1861 - 1936
Civil War Period
The first soldier to be buried in The Lexington Cemetery was Captain Cary G. Gratz, U.S.A. of St. Louis who was buried on September 11, 1861 in the lot of his father, Benjamin Gratz.
A note posted in the front of the interments book states that between October 4, 1861, and July 26, 1865, buried in The Lexington Cemetery were 828 "U.S. Vols white," 40 U.S. Vols col," and 97 "Disloyal," and a total of 965 Union dead. In the Confederate and private lots there were 102 Southern burials during the war, and 88 of these men died in hospitals in Lexington.
After the war, the cemetery company donated the Union lot to the United States government, which purchased an adjoining 16,111 square feet on July 1, 1867. The entire area was designated as a national cemetery, and the bodies of federal soldiers from several central Kentucky counties were brought here. Servicemen and veterans of later wars were interred in this tract, and by 1932 it was filled. When the government decided not to buy additional land, the trustees set aside an adjacent lot containing 102 grave spaces that could be purchased for the burial of eligible men and women.
The Southern section was turned over to the Confederate Veterans Association on June 6, 1891, for the token payment of one dollar, and the C.V.A. on February 2 of the next year bought an adjoining lot of 510 square feet for fifty dollars. When that space was filled, the association purchased two more lots totaling 853 square feet.
In 1884, the trustees purchased a few acres on the south side of Leestown Pike. This land was used for greenhouses and to build a residence for the cemetery general manager. This property was later sold.
In 1887, the cemetery company made the largest purchase of land in its history, 106 acres. This tract adjoined the cemetery on the northeast and extended to Georgetown Street, increasing the company's holdings to approximately 180 acres. The trustees, however, by a deed recorded in November 1890, sold 53 acres of the Lee property to the Forest Hill Land Company. Part of that tract became Greenwood Cemetery for blacks, and the remainder was subdivided into streets and building lots.
Subsequent purchases have brought the total amount of land that makes up The Lexington Cemetery to 170 acres.
Main Office Building
Nichol's appointment as the next general manager was a simple choice. The August 5, 1905 edition of the Lexington Herald stated: "Mr. Nicol possessed all the qualities that Mr. Bell wished for a pupil, and soon learned to carry on the work in a systematic way. For the last ten years he has done practically all the superintending of the work in the cemetery as Mr. Bell planned it, so that he will have no difficulty in carrying out the landscape plans of Mr. Bell."