Taphofile Tuesday: Benjamin Wheeler Steele

Taphophile Tuesday:

 Colorado Springs Daily Gazette’s first publisher, Benjamin Wheeler Steele. Born in Massachusetts in 1851 to a family of old New England stock and Revolutionary War ancestry, he was proud of his ancestors and had a number of historical documents relating to their war efforts. As a boy, he saw his father and brothers go off to serve in the Civil War, some of them never to return. He was old enough to appreciate the stirring events of the times, and they left a strong impression on his mind. By age 14 he became a janitor of a four-room school to help pay for his education. Through perseverance, he also worked his way through graduation at Brown University. From a fellow student at Brown: "it was because of an explosion in the chemical laboratory that hemorrhages were brought on." He had begun to study law but left for our dear Colorado Springs instead to seek a healthier climate for his lungs. Upon arrival, Steele became an editor for the weekly Gazette, earning $8 per week. One year later, he was publishing the newspaper daily. Steele was popular with his employees. As noted in his eulogy, he took a warm, personal interest in his workmen, prizing faithful service and honoring those who gave it. He was level-headed, possessed good judgment, kind, and good-humored. He was known for his fairness and ability to see all sides of the issue. One senator reportedly said he possessed the strongest intellect in the state. His health declined quickly, and he was only able to rise from his bed for formal functions.

 The last two months of his life were spent bedridden, but he continued to transact business until the end in 1891, at only 40 years old. From the Gazette: By his final years, he had become a thorough student of the war and had a complete library of war literature. The old soldiers of our city have cause to remember him very kindly because of the great interest he took in all that pertained to them. His final resting place is in a lovely shady spot in block 34 of our Evergreen Cemetery. ❤️

A decade after his death, when the community's growth and wealth had warranted a new elementary
school, the Pikes Peak Press Club suggested it be named after Mr. Steele. And so, the beautiful new school at the northwest corner of Del Norte and Weber streets was named Steele School. This honor befits the man who gave so much of himself to the Colorado Springs community. The school was rebuilt in 1972 and is now a part of School District 11. 😊 Big thanks to ppld.org for having a great selection of information from their digital collection.

Taphophile Tuesday: Winfield Scott Stratton

Taphophile Tuesday: Winfield Scott Stratton

American prospector and philanthropist, Winfield Scott Stratton (1848–1902) He became  Cripple Creek district's first millionaire in 1894. Not only was Stratton rich, he was generous. After the Cripple Creek fire of 1896, Stratton paid for food and shelter for the thousands left homeless by the fire.
When Stratton died, he left the bulk of his estate for the establishment of the Myron Stratton Home, for "the aged poor and dependent children;" named for his father Myron Stratton, which sits on over 100 acres and is still in use today, mainly for the elderly.
Stratton's other legacies include a trolley system connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs; the ground on which the current Colorado Springs City Hall stands; and money to complete the Short Line railroad.
He is a fine example to each of us of kindness towards strangers who are in need of the extra help and encouragement. He is buried in our local Evergreen Cemetery along with this gorgeous stone marker. 


Wreaths Across America!

We are very excited to be participating with Wreaths Across America for 2017.  Wreaths Across America is a national organization that  provides wreaths for our Veterans. For each wreath ordered the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society will receive $5.

The laying of the wreaths will take place on December  16th. Please stay tuned for more details by signing up for our email list.

Click Here To Order A Wreath For Evergreen or Fairview Cemetery.


perpetual care

What exactly is perpetual care?

Most cemetery blocks are endowed, meaning the purchasers paid for perpetual care of these grave sites. Created in the early 1900's, the perpetual care fund encompasses the mowing, watering, and fertilizing of grave sites. Monument maintenance is the responsibility of the purchasers and their heirs.

Perpetual care is simply defined that the cemetery will provide the maintenance necessarily to ensure there will always be a cemetery to visit. This policy has been in placed since the beginning of the cemetery.

 Families are responsible for the care and maintenance  of the headstones and that responsibility falls to heirs as well.

Even though Evergreen Cemetery is city owned, it is not city funded. Any and all monies to maintain the cemetery are through burial fees. This includes irrigation, mowing, trees equipment etc.


2017 Annual Historic Walking Tour

Our most important fund raiser of the year! This event only happens once a year and you don't want to miss it!!


Flags for Our Soldiers-How You Can Help

Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 29 this year, has customarily been celebrated as a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered for their ultimate sacrifice.  Cemeteries around the country and the world have traditionally honored fallen veterans by placing American flags on individual graves.  That tradition has been observed for many years at Evergreen Cemetery, owned and operated by the City of Colorado Springs since 1875.

Over the years, many of the flags were generously donated by various community and civic groups, as well as by individuals from the local area.  Because of our city’s strong military presence, there are thousands of veteran gravesites within the cemetery.  The final resting places of military men and women who served their country from the Civil War up to the present are represented.  This year, the cemetery, which has never been financially responsible for providing the flags, is asking for the community’s help to provide flags for our veterans’ graves.

Donations are being sought to purchase the 8” X 12” flags locally. A goal to raise $1000 has been set, which will purchase approximately 1,500 flags.  If you, your civic and community groups, as well as corporate entities and private companies would like to donate for this tribute to our fallen warriors, contributions would be gratefully accepted.  If you are interested in donating time to place the flags on veteran’s graves, your help would also be welcomed.  Each year, flags that have been placed are removed by volunteers, and those in acceptable condition are reused the following year. 

Donations can be sent to Evergreen Cemetery Memorial Flags, 1005 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.  Be sure to indicate the donation is for Memorial Day Flags.  Donations will also be accepted at the office, at the same address as above.  Please call Evergreen Cemetery at 719-385-6251 for more information, or to ask about the free events during the annual Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society Memorial Day Commemoration on Monday May 29, starting at 9:00 AM.


How You Can Save History! Adopt A Block

Evergreen Cemetery has the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was once revered by many locals as "the largest outdoor rose garden in the world", whose sweet scent could be noted as far as a mile away.

No automatic alt text available.The cemetery, which covers about 220 acres, is comprised of blocks, laid out much like a typical city.  Currently there are approximately 150 blocks, and each may contain up to several hundred gravesites.  Although the City provides basic grounds maintenance such as irrigation and mowing, care of the monuments and sites in each block is not provided.  Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society, a non-profit partner with the Cemetery, fills the gap through its Adopt A Block Program, staffed solely by volunteers.  The Society is seeking additional residents to adopt a block of their choosing and become a Block Captain. 

No automatic alt text available.Becoming a Block Captain is easy and rewarding.  You can select any block you wish.  Typically blocks in the older sections need more TLC, as there are fewer family members left to provide care.  Once you have chosen a block, you will receive guidelines for caring for your adopted area.  You make your own schedule, depending on your available time.  You may be involved in trimming shrubbery, small plants or roses, picking up debris, straightening small monuments, reporting damage or vandalism, and generally keeping the area tidy.  Those with an interest in photography may wish to photograph all the monuments in their block to document their current condition. Training is provided periodically on the proper methods of cleaning monuments without harming them, and repairing minor damage.  During warmer months, Block Captains solicit volunteers to help with special project days. 

Adopting a block would be an excellent way for companies or corporations to foster group activities and team building.  Schools, clubs, teams, hobby groups, churches and many other organizations may enjoy adopting a piece of our local  history.

By adopting a block, you will enable our city to keep the unique and beautiful legacy that is Evergreen Cemetery enjoyable for generations to come.  For more information or details about becoming a Block Captain, please contact Dianne Hartshorn at 719-385-6251, or Mark Robbins at 727-244-9031.  Visit us on Facebook or go to Evergreencemeterysociety.com or send an email to evergreencemeterysociety@yahoo.com