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Omaha’s Largest Cemetery
Forest Lawn is Omaha's largest and most beautifully landscaped cemetery, though Westlawn-Hillcrest is a close second in both size and beauty. Forest Lawn is a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Quiet and well-managed, the expansive lawns and old-growth trees have a calming effect. The photos below show the front gate and main entrance.
Forest Lawn has their own website at http://www.forestlawnomaha.com, with a complete listing of burials. I won't repeat what their website says, but post some of my own pictures and thoughts about the inhabitants of the cemetery.
The majority of Omaha's founders are at Prospect Hill. The second generation families of those founders, as well as the men who came to town in the 25 years after Omaha was born are, for the most part, at Forest Lawn in Section's 7, 8, 10, 21 and 22. If you know anything about Omaha's history, it's obvious, as you walk through the sections, that they all congregated in this "upper level" area.
By the time these powerful men had made their money in Omaha, Prospect Hill had been handed over to Forest Lawn for $1 and was falling into disrepair, thanks to Forest Lawn's deliberate mismanagement. Byron Reed had planned on keeping Prospect Hill going with annual assessments to the lot owners, but lost quite a bit of money over the years and after finding no buyers, literally gave it to Forest Lawn. He was getting old, and was tired of worrying about the cemetery, because I can't see him doing that to Prospect Hill, which he loved and was himself buried there. Why would Forest Lawn promote Prospect Hill when they had plots of their own to sell? And they did sell many plots to these rich families, entire sections and blocks of plots. I see these plots and enormous monuments at Forest Lawn today, knowing the money they made, and think of Prospect Hill being run into the ground and it doesn't make me feel kindly towards the early management of Forest Lawn.
As you'll see, 99% of the photos of the people on this site are white men. Our misogynistic founding fathers never saw the need to include pictures of the women and people of color who helped build Omaha when they were publishing histories of the town; only the whie men. This has made it very difficult to connect a face to the women and people of color buried in these cemeteries, and if anyone out there has any pictures they'd like to share, please let me know.