Project number: [JOWBR, USA-02886]

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The PINE LAWN Cemetery in FORT SCOTT, KS, USA

This small Jewish cemetery was established and formerly owned by the Hebrew Relief & Burial Society of Fort Scott; it is now owned by the local (non-sectarian) cemetery association.

Located in Bourbon County, about 1 mile south of Fort Scott on 215th St. (N 37 47' 50" E 094 42' 50")

Originally referred to as the Hebrew Burial Ground, Pine Lawn Jewish Cemetery is located on 215th St, just outside Fort Scott in Bourbon County. It was established c.1870 by a local Jewish burial society. There are 188 known graves of which about 10% of those are unmarked. As the only Jewish cemetery in southeast Kansas, it served as the burial ground for Jewish families throughout the area.

From 1865 to 1920, almost every small town in eastern Kansas had at least one or two Jewish merchants, usually either immigrants or the sons of immigrant merchants. They tended to own clothing or dry goods stores, though some traded in furniture, scrap metal and other things. The majority were German Jews who adhered to Reform Judaism or who were only semi-observant.

Because there were virtually no Jewish families left in the area by the 1960's, the cemetery was transferred to the local non-sectarian cemetery association. They continue to own it and maintain it, along with their other properties. (Evergreen Cemetery is on the other side of the road, about 1/2 mile south.) The cemetery covers about 2 acres; burials take up most of the western-most acre. At the front is a masonry wall w/ iron gates along the west side; the other 3 sides are fenced in. Though technically the cemetery is still active, there have not been any recent burials.

Contact information for the Fort Scott Cemetery Association is c/o Greg Brown, caretaker, 620.223.2879. No cemetery ledgers or other records exist except an old plot map. For historical information about the cemetery or genealogical information about those buried there, contact Kate Emmett-Sweetser at OurJewishPast@gmail.com.