Oakwood Cemetery

In 2005, the members of the Oakwood Cemetery Association relinquished control of Oakwood Cemetery to the City of Independence. In 2015, the Independence Parks & Recreation Department was given the responsibility of upkeep of the cemetery.   The records for Oakwood Cemetery are maintained at the Independence Police Department.  Please contact them at 319-334-2520 for information.

A little background on Oakwood Cemetery. Information from: https://www.buchanancountyhistory.com/oakwood-cemetary/

Minutes 5/5/2005

Motion that “effective July 1, 2005, the Board of Directors of the Oakwood Cemetery Assn. Relinquish all funds (including perpetual care fund) in their charge, to the City of Independence. In doing so, the City takes responsibility and liability of upkeep and ownership of the said Oakwood Cemetery Independence, Iowa. The President and Secretary are authorized to sign all necessary paperwork.” Passed


July 1, 2005

Mayor Frank Brimmer

Councilpersons: Greg Bressler, Richard Engen, Cheryl Hand, Paul Paisley, Jeanne Hermsen, Dolores Shannon, Julie Wulfekuhle, City Manger Alan Johnson

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with mixed feelings that we, the members of the Oakwood Cemetery Association, relinquish control of Oakwood Cemetery to the City of Independence. Our primary reason for taking this action is that the Perpetual Care Trust Fund simply does not generate enough income annually to properly maintain the cemetery.

The City will receive along with a Quit Claim Deed, certificates of deposit totaling $93,000, the principle of the Trust Fund. It is our understanding according to the Iowa Code that this endowment must remain an endowment, and that presumably in the future, money could be added to it through bequests or gifts. We will also be giving the City a CD that will indicate who is buried where. This is being transferred from the cemetery book to CD by John Klotzbach.

While we realize that this gift to the City must be without strings, beyond those stated in the Iowa Code, we do hope that this council and future councils will appreciate the historical significance this cemetery holds for our community. Its location on the south entry to Independence makes it imperative that it be well maintained – better than we’ve been able to do these past years. This seems especially true now that so much major development is going on south of town. The iron fence is of considerable value, and it seems to us that it should be restored. (See the attached history of Oakwood Cemetery.) Many of the old monuments need repair. Finally, there’s the ongoing need for mowing and trimming grass, trimming trees and shrubbery, and removing fallen limbs and trees.

All the members of the Association join me in thanking the City of Independence for taking on this responsibility.


            Susan A. Garber, Secy.

            Ed Armstead, Chairman

            Roger Johnson, Treasurer

            Ellen Foland

            Leanne Harrison

            Kate Risk

            Richard Shillinglaw