(Quotes from 1884 Historical Sketch of Mt. Olivet Cemetery)
The christening name, Mt, Olivet, was chosen by the developers as “significant and peculiarly appropriate to this place of Christian sepulture. From Mt. Olivet near the city of Jerusalem, the Savior ascended into heaven, with the promise that He shall come again in like manner as He was seen going to heaven: “And Angels, passing to and fro, Shall pause, and bless this earth below – The dust of those who sleep.”
Originally established in 1847 as a burial ground for Park and Arch Street Methodist Churches, the cemetery was incorporated as a non-profit benevolence in 1866. When the Articles of Association were adopted in 1871, the original members vowed “to accept the high trust to which they have been appointed, and will continue the development and improvement of the grounds and increase the attractiveness of our surpassingly beautiful cemetery.” Designed by the celebrated landscape engineer, Mr. Edward O. Schwageral, Mt. Olivet was skillfully developed in harmony with nature to provide a place for families “to remember and recreate.” It was not uncommon for families to take a Sunday afternoon buggy ride to the cemetery with picnic basket in tow and enjoy the peaceful surroundings with others.
Today the cemetery, resting amongst the rolling hills just south of Hannibal, includes over one hundred park-like acres where nearly 15,000 individuals lie in repose. The current board of directors vow, as their predecessors did in 1871, to preserve the past, yet plan for the future. To that end, the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Association invites everyone to visit the cemetery and discover the beauty – the splendor – that is Mt. Olivet.