St. Cecelia - Calvary Cemetery
The Calvary Cemetery board would like to thank the Trees Forever “Iowa Living Roadways Projects Program” for the generous grant to add all the beautiful plantings along our property.
We would also like to thank the City of Algona for the sponsorship of the grant and assisting us through the process. The overwhelming volunteer support we had on the planting day and through the preparation made this project a success.
Our cemetery has never looked so beautiful.
The deaths of the early pioneers' loved ones posed hardship problems in this area.
The first cemetery was located on a gentle hillside plot in Plum Creek. Lilacs still bloom there to commemorate the early resting place.
Information on Calvary Cemetery was related by Lawerence Winkel:
By Warranty Deed dated May 28, 1884, and recorded January 12, 1887, A. A. Call conveyed blocks 20 and 21 in Call's addition to Algona to Denis McCaffrey. This is the south one-half, commonly referred to as the old part of Calvary Cemetery. Then by Warranty Deed, both dated and recorded June 17, 1887, Denis McCaffrey conveyed the same land to John Hennessy, Bishop of Dubuque. Then by Warranty Deed dated May 6, and recorded May 7, 1913, Phillip J. Garrigan, conveyed this same property to St. Cecelia's Roman Catholic Church. These two city blocks were laid out as four cemetery blocks, being 2 east and 2 west of the circle in which our priests are buried.
From old cemetery records it appears that practically every family head in the early parish was assigned an eight grave space lot, but with an occasional one taken by two related families and at the modest price of $10 per lot.
No deeds have ever been issued by our cemetery association, but rather burial space rights, so that each family could be assured of sufficient space to inter all of its members.
Nothing by way of perpetual care, or cost of future caretaking was exacted in connection with those early sales, and after many years had passed and also with new parishioners moving into the parish, the price for grave spaces rose to the sum of $50 by 1917 for an eight grave lot, and still without anything for future care. About 1940, something for perpetual care was begun and by the spring of 1942, when a permanent cemetery board was first established and elected, an effort was made to ask former lot holders when available to contribute to a perpetual care fund, as well as to making a charge for it with all future spaces sold.
By 1923, it became so obvious that additional cemetery space would soon be needed, so by Warranty Deed dated January 15, and recorded March 6, 1923, the Chas. A. Fouhy heirs deeded blocks 12 and 13, and all that part of vacated Mound Street between some in Call's addition to Algona, to St. Cecelia's Catholic Church. This is what is now the north half of our cemetery. Referred to as the new part, and two cemetery blocks were laid out along the south edge thereof in six grave lots, all of which had been sold by 1970.
By Warranty Deed dated March 8, and recorded March 12, 1962, St. Cecelia's Roman Catholic Church conveyed 17 feet of the north edge of Calvary Cemetery property to the State of Iowa."