After cleaning the largest of three cemeteries in Topeka this past May, a group took the initiative to update and preserve the cemeteries records. An article in the Topeka Capital Journal outlines the groups efforts and success.

History comes alive at Topeka cemetery

Mount Auburn records project uncovers keys to past

By Tim Hrenchir


Gareford Lee Jr. was 63 years old when he was killed by Topeka’s 1966 tornado.

Former slave Sylvia Harris was reported to be 115 at the time of her death in 1928, when an article in the Topeka State Journal described her as a “staunch believer in walking” who had ridden in a car only once.

And the tombstone inscription for David Marshall says he was born in 1893 and died in 1909, adding matter-of-factly that he “came to his death by poison administered by Mary Troy.”

Marshall, Harris and Lee are buried in Topeka’s Mount Auburn Cemetery, 916 S.E. California Ave., where Philicia McKee says she felt history come alive after her organization last year took on the task of preserving its records.