Mausoleum: A Look Inside at Eastside Cemetery
· Cemetery is Filling...The mausoleum, which is to be built in the cemetery, ...was to have been put in this year but will now probably not be erected before next spring. Hutchinson News Weekly, 8/11/1910, P7
· Will Build Mausoleum. Local Company Organized and State Charter Applied For. Hutchinson News Weekly, 3/21/1912, P3
· The First In The State. John Boehm Threw the First dirt for First Mausoleum in Kansas. Construction work has started at Eastside Cemetery for the big mausoleum, the first to be erected in the state of Kansas. Excavation was commenced yesterday, the first shovel of dirt being thrown by John Boehm of the directors of the Mausoleum association. Material is now rapidly arriving and the work of construction will be pushed as rapidly as possible. It will take several months, however, to erect the mausoleum, which will be of reinforced concrete with marble interior. Hutchinson News Weekly, 6/6/1912, P1
· Dedicate This Fall. Mausoleum Will be Completed Some Time in October. Hutchinson News Weekly, 8/15/1912, P3
Of Marble and Steel and Concrete
Is the New Hutchinson Mausoleum
Slowly arising, in the south part of the East-side cemetery, is a massive structure of concrete, steel and marble, with the graceful lines of a Grecian temple. It is the new mausoleum, the first public mausoleum to be erected in the state of Kansas. Although it is not a large building, as structures go, it requires something like forty cars of gravel, sand, cement, steel and marble to construct the building. Construction is slow, for it is tedious and painstaking work to build this type of structure, and it is doubtful if it will be completed before November. The mausoleum will cost when completed, $30,000. Although the mausoleum is being erected by the Iowa Mausoleum Co., of Waterloo, Iowa, it will, when the crypts are all sold, belong to the crypt owners.
Bert German, superintendent of the company, stated last evening that fully two-thirds of the crypts have been sold already, and by the time the building is completed all will have been taken. The crypt owners then will hold a meeting, form an organization, and choose a name for the mausoleum. Usually they are called “abbeys” and the Hutchinson mausoleum will be some name such as Hope Abbey. The mausoleum is a structure 66 feet long by 34 feet wide, and 25 feet high. In front of the structure will be a portico, including which the building will be 80 feet long. Down the center of the structure is a corridor 66 feet long and 14 feet wide, on either side of which are the crypts. This corridor is large enough to be used as a chapel if desired at a funeral service. It will have a floor of ceramic tile on a solid concrete base. On either side of this corridor are the crypts, the hermitically sealed oblong concrete and marble cavities in which are placed the caskets for the long, last rest. There are four sections of these crypts on each side, eight sections in all. Each section consists of five rows of five crypts to a row, making a total of two hundred crypts.
In the modern funeral service, instead of the body being lowered into a grave and covered with earth, it will be placed in a dry air and moisture proof, sealed cavity, where it will remain in perfect condition for ages to come, without decomposition. The modern funeral party will drive to the portico of the mausoleum. The casket will be carried into the corridor, followed by mourners. After the service the casket will be placed in the crypt, which then will be sealed first with a slab of concrete and steel, and that by an outer slab of marble, which will bear the inscription desired.
A good many Hutchinson families have purchased crypts enough to provide last resting places for all the members of the family. One wealthy Reno county family has purchased almost an entire section of the mausoleum.
Many will have the remains of loved ones removed from the graves in the cemetery and placed in crypts so as to have the families united in the new mausoleum. In one of the undertaking establishments the ashes of a man are being kept until the mausoleum is completed, to be placed in a crypt.
Science is joining with skill in the construction of the mausoleum. Every crypt is so constructed that it is impossible for there to be any cracking or cleaving. But the most interesting scientific process is that by which the gases from the bodies in the crypts are deodorized and purified. Between the outer wall and the inner wall of each crypt is an air chamber. This makes it impossible for the crypt to get any moisture. A valve, so adjusted that the slightest gas pressure from within will open it, connects with a pipe which goes from each crypt to the upper part of the mausoleum. Gases from the bodies are carried off first through carbolic acid, then through medicated antiseptic cotton and finally through formaldyhyde. When the gases are then carried off into the air they are germless and odorless. Similar arrangement is made through a vent pipe in the bottom of each crypt which carries off any liquids there might be, into quick lime which converts them into gases which are carried through the gas valve before mentioned.
Each crypt is seven feet two inches long, twenty-eight inches wide and thirty-two inches high. The front of each crypt is of Vermont marble, and the pilasters between the sections, and the ledges along the crypt rows are of enameled concrete. The building is absolutely fire-proof, weather-proof, and the crypts are air-proof. The building will stand as long as the world stands, for it seems that nothing could destroy such a massive structure. However, there is provided a permanent endowment fund, the interest from which will apply to any repairs, improvements and maintenance, so that even should all the crypt owners pass away, and be forgotten, the mausoleum, and its 200 silent sleepers will never be neglected.
“This is the first mausoleum to be built in Kansas”, explained Bert German, superintendent of the company, for Kansas. “We decided to build this here, as Hutchinson is a central point. We will bring in here, after its completion, committees from other towns and cities in the state, to see it. Already one committee has been here, from Arkansas City”.
“We are glad to have visitors inspect the mausoleum and see the manner of construction. It is very probable within a year or two another structure will have been erected here. The time will come when there will be numerous mausoleums in the cemetery here, and this modern method of interment will gradually supersede earth-burial entirely”.
Hutchinson News Weekly, 9/5/1912, P7
Note: no other mausoleums were ever built at the Eastside Cemetery. The mausoleum does show signs of its age.