battlefield, their bodies were brought home to Topeka by Gage.

In a statement read at the monument’s dedication, Gage said:

I wish to say to you neighbors, friends and fellow soldiers that I claim no special credit for causing to be erected, this monument in memory of my immediate comrades, the dead heroes, who gave their lives to save our state from the invasion of a hostile army.

For many years I have kept steadily in view this project and have now carried it to completion, when it became probable that there would be no action taken by the state. The last man who has personal knowledge of the events which this memorial commemorates will soon be silent forever, but for centuries this monument to their valor will stand in silent eloquence to t tell its story, that lesson of patriotism which is as old as human history, which must be learned in his heart by every free man. . . .

I now present the monument to all ex-Union soldiers of the war, believing that the lesson it teaches will tend to keep alive that unselfish patriotism upon which so much depends for the development of all that is noble in man.


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About  Historic Topeka Cemetery

Historic Topeka Cemetery is operated by its lot owners, each of whom is a member of the Topeka Cemetery Association. Day-to-day operations are overseen by the association’s nine member board of directors and conducted by the superintendent.

As you walk the grounds or visit the website, know that your loved ones rest with ours. As they have been since its founding in 1859, Historic Topeka Cemetery’s caretakers are committed to respectful maintenance and preserving memories for generations to come.

Thank you for your support and patronage of Historic Topeka Cemetery, the oldest chartered cemetery in Kansas.


Historic Topeka Cemetery

1601 SE 10th Avenue . Topeka, Kansas 66607

(785) 233-4132