The R.CROSBY KEMPER, III Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation, known as THE CROSBY, acknowledges continued accomplishments in the promotion and advancement of the National Historic Preservation goals with respect to cultural and natural heritage resources and historic preservation, especially those which add benefit for the states of Kansas, Missouri and the public. The Westport Historical Society and R. Crosby Kemper, III are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2017 R.CROSBY KEMPER, III Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation, known as THE CROSBY, is the Union Cemetery Historical Society. The presentation of the award will take place during festivities at Union Cemetery, 227 E 28 Terrace, Kansas City, MO, on Saturday, August 19 at 2:00pm. The public is invited to attend the festivities.
In 1857, wealthy businessman and West Port resident, William Bernard donated land for a public cemetery. This piece of land was located halfway between the Town of Kansas on the Missouri River, and the nearby town of West Port. The cemetery was intended to be a “union” between the two towns and so was named Union Cemetery. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Union Cemetery is the final resting place for approximately 55,000 people of all races and nationalities who shaped the history of Kansas City and helped support the United States Westward Expansion on the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trials. Veterans, who fought in every war from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War, lie side by side in the hallowed grounds of Union Cemetery. Realizing the need for restoration of Union Cemetery, after many years of neglect, the Union Cemetery Historical Society was founded in 1984 as a 501(c)(3) organization with the expressed intention to restore, maintain, and preserve the history of the cemetery. Currently, the society is partnering with the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department to oversee tree planting, and headstone restoration and re-setting, in order to enhance the beauty and security of the cemetery. The historical society continues its fundraising efforts so they may maintain this gift from the past for future generations. Congratulations to the Union Cemetery Historical Society for winning the prestigious 2017 “Crosby” Historic Preservation Award.