(occupants list is updated
Examination of the records at the Lincoln Parish Courthouse reveal that on July 23, 1886, Robert E. Russ did “donate, give and dedicate as use as a public burying ground a lot of ground situated in the Town of Ruston, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, described as follows: beginning 420 feet west of the SW corner of square 25 and running west 300 feet along Alabama Avenue, thence north 300 feet, thence east along Georgia Avenue 300 feet, thence 300 feet to point of beginning.”
This act of donation and dedication was accepted by J. J. Neilson, first mayor of Ruston. Witnesses were Eugene Howard and T. B. Finley.
The original plot of land has been enlarged and extended to the north several times. At present the cemetery has an area of thirty acres.
Greenwood Cemetery is filled with people who, from the founding of Ruston to the present time, have contributed to its religious, cultural, economic, educational, civic, and physical growth.
The City of Ruston divided the cemetery into plots. Each plot was divided into blocks that are thirty feet by thirty feet. Each block was divided into four lots that are fifteen feet by fifteen feet. Each lot was divided and intended to hold 3 grave spaces that measure five feet wide by fifteen feet long. Some lots have more than 3 graves and some have fewer. Blocks were sold for $300.00 each or a lot for $75.00 or a single grave for $25.00 (keep in mind this was done in 1886) and all blocks have been sold. Once a block was sold the sale was recorded in the Lincoln Parish Courthouse and became the property of the buyer. The going price for one burial site in 1999 exceeded what the city sold an entire block for in 1886. There is a five-foot walkway between each block, which is still owned by the City of Ruston. The City of Ruston still maintains the entire cemetery.
There are several rows of old iron markers with “Perpetual Care” written on them in Plot 4. It has been told to each caretaker that the identity of these people has been lost, but that they were Veterans of the War Between the States. Including these and counting the other Civil War Veterans that are interred there in the cemetery, there is a total are of 49 known and 23 unknown.
Also in Plot 4 beside the Cemetery Office is a block filled with the graves of children, some of whom were from the Methodist Children’s Home. Many in this section are unknown due to not placing markers on the graves.
There are many unmarked graves in Greenwood Cemetery and occasionally when digging a new grave an old and forgotten one is found.
Ruston’s Mayors Buried in Greenwood Cemetery
1st – J. J. Neilson (1886 – 1890)
2nd – Spencer P. Colvin (1890 – 1896)
3rd – Charles Kidd Lewis (1897 – 1898)
4th – Fred W. Price (1898 – 1900)
6th – J. L. Bond (1904 – 1908)
8th – Robert B. Knott (1910 – 1916)
10th – Richard M. Gill (1917 – 1920)
11th – William S. Moore (1920 – 1928)
12th – Charles C. Goyne (1928 – 1941)
13th – C. A. Norris (1941 – 1942)
*Occupants List is updated once each month. For corrections, please call 318-251-8621.