History of Sunset Memorial Gardens
Sunset Memorial Gardens is one of two cemeteries owned by the City of Garden City. Located approximately three miles east of the city on Hwy 50. It includes 23 acres, 5.3 of which are currently developed. The cemetery was established in 1959, and the City of Garden City accepted ownership in June, 1982.
History of Valley View Cemetery
Valley View Cemetery is located at 2901 North 3rd Street. It is the oldest and largest of two city-owned cemeteries. It includes 83 acres, 47 of which are currently developed, plotted, available for sale, and/or deeded to individual owners for burial purposes. The first area plotted off (in 1883) is known as Zone C and it is located north and east of the cemetery office.
In the late 1890s, a group of pioneer women formed a Cemetery Club. The club’s main objective was to provide a beautiful burial ground, not an easy task in the hot, dry Kansas prairie. Every year on Arbor Day the club would meet for the entire day. Members brought shovels, rakes, and hoes. They planted tree seedlings to shade the new grass they had sown. The women would haul water in barrels and tanks, twice every day, up the hill to the cemetery. Hard times fell and the drought killed everything. The women decided they would need an on-site well. Club dues, support from the City Council, and the club’s Decoration Day Dinner (that served 400 to 500 people) raised the funds for the first of many wells. A pump and irrigation pipe was added later and the plants and trees thrived. For a small fee the club offered planting and care of grass on the cemetery lots. With the club funds the ladies hired a caretaker, or sexton. In 1939, the City of Garden City accepted cemetery operation and maintenance responsibility from the Cemetery Club. Many local and notorious celebrities are buried at Valley View Cemetery, including Buffalo Jones, one of Garden City’s founding fathers.