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Elmlawn Cemetery
Elmlawn Cemetary
3939 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14217 - View Map

About the Cemetery
(The following is from local historian Dr. Frederick S. Parkhurst's pamphlet, Cemeteries, Town of Tonawanda, New York, Publication No. 4, Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society, 1932.)

This parcel of land - 166 acres - was the original "Shell Farm". It is located on the east side of old Delaware Road at the junction of Delaware Avenue. The south line of the farm was Shell Road - now Belmont Avenue. On this property, situated just east of the present barns and sheds, within the present cemetery was the old "Shell burying ground." When the farm passed into the hands of Judge George A. Lewis the plot remained undisturbed. With graves still on the property, the Buffalo Burial Park Association Inc., could not get a clear title. The bodies were removed to the Faling Cemetery on Delaware Road temporarily and when Elmlawn was ready to receive bodies they were moved back again. The markers bear the record - John Shell -1795 – 1863; Catherine - 1834 -1885; Warner - 1845-1865; Sophia Van Allen - 1830-1865; John P. Shell - 1834-1909; Alice - M. - 1844 – 1877; Benson - 1870-1876; Lewis - 1874-1928.

The first interment in Elmlawn was made on May 23, 1902, and now (1932) there are 12,500 buried there. James Coleman has been the superintendent since January 15, 1919. The old frame building, once the summer home of Judge Lewis, and afterward the office and home of Mr. Coleman, was removed to the west side of Delaware Avenue near the corner of Knoche Road, (1932) where, after being inhabited for more than a hundred years as an ancient landmark, it is still doing duty. A beautiful new office and residence of Indiana limestone was erected in 1931-1932 at a cost of $18,000. It was completed and occupied March 1, 1932. A fine mortuary chapel occupies a commanding site in the grounds and $40,000 has been expended in draining and beautifying the cemetery and ample space for interments is provided for many years to come.

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