Hazelwood Cemetery on W. Seminole in Springfield is nearly a century and a half old. The largest municipal cemetery in the state, it encompasses more than 60 acres and has more than 44,000 grave spaces, which are still being sold. As the cemetery approaches its 150th anniversary in October, public input is being sought as part of a visioning process for the site.
Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture is working with the City of Springfield Public Works, which maintains the cemetery, to develop a vision for its future. Four public workshops are planned:
Community Visioning Workshop Schedule:
All visioning meetings will take place at the Schweitzer-Brentwood Branch Library Community Room (2214 S. Brentwood Blvd.)
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 – Final Presentation of Recommendations
Once public input is gathered, Drury students will present recommendations for potential improvements to the cemetery in May. According to the City of Springfield, proposed improvements “could help Hazelwood keep up with changing industry trends, increase visibility and vehicle access and improve Public Works facilities on cemetery grounds.”
Hazelwood is the final resting place of many notable Springfieldians, including Springfield founder John Polk Campbell; Mayor, Congressman and Judge Sempronius (Pony) Boyd; and Route 66 visionary John T. Woodruff.
According to the city, the cemetery was established in 1867. The 80 acres of land chosen for the new public cemetery were located 2.5 miles outside of the Springfield city limits. Graves were relocated there from the old municipal cemetery (near Campbell Avenue and State Street) and the North Springfield Cemetery (near Campbell Avenue and Atlantic Street). Ten acres at the northeast corner of Hazelwood were secured by the federal government for use as a national cemetery for Civil War soldiers.