Poor souls remembered in ‘God’s Acre’
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
David Brusoe. Charles Gibson. Ernest Schinkel. Orrin Stoddard. Andy Thomas. These men died in the 1920s in Glenwood Springs. All died under the charge of Garfield County. And all are buried in the Potter’s Field section of Glenwood’s Linwood Cemetery.
Linwood Cemetery was founded in August 1886 upon a hill east of Glenwood Springs. Shortly after the cemetery’s establishment, Garfield County purchased lots within a section of the new burial ground. These lots were to be used for the interment of the indigent.
Generally, the people coming to rest in this section of the cemetery did so without the comfort of family or friends. Their graves became unmarked and forgotten. In time, the grounds became overgrown and untended, reflecting a lack of concern for those buried there.
In 1923, a woman’s organization called the Civic Improvement and Literary Club of Glenwood Springs made it their mission to care for the community’s indigent. In addition to aiding the living poor, they also desired to give dignity to the less fortunate who were buried in the county section of Linwood Cemetery.
The women started a massive improvement of the county’s cemetery section. Hired men cut away brush and weeds, and white marble headstones were set at some of the graves.
However, the largest achievement was the setting of a monument honoring all those buried there. Made of blue-gray-colored Salida granite, the marker measured about 10 feet tall. Concrete steps lead to the monument which was inscribed “To the Memory of All Who Sleep Here in God’s Acre. C.I. and L.C. 1923.”
The granite marker remains standing today, reminding us of the poor buried in Linwood Cemetery and of those women who honored them 81 years ago.
“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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