Oak Hill Cemetery
North of East 15th Street

Self guided tour
Request a map and guide from the
Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau
402 North 2nd
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
(785) 865-4499

Quantrill's Lawrence Raid Tour

Oak Park Cemetery - Lawrence Kansas
Oak Hill Cemetery
Main entrance to Oak Hill Cemetery

After Quantrill's Raid in 1863, Lawrence survivors began to search for ways to memorialize those killed in the attack. In 1865, Lawrence purchased land for this new rural style, garden cemetery modeled on Boston's Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas quickly became an important place for Lawrence residents who wished to commemorate August 21, 1863. Elaborate Decoration Day events were held at Oak Hill, and in 1895 the Quantrill's Raid Monument was directed.

Oak Hill Cemetery map
Click on the Oak Hill Cemetery map for a larger image.

The Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau's tour of Oak Hill Cemetery begins with the grave of Wilson B. Shannon, who was the Territorial Governor of Kansas from 1855-1856.

Wilson B. Shannon grave
Wilson B. Shannon (1803-1877)

Just a few dozen feet south is the grave of Solon O. Thacher, who was the Chair of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, and a Kansas State Senator.

Solon O. Thacher grave
Solon O. Thacher (1830-1895)

Then over near the roadway to the southeast to the grave of James H. Lane, who was the first U.S. Senator from Kansas. Lane was a US Army Officer and a Senator at the same time. His grave is marked with an 1870 three part, white marble obelisk which was made in Lawrence.

James H. Lane
James H. Lane (1815-1866)

Then just a few more dozen feet to the southwest is the burial place of the John Speer, an Abolitionist leader who was a member of the Territorial Legislature and editor of the Lawrence Tribune for 16 years. During Quantrill's Raid, John Speer escape by hiding in a nearby cornfield. The raiders stole his horses, and set fire to the house, but when they moved on, his wife, Elizabeth Speer and their children were able to put out the fire and save the building. Two of Speer's sons, who lived away from the home, were killed in Quantrill's Raid

Grave of Abolitionist leader John Speer.
John Speer (1817-1906)

John Speer born in Kittnning, PA and
died in Denver.

Back across the roadway to the east is the Quantrill's Raid Monument. It was erected in 1895 as a memorial to the men and boys who lost their life during the raid. The remains of most of Quantrill's victims have been moved to this area of Oak Hill Cemetery. A mass burial of some of the victims is just east of the Monument. A Lawrence Massacre tour is available at

Quantrill's Raid Monument
Quantrill's Raid Monument

Just north of the Quintal's Raid Monument, you will find the large three part, gray granite obelisk which marks the Haskell family graves. Dudley C. Haskell (1842-1883) was the U.S. congressman that the Haskell Institute, Haskell County amd Haskell Indian Nations University were named after. John G. Haskell (1832-1907) was a state architect and designed the east wing of the Kansas Capitol building.

Haskell Family Monument

Moving to the far southeast corner of Oak Hill Cemetery, along the roadway in Section 5 is the grave of Lucy Hobbs Taylor, who was the first woman dentist in Kansas and the first woman to graduate from a U.S. dental college as a Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor
Lucy Hobbs Taylor (1833-1910)

Then on to the northeast corner of Section 5 where you will find two modern head stones marking the graves of Charles and Mary Langston, the grandparents of poet & writer Langston Hughes, who grew up in Lawrence, Kansas.

grandparents of Langston Hughes,
Charles Langston (1817 - 1892),  Mary Langston (1836-1915)

Before going on to the next stop on the official tour, you might be interested in a grave on the south side of section 10. Elmer S. Riggs was a paleontologist who received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Kansas. He became the second curator of the Geology Department at the Field Museum. He died in Sedan, Kansas on March 25, 1963.

Elmer S. Riggs (1869 - 1963) [section 10, lot 43, north 1/2, grave #1]

Page 2 of Oak Hill Cemetery tour
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Photos copyright 2008-2021 by Keith Stokes