Greenmound Cemetery: Beyond The Veil

This hidden Prairie Cemetery is rich in history

Green Mound is a prairie cemetery a few miles east of Cheney. It was started by the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows in 1883. “Burying the dead was taken very seriously by early Odd Fellows, and most lodges purchased land and established cemeteries as one of their first activities in a new town or city,” the lodge order remarked. The order kept the cemetery for over 100 years, relinquishing ownership around 1990.

Nature took a strong hold over the cemetery, and prairie grass has grown over some of the graves. Some cemetery markers have gone missing. It is a quiet, peaceful spot.

An interesting feature of the small cemetery is John Wilker and his family. Wilker was born in 1840 in Germany. At some point, his family emigrated to Dubuque, Iowa, where he joined the volunteer 5th Iowa Cavalry as the Civil War began in 1861. The unit fought in numerous engagements including Fort Donelson and the Seige of Atlanta. He was discharged in Nashville, Tennessee 1964. His wife and children are buried beside him. Wilker is perhaps typical of the many Union veterans who settled in eastern Washington in the decades after the war.



Public Property